Tired of Gunning It

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					Tired of Gunning It ? - Hip Hop Republican

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Tired of Gunning It ?
By rivory | November 25th, 2008 | Category: Culture/Arts, Featured, General, Opinion/Reviews, Politics, Social |

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Tired of Gunning It ? - Hip Hop Republican

America’s gun culture and its communities are at war - guess whose winning? By John S. Wilson No community is as affected by guns and gun violence than the African-American community. Consider this: Although African-Americans only make up 13% of the US population, in 2005, they accounted for a mind bending 53.4% of the 12,352 gun-related homicides, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The rate at which African-Americans are perishing is so disproportionate that if it was equal amongst all ethnic groups — gun deaths would skyrocket to over 200,000 a year. Does that qualify as an epidemic? I grew up with a gun in my home. My father chose to buy one when he opened his own business and didn’t feel comfortable having large sums of money at his establishment or on his person. I’ve seen that gun once. I never shot it, touched it, and rarely thought about it. My father used to say, “Guns are like cars, and people don’t respect [their] power until it’s too late”. Unfortunately, that statement is being born out. And while he purchased his gun for self-defense, he has never had to use it, and statistics compiled by the FBI show there’s actually a 20% chance that during an altercation it would be used against him! The FBI also concludes that only 2.3% of gun deaths can be attributed to justifiable self-defense. The gun laws we have aren’t the gun laws we need. The African-American community has implored their legislators to enact common sense gun control legislation to no avail. There is still no national gun registry that can track guns across state lines ensuring a chain of travel and registration from manufacturer to dealer to consumer. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has consistently and successfully fought this on constitutional grounds. Less than 10 states require a permit to purchase a gun, for it to be registered or for the owner to be licensed. And the last major gun legislation that passed was the Brady Act of 1994, which primarily consisted of the Assault Weapons Ban, the five day waiting period and federal background check for unlicensed gun owners purchasing a gun from a dealer (although the gun show loophole still exists, where sale of guns are exempt from background checks). Assault weapons only accounted for 4.82% of the guns that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) could trace back to crime. But after Brady’s passage, that number plummeted to 1.61% — a 66% decrease. While it was successful in taking these weapons off of the streets, it had a negligible impact on actual gun crime. What are the deterrents to more impactful legislation? None will be passed until hunters, sport shooters, libertarians, and the self-defense crowd understand two things: 1) No one is out to confiscate their guns and, 2) Guns are wreaking havoc on entire urban communities. The NRA routinely stands aghast at mention of more gun control and looks askance at legislators who dare to question the efficacy of the current regulation we have. Are we even talking about the same kinds of guns? Well, no, not really. Murderers prefer handguns, hunters and sport shooters prefer rifles and shotguns. In an exhaustive study done by the Department of Justice, handguns accounted for 90% of gun-related homicides and 86% of all weapon-related crime in the US. Criminals overwhelmingly preferred guns that were easily concealable and of a high caliber. 3 handgun models –.38 caliber, .357 caliber, and .22 caliber — accounted for 65% of the guns that felons had most recently acquired, and they were used in over 40% of police officer killings from 1982-1993. By comparison, rifles and shotguns accounted for less than 9% of gun-related homicides. And although criminals owned them, they were not carried often or frequently traced to crime by the ATF for homicides, assaults or drug offenses. Legislation should be articulated that focuses on handguns because they are the tool of choice used to terrorize our communities. Sometimes there seems to be more debate in this country about hip hop music’s effect on gun crime

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Tired of Gunning It ? - Hip Hop Republican

than the laws we’ve implemented (loopholes and all) or the laws we have been too afraid to write for fear of the gun lobby. Next time I hear of a child who was murdered by a man wielding an iPod and freestyling or a home invasion where a family of four is slain with 50 Cent and Kanye West CDs, I’ll let you know. The rate at which African-Americans are being killed is immoral, ghastly, and leaves our future in an untenable position. If the NRA was suffering from it instead of running away from it and they would lobby around it, it’s future would be just as untenable. I’m tired of gunning it. Are you? John Wilson is currently a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he majors in both economics and sociology. He is a contributor to this blog, and his writing has appeared in the Orlando Sentinel. Although he is an Independent, in early 2007, he canvassed for the Barack Obama campaign. Share This:

6 comments Leave a comment »
LLR November 25th, 2008 3:06 pm :

This post is all over the place and contains errors. The author blames “assault weapons” (whatever they are) and common guns like a .38 and .22 handgun. Both of those are on the lower end of the handgun spectrum. Especially the .22 that is mostly used for plinking and target practice. I won’t even go into how modern (hence the 1982-1993 stats) bullet-proof vest will stop .38 rounds. The Brady Bill and the Assault weapons ban are 2 different bills. The Brady Bill was enacted in 1993 and the AWB in 1994. The Brady bill had the waiting period and the AWB banned guns that weren’t “politically correct” enough for DC. But what this post doesn’t mention is that Washington DC (once the murder capital of the US) had a handgun ban for decades but it did nothing for murder rates. It wasn’t until this year that residents could own a handgun or readily have a rifle or shotgun for self defense in the home.
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