Gun Control's Racist Reality

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Gun control has a racist origin. Anyone with an understanding of history knows this. Gun control laws were originally created as a way to disarm black men and women because white folks of the time didn’t want them able to fight back. During Reconstruction in the South, these laws took the form of looking like they applied to everyone but were passed with the understanding that white sheriffs would never prosecute a white man for carrying a gun.

Over time, people lost touch with those roots of gun control.

Now, gun control is claimed to be absolutely essential for racial equality. However, as the folks over at the National Review point out, its history isn’t the only thing racist about gun control.

Gun control disproportionately impacts the poor and minorities and puts them at greater risk of prosecution. So why is it that progressives, who like to think of themselves as champions of the “people,” are always pushing for stricter gun-control laws?

In January 2016, New York mayor Bill de Blasio created “Project Fast Track” to aggressively pursue all firearms cases in New York. Defendants in that court are overwhelmingly young black males who are charged with simply possessing an illegal firearm — not using it or committing any violent crime. The majority in these cases have never been convicted of a felony.

It’s a local snapshot of a broader picture. Nationally, while black Americans amount to only 13 percent of the population, they receive 51 percent of all felony firearm-possession convictions. A number of these cases may in fact be connected to more nefarious criminal activity. And given the crime wave sweeping U.S. cities, prosecutors should be pursuing violent crimes wherever they can.

But minorities and those living in poor areas are much more likely to experience crime, especially violent crime, compared with their fellow citizens. These individuals are in particular need of the ability to defend themselves, and they have the same right to do so as someone living in a safe, upper-class suburb; and yet gun-control laws eviscerate this right for vulnerable Americans in several ways.

In addition, gun-control laws are not equally enforced in upscale neighborhoods. No one strolling through Beverly Hills or down 5th Avenue in New York is worried about being searched for a firearm. We all know where those “stop-and-frisk” pat-downs are more likely to take place, and for whom. And those are the individuals in de Blasio’s “Project Fast Track.”

To be clear, this disparity is not new.

No, it’s really not. We’ve noted it before.

However, the reality is that every new gun control regulation will likely have a further impact on the black community. Especially the poor members of the black community. That’s just how it’s going to work.

Further, those who claim to care about minorities are also screaming about “defunding the police” while also calling for more gun control; laws that would have to be enforced by police.

Honestly, it’s a wonder their heads don’t explode from the contradictory positions they hold.

Regardless, while some like to push gun control as somehow being good for the black community, the opposite is the case. It’s going to land a lot of young black men and women in prison for something that in and of itself isn’t actually wrong. Carrying a gun shouldn’t automatically come with a prison sentence.

When it does, its outcome sure as hell looks racist.

Oct 20, 2021 5:30 PM ET