It has been quite a year so far, 2021. Many things once labeled “conspiracy theories,” spread by right-wing “nut jobs,” have been revealed to be true – or, at least, are looking more and more likely to be true. Left-leaning media organizations appear to have altogether abandoned their decades-long attempts to portray themselves as impartial reporters of the cold, hard facts. Progressives, who for years have pretended to abhor racism, are now moving Heaven and Earth to segregate America according to skin color. No one, though, could have seen this coming: a co-host of the popular TV show The View has openly recognized the importance of the Second Amendment – and, no, it was not Meghan McCain.
With the exception of the neoconservative McCain, the ladies of The View aren’t just left-wing; they’re far left. So, one would have thought that, like everyone else on the far left, they would be horrified at the very thought of civilians owning guns. These are the kind of people, after all, who believe that only agents of the government should be armed in order to keep the rest of the population in line. Not so though, apparently, according to at least one of these ladies. Sunny Hostin declared on June 23 that people she knows personally are arming up. “A lot of my friends and family members have begun to purchase guns,” Hostin said. “They’ve begun gun training, and I think a lot of it has to do with the increase in violence against black people.”
Of Statistics, Facts, and Making Stuff Up
Crime statistics are a funny thing. They can be twisted and cherry-picked to support almost any opinion on the subjects of gun violence, the criminal justice system, and various real or perceived social problems. Even the FBI relies on the voluntary participation of law enforcement agencies across the country for its own statistical reports on crime trends. Then, of course, there is the fact that some crimes go unreported. To attempt to use crime statistics to back up an argument – whatever argument that may be – is to walk into a metaphorical minefield.
As an aside, though, it is worth noting that all categories of crime, according to almost every set of statistics available, have been steadily declining over the past two decades, at least. This, despite a spike in crime rates of late in certain cities that chose to scale back their law enforcement agencies. Interestingly, the Pew Research Center has found that most Americans believe crime is on the increase, nationally. Public perception, in this case, is simply not supported by the facts.
Hostin chose not to quote any statistics at all to support her claim that violence against black people is increasing – and, clearly, the co-host was implying that blacks are increasingly the victims of racially motivated crimes committed by whites. Are there any credible studies that indicate a nationwide upward trend in racially motivated, white-on-black violent crime – or even white-on-black crime that isn’t racially motivated? No, there are not.
From where Hostin is getting her information remains a mystery. Perhaps she just decided to make the allegation off the top of her head, assuming that at least a portion of her audience would take it as an established fact. Hostin did offer one piece of “evidence” to underpin her argument:
“If you listen to the FBI statistics, we had FBI director [Christopher] Wray testify that the greatest threat in the United States is white supremacy. And who are the victims of white supremacy? Generally, they are African Americans, so I really believe that that is why you are seeing African Americans now buying guns.”
It should be noted that the FBI has not produced verifiable evidence that violence by “white supremacists” poses the “greatest threat” in America today. In certain parts of the country, violence by left-wing extremists is an almost weekly occurrence, whereas there have been no reported incidents of white supremacist mobs looting and burning their way across American cities.
Yes, Guns Are for Everyone
What Hostin said next, though, is far more noteworthy than her casually tossed out and totally unsupported claim about racial violence: “The Second Amendment is for everyone.”
Hallelujah. A progressive media personality has finally admitted the truth about the Second Amendment: it is for everybody. Those friends and family members of Hostin’s who are buying guns and getting trained in their use should be applauded for exercising their constitutional right – not to mention the basic human right of self-defense, which predates the Constitution by several thousand years.
What progressives do not understand – or perhaps simply do not want to acknowledge – is that Second Amendment advocates have absolutely no problem at all with black people legally obtaining firearms. Could it be that Hostin made her comments out of spite – that perhaps she thought she would send shivers down the spines of white people by talking about how many blacks are now buying guns? If so, she could not have been more wrong. It is probably safe to say that most white gun owners do not pay much attention to the opinions expressed on The View, but if they do, their reaction to the news that black people, concerned about rising crime, are buying guns would likely be: “Good for them.”
Still, putting aside any speculation about Hostin’s personal feelings towards gun-ownership or her possible motivations for talking about it on The View, it is refreshing to hear someone on the progressive left publicly acknowledge that owning a gun is a legitimate right. Moreover, that rational people – for surely Hostin believes that the friends and family members she referenced are rational people – have legitimate reasons for making the decision to purchase a firearm.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.