The Racist Reality of Gun Control

The Racist Reality of Gun Control

Handguns at a gun store in Uniondale, N.Y., in 2013. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters) 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. First, gun control operates as an economic barrier for many […]

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