There’s a long tradition among those of the anti-gun rights bent of explaining the motives of anyone who owns a gun by claiming that they’re actually trying to show that their penis is bigger than everyone else’s. That, or their compensating for a lack of, um, substance in that area. Never mind that this explanation conspicuously excludes women gun owners. Gun grabbers seem to have a need to impugn the motives and mental health of anyone with whom they disagree in the basest terms. This pseudo-Freudian, phallo-centric theory of the popularity of guns is not only shallow and lazy, it also exposes those who resort to it as the narrow-minded demagogues they are…
The latest proponent of this wankerized view of gun owners is Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. of the Miami Herald. To illustrate his point, he uses former NBA player and serial gun law violator Javaris Crittenton.
Crittenton, as you may remember, was booted from the NBA after he and Gilbert Arenas pulled guns on each other in the Washington Wizards’ locker room during an argument over a debt.
Crittenton now finds himself in much more serious trouble with a murder charge after an apparent drive-by shooting. What got under Crittenton hot and bothered enough to spray three people with lead? He suspected one of the three – not the one he killed – of stealing jewelry from him.
In a piece titled ‘No Manhood in The Barrel of a Gun‘, Pitts puts on his thinking cap in order to explain the large percentage of murders and non-negligent homicides.
There is a reason males, like Crittenton, accounted for about 90 percent of them; males tend to be more aggressive.
And there are multiple reasons young black men, like Crittenton, account for about half the arrests; one being that black men tend to be more hyper-vigilant about, and to guard more jealously against, perceived threats to their manhood.
You’d think having a chance at some sort of future would insulate you from those forces. You’d be mistaken. Crittenton, young, male and black, struck a dangerous trifecta.
Pitts isn’t a psychologist, but he likes to play one in the newspaper.
A man or boy has a psychological — perhaps even biological — need to prove his capability, durability, fearlessness, toughness. Recognizing this, it would be a worthwhile mission for families, schools, worship houses and other community institutions working toward violence reduction to formulate means that allow boys to fulfill that imperative constructively.
Motherhood and apple pie. Kinda. In Pitts’ view, it evidently takes a village to raise a child, and without making any suggestions of his own, he thinks it would be good to find ways for boys to constructively resolve differences. Here’s a suggestion: teach them right from wrong.
And then he resorts to the inevitable.
At the very least, teach them that a gun is not a penis. It’s a tragedy that Crittenton didn’t know that.
It’s a bigger tragedy that he’s not the only one.
Trying to explain away the frequency with which young black males turn to the use of a gun to settle meaningless perceived slights is a convenient way of absolving them of responsibility for their crimes. There are a great number of contributing factors Pitts conveniently avoids, not the least of which is a morally bankrupt urban culture in which many of these men are raised. A culture where too many children are raised largely by single mothers who exist largely on government support without a father anywhere in the picture.
Lots – in fact the vast majority – of gun owners with penises don’t lean out of passing cars in order to spray people who dissed them with gunfire. They’re responsible people who own guns for hunting, sport or personal protection. Attributing gun ownership to a need to prove length or girth is lazy thinking and beneath someone like Pitts.