Jason Whitlock takes his anti-gun rhetoric up another notch, this time by marrying the dearth of gun control in this country to white racism. He said on Roland Martin’s podcast yesterday:
“You know, I did not go as far as I’d like to go because my thoughts on the NRA and America’s gun culture — I believe the NRA is the new KKK. And that the arming of so many black youths, uh, and loading up our community with drugs, and then just having an open shooting gallery, is the work of people who obviously don’t have our best interests [at heart].”
Whitlock disagreed with the idea that gun ownership “enhances” liberty, explaining how — in his view — it damages society.
“I think it’s obvious if you’ve traveled abroad, and traveled to countries where they have legitimate gun laws, that we don’t have to have what we have in America, where people somehow think a gun enhances their liberty, and that people somehow think a gun makes them safer,” he continued.
“It just doesn’t. A gun turns some kids listening to music into a murder scene. And uh, you know, if you don’t have a gun, you drive home. You know, kids listening to some loud music, you don’t like it, you go home and complain to your wife. But when you have a gun, you open fire, potentially, and take the life of a child.”
I’m gonna have to pack a lunch in order to unpack this mess.
Starting at the end of the piece, Whitlock is citing the recent shooting of Jordan Davis, the 17 year-old black kid who was shot by a white man who chastised Davis at a convenience store for playing his music loudly. Which is a legitimate example of the bad that can happen when people carry guns on their person in public. But are incidents like that the most common instance in which guns are used improperly or criminally? Hardly. It just happens to be the most prominent recent case that fits the argument Whitlock hopes to perpetuate. I mean, look at the incident that really sparked this. Jovan Belcher, a black man, killed his girlfriend and then himself, and now we’re talking about the KKK? What world?
I could literally cite hundreds of cases in which it was some kid gunning down a random person on the sidewalk or at the store not even for the horrible excuse of loud music or obnoxious behavior. We could throw race into the mix in order to dismiss Whitlock’s argument a little further. Blacks are much more likely to target whites than the reverse. By one count, blacks murder whites at 13 times the rate that whites murder blacks.
Stories like that recent one in Florida and the previous one out of Florida are man bites dog stories. Nobody expects a white man to shoot a black kid when there is no strong reason to do so, so those incidents gain attention from the media and activists. I could cite an incident that occurred three nights ago just down the street from me
which is something that occurs so often in America that nobody outside of locals even notices.
Besides that, I bet Whitlock thinks the CIA infected the black community with AIDS. Only an Illuminati-fearing tinfoil hatter like that could think in terms of “arming” black youths as if they’re receiving government issued munitions or of “loading our community up with drugs” as if lots of black people don’t love partaking.
As always, comparing the U.S.’s social statistics to other countries ignores many confounding problems. The U.S. does have a relatively high homicide rate compared to other Western countries. The U.S.’s overall homicide rate sat at 5.9
(per 100,000 residents; stats ~2004). Sweden = 1.2, Norway = 0.8, Germany = 1, France = 1.6, Denmark = 1.1, England = 1.6, Canada = 1.5.
Compare (2008 stats
): Louisiana sat at 12.3, Alabama was at 7.1. These states, heavily black, pull the nation’s overall homicide rate out of line with the rest of Western civilization. Wyoming = 2.0, Wisconsin = 2.6 (thanks Milwaukee*), Vermont = 1.3, Utah = 1.4, North Dakota = 2.0, New Hampshire = 0.9, Minnesota = 1.5, Maine = 2.0, Iowa = 1.3, Idaho = 1.5. You get the picture, and many of those states have very relaxed gun possession laws. Not like Chicago which has some of the most arcane (progressive?) gun laws
in the nation but also one of the highest homicide rates.
Though Whitlock wants us to believe that the NRA is like the KKK in that gun enthusiasts are white racists and that this somehow causes the death of black people, he’d have to explain why blacks are more likely than whites to murder strangers
. Also, though blacks are already overrepresented in terms of their rate of homicide offense, they are even more overrepresented in terms of homicide by firearm. Blacks committed 52% of homicides in 2005 and 56% of all gun homicides. To mask a logical argument, Whitlock pretends that the Belcher case and the Davis case share the same starting point. But they don’t.
Now, is Whitlock saying that blacks are not in a position, in general, to handle relaxed gun ownership laws? Do they not possess the characteristics needed – which people in heavily white states i.e. whites exhibit – that helps limit the number of gun-related homicides even while gun ownership isn’t banned? No. He’s not going to admit that. Instead, society is deficient for preying on their weakness – a weakness that goes unnamed.