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Gun Control For African Americans?

April 7, 2013

Who could argue against President Obama’s recent statement in which he points out,  “There doesn’t have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights.” (The Epoch Times) ?  The problem is that he can hardly argue that by implementing legislation designed to circumvent the intent of the Second Amendment he is actually protecting the rights guaranteed by the very same amendment.  In other words, there does not have to be a conflict, but there certainly can be depending on the type of legislation being considered.  In a recent exchange between Senator Feinstein and Senator Ted Cruz the latter made some excellent points obviously designed to rebut the increasingly common suggestion made by too many of our elected officials, as well as our fellow citizens, that our constitutional rights are somehow not to be taken literally.  According to the New York Sun:

The new senator from Texas had asked the veteran senator of California whether she would consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment would apply only to certain books and not to books the Congress deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights. He made a similar point about the Fourth Amendment.

The point he was making, to which Senator Feinstein never adequately responded, was that the rights guaranteed in the US Constitution are not served buffet style.  The freedoms and rights of the people are always under attack by those in government and are always much more easily lost than gained.  They are much more likely to be won by force while often lost simply with a stroke of the pen.  It is a complete travesty that too many citizens seem to believe that the government is free to pick and choose which parts of the constitution it will acknowledge and in what way the various restrictions will be interpreted.  In any event, perhaps it’s time to take the President, and other liberals, at their word and address the problem full on.

In his recent address (full text at Huffington Post) on the subject of gun control, President Obama said the following:

Today there is still genuine disagreement among well-meaning people about what steps we should take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country. But you, the American people, have spoken. You’ve made it clear that it’s time to do something.  And over the last few weeks, Senators here in Washington have listened and taken some big steps forward.

Really?  The American people have spoken?  The Second Amendment was eliminated just when I wasn’t looking?  Our form of government was changed and I never received the memo?

Two weeks ago, the Senate advanced a bill that would make it harder for criminals and people with a severe mental illness from getting their hands on a gun — an idea supported by nine out of ten Americans, including a majority of gun owners.

I’m not necessarily going to argue against keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and people with severe mental illnesses, but consider the following from an article in the New York Times:

But there is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that the vast majority of people with psychiatric disorders do not commit violent acts. Only about 4 percent of violence in the United States can be attributed to people with mental illness.

Even when focusing only on those with severe mental illnesses the same article points out:

This does not mean that mental illness is not a risk factor for violence. It is, but the risk is actually small. Only certain serious psychiatric illnesses are linked to an increased risk of violence.       

One of the largest studies, the National Institute of Mental Health’s Epidemiologic Catchment Area study, which followed nearly 18,000 subjects, found that the lifetime prevalence of violence among people with serious mental illness — like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — was 16 percent, compared with 7 percent among people without any mental disorder. Anxiety disorders, in contrast, do not seem to increase the risk at all.

The reader might also wish to consider the fact that in any given year NIH projects that approximately twenty five percent of the adult population of the United States meets the criteria required to be considered mentally ill with only six percent meeting the standard of being severely mentally ill.

The President goes on to say:

These ideas shouldn’t be controversial — they’re common sense. They’re supported by a majority of the American people. And I urge the Senate and the House to give each of them a vote.

As I’ve said before, we may not be able to prevent every act of violence in this country. But together, we have an obligation to try. We have an obligation to do what we can.

Right now, we have a real chance to reduce gun violence in America, and prevent the very worst violence. We have a unique opportunity to reaffirm our tradition of responsible gun ownership, and also do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or people with a severe mental illness.

According to Brady Campaign.org:

DID YOU KNOW? African-Americans have the highest rates of firearm death (including homicides, suicides and unintentional shooting deaths) among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

I quote the President once again:

As I’ve said before, we may not be able to prevent every act of violence in this country. But together, we have an obligation to try. We have an obligation to do what we can.

Right now, we have a real chance to reduce gun violence in America, and prevent the very worst violence. We have a unique opportunity to reaffirm our tradition of responsible gun ownership

If we care anything about the lives of our African American citizens it is obvious that the best thing we can do is restrict their access to firearms.  Let the police do what they do best in the relative safety of a gun free zone.  The fact of the matter is that race is the factor which has the highest predictive value in whether or not one will either be a perpetrator or a victim of gun violence.  Liberals are prone to comparing the rate of gun violence in the United States to those of other (primarily Western/White) countries.

Hard hitting?

Wow.  Looks pretty awful…..

On the other hand…..if you just take “White America” into consideration you find that the United States compares rather favorably to the competition, particularly when you take the number of “White” American gun owners into account, not to mention the direction of the trend.  As to violent crime in general…..?

Are we really willing to throw our rights away?

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