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Black Americans represent the majority of the victims of gun homicide in the United States. Gun control legislation has done nothing to decrease the number of black men and women who are killed by murderers using guns. Indeed, they have only served to make it harder for law-abiding blacks to obtain firearms that they could use to defend themselves. If you’re on the pro 2nd Amendment side, you know that this argument applies to all law-abiding Americans.
However, there is another factor in the gun control debate that is unique to blacks in America. Gun control laws were created specifically to disarm black Americans. While the Democrats claim to care about the welfare of the black community, through gun control legislation, they have had a negative impact. It’s another example of the Democrats promoting policies that appear to help blacks and other minorities — but in reality, they are causing harm.
Legislation Was Designed To Disarm Blacks
The racist motivations behind gun control legislation can actually be traced back to America’s founding. Slaves and free blacks were not allowed to own firearms because whites feared a violent uprising against the institution of slavery. When black slaves were freed after the end of the Civil War, other laws were passed that were designed to limit black Americans’ access to firearms.
Firearms And Liberty conducted an in-depth study of the racist history of the gun control movement. They highlight the types of laws that were enacted to disarm blacks.
“The end of slavery in 1865 did not eliminate the problems of racist gun control laws; the various Black Codes adopted after the Civil War required blacks to obtain a license before carrying or possessing firearms or Bowie knives; these are sufficiently well-known that any reasonably complete history of the Reconstruction period mentions them.”
One of the reasons why whites in the south implemented the Black Codes forbidding blacks to own weapons is because they believed it would be easier to prevent blacks from voting for the 14th Amendment. Ku Klux Klan members often became “night riders” — men who would ride horses while posing as the ghosts of Confederate soldiers to scare blacks into refusing to vote. Apparently, their terrorist tactics would be less effective if they met with armed resistance.
Of course, the restrictions on guns appeared to apply to everyone — the laws didn’t mention any specific race. However, the authorities did not enforce these laws equally; it was clear that the legislation was meant to apply to blacks.
The Impact Of Gun Control On The Black Community
Today, gun laws are still harming the black community. The cities in which most black Americans live have some of the highest murder rates in the country despite the fact that they have some of the strictest gun laws. Gang violence is prevalent in these areas, claiming the lives of thousands of blacks each year.
Armstrong Williams, in a piece for The Root, examined this issue in a 2015 article. He writes:
“For example, the overall per capita murder rate in America sits at around five murders per 100,000 residents. However, in major inner cities in which blacks make up a majority, the murder rate is orders of magnitude higher. Detroit has a per capita rate of over 45, followed by Newark, N.J., and New Orleans with per capita rates hovering at about 40 and Baltimore with a murder rate of 37. Chicago has a murder rate more than triple the national average, at around 18 deaths per 100,000.”
The prevalence of gun deaths in the inner city is the result of cultural issues in the black community as well as the backlash against policing in these areas. Although most blacks still support gun control, many are slowly beginning to see that gun control places law-abiding citizens in a vulnerable position. In 2015, Reuters reported that the percentage of blacks that support gun control is falling. It makes sense given that these people are living under restrictive gun laws that are not curbing gun violence.
Whenever an incident similar to the Parkland school shooting occurs, the story is prominently covered by establishment media outlets. However, black gun deaths in the inner city don’t get the Parkland treatment. Indeed, David Hogg, the champion of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas anti-gun brigade castigated the media for ignoring black students who survived the shooting. It makes one think of that saying about broken clocks, doesn’t it? In any event, it’s evident that the left doesn’t care as much about black victims of gun violence.
It does appear that blacks are starting to realize that the gun control movement isn’t helping us. Last week, Mark Robinson — a black North Carolina resident, addressed a city council meeting on the subject of gun control. “It seems like every time we have one of these shootings; nobody wants to put the blame where it goes, which is at the shooter’s feet,” he said. “You want to put it at my feet.”
He went on to explain the futility of gun control laws in his city. “You all write a law; I follow the law, I’ll bring my guns down here, I’ll turn them in,” he said. “But here’s what’s gonna happen. The Crips and the Bloods on the other side of the county — they’re not going to turn their guns in.”
Robinson also stated that taking guns away from law-abiding Americans only puts people like him in danger. “So the criminals are going to hold on to their guns, they’re still going to have them,” he said. “they’re still going to break into my house, and they’re still going to shoot me with them. And guess who’s going to be the one that suffers? It’s gonna be me.”
Anti-Gun Legislation Doesn’t Help Anyone Except Criminals
Robinson is right. Adding more gun laws won’t save any lives — especially when we’re not enforcing the laws that we already have.
Like Robinson, many black Americans are tired of seeing increased gun violence in their communities. They want real solutions. Perhaps this is why more black Americans are coming around on the importance of responsible gun ownership.
Congress can’t protect the innocent black men, women, and children who are susceptible to the bullets of gang members. Their laws can’t prevent bad actors from snuffing out black lives. When was the last time you heard of a Blood or a Crip legally purchasing a firearm?
The vast majority of the firearms used in gun homicides are obtained illegally. The only way to stop these people in the short term is to increase policing and make it easier for law-abiding Americans to get the means with which they can defend themselves. In the long term, the black community must address the cultural issues that lead to young men joining gangs and engaging in violent behavior. Needless to say, legislation does not have much of a role in this process.