NAACP Has Concerns About Biden's Gun Control Plan

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

When it comes to the discussion of gun rights, the NAACP isn’t a group most of us would think of as natural allies for someone like the NRA. The two have very different points of view about most political issues, even if the NRA opts not to talk too much about non-gun issues these days.

Of course, the two tend to have very different missions, so there’s no reason for there to be much overlap.

Today, however, there is.

President Joe Biden recently announced a plan to reduce gun violence and other crimes nationwide, but leaders in the Black community think it could do more harm than good.

“This is an ongoing problem that is occurring not only in Grand Rapids, but in cities all across the country,” said Carlton T. Mayers II, the policing reform advisor for the Grand Rapids NAACP. “It encourages over-policing of Black and brown communities, which ultimately results in the unnecessary harms and deaths of Black and brown people.”

Biden’s plan is suggesting cities use some of their COVID-19 relief funding to get the job done.

Mayers says the community should be involved in the decision before money is allocated.

“We are very much so not in support of just arbitrarily giving money to law enforcement and not to community resources to deal with gun violence and violent crimes. They can use the money not only to hire more police officers, but also to use and purchase technology and other equipment. We’re very concerned about that,” said Mayers.

And let’s be honest, most of who we see arrested for so-called gun crimes, even just possession, are young black men. There’s absolutely no way these new measures won’t actually impact the black community of Grand Rapids, as well as the rest of the nation.

Granted, I disagree with them about hiring new officers being a mistake. While I think there are other things we can do to eventually bring down the violent crime rates probably even better than increased policing, all of those things take time for any gains to be realized. Increased policing is a short-term fix that can be put in place to cover until other programs can yield results.

Failing to do so will cost people their lives. There’s no other way to say it, either. That “shortfall,” for lack of a better term, will be paid for in the blood of innocent men and women who didn’t have to die, but did because someone just didn’t like the police.

There’s a middle ground here, and that’s where we’ll actually find the best solutions for all things.

Increase policing for now and also work on programs that will dissuade people from pursuing a criminal lifestyle. Work to reduce that crime now as well as prevent it from happening in the future as well.

Why is that so difficult?

But this is also coming from a key demographic that Biden is counting on for any reelection ambitions he might possess–or that Vice President Kamala Harris may have if Biden decides not to run again. If he doesn’t appease them sufficiently, they might not bother to turn out in 2024 for whoever is on the Democratic ticket. That could spell disaster for the left.

Especially as more and more black voters are also becoming gun owners.

Might we start to see the NAACP in various places come out more in opposition to gun control bills? Who knows. Stranger things have happened, such as both the NRA and an NAACP chapter both taking issue with Biden’s gun control efforts.

Oct 24, 2021 2:30 PM ET