The New York Times has never been a big fan of the Second Amendment. It would take reams of paper to list all the op-eds and editorials the paper has published through the years calling for restricting people’s gun rights…when it wasn’t outright calling for repeal of the Second Amendment entirely.
However, a recent op-ed takes a different tactic. It’s all about how the writer feels the need to have a gun.
What does it take for Black Americans to feel safe right now?
For some, it’s owning a gun. Even if that’s not something they may have ever wanted to do. In the video above, a chorus of Black voices from across the country — a schoolteacher in Oakland, Calif., a political strategist in Aurora, Colo., and others — have an urgent message: “Go buy a gun. Arm yourself. And just make sure you get some training.”
The writers bring up a few examples of why many black Americans feel the need to own a gun in order to maintain their personal safety. I’m not sure they actually need a gun any more than most anyone else needs one, but the great thing about the Second Amendment is that your need doesn’t factor into it. You shouldn’t have to show a need to exercise such a fundamental right.
So, whether they actually need a gun or not is irrelevant.
However, the more interesting thing here is that the New York Times is running this. For years, the Second Amendment was every kind of unholy thing, something that should not just be stricken from the Constitution, but purged from living memory with fire and damnation. Now, though, there’s a group of people the Times has decided to listen to.
The truth is, those concerns expressed by the African-American community aren’t that different from the concerns most new gun owners express prior to purchasing their first firearm. The specific examples are different, sure, but ultimately, it boils down to protecting yourself and your family from people who intend you harm.
Yet, because this isn’t a couple of white guys from what the Times staff thinks of as “rural America,” though, it seems they’re willing to listen for a change.
Could this mark the end of the Times‘s unbridled animosity toward the right to keep and bear arms?
Or, conversely, are they publishing this in hopes that it will spark many pro-gun people to suddenly support gun control. After all, in the minds of many, black gun owners scare white gun owners completely. It doesn’t help that we have some ill-advised comments popping up about black gun owners from people who should know better. However, even those comments aren’t as bad as they may look at first blush.
No, we don’t look at black gun owners and start rethinking our support of the Second Amendment.
Instead, we invite these new gun owners to come on over and have a seat. We’d love to tell them about the racist foundations of gun control and how even today, gun control disproportionately impacts the black community. We’d love to invite some of them shooting sometime. I’ve always found range days to be more fun when you have company, after all.
But we’re not going to bend over and embrace gun control.
Hopefully, this represents the Times recognizing their previous animosity toward gun rights was unwarranted. Just don’t hold your breath on that one.