The idea that Americans who cherish their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms are racists is a particularly pernicious piece of anti-gun agitprop. I did my best to shoot it down yesterday. But here it is again, this time in a mainstream outlet. Over at cnn.com, former George Bush speechwriter and Jewish Canadian (I kid you not) David Frum writes that America’s gun problem is not a race problem. Translation: Americans who “cling to their guns” (President Obama’s term) are white people who are afraid of black people. Racists. I swear I’m not making that up. Again. Still. Here’s the warm-up . . .
The typical murder has one victim, not many. The typical murder is committed with a handgun, not a rifle. And in the typical murder, both the perpetrator and the victim are young black men. Blacks are six times as likely as whites to be the victim of a homicide. Blacks are seven times as likely to commit a homicide.
The horrifying toll of gun violence on black America explains why black Americans are so much more likely than whites to favor gun control.
I don’t think that memes what Frum think it memes. And even if it’s true, how sad is that stat? Anyway, here’s the pitch:
Conversely, fears of being victimized by violence explain why so many white Americans — especially older and more conservative white Americans — insist on the right to bear arms in self-protection. They see gun violence as something that impinges on them from the outside. They don’t blame guns for gun violence. They blame a particular subset of the population. And they don’t see why they should lose their right because some subset of the population abuses theirs.
See what he did there? Like I said, Frum wants his liberal readers to believe that people who support firearms freedom are whites who fear blacks. Frum tries to “soften” this outrageously wrongheaded racist theory by saying white people are also victims of “gun violence,” albeit self-inflicted.
Guns offer equal opportunity tragedies. More than 8,000 white Americans had to be treated for nonfatal gun injuries in 2008. Eighty percent of those who commit suicide with a gun are white males. The gun that the suburban family buys to protect itself from “thugs killing thugs” ends up killing its own: One important new study finds that a gun kept in the house is 43 times more likely to kill a household member than to be used in self-defense.
Ah yes, the Kellerman study. Far be it for me to ask Bruce Krafft to put Mr. Kellerman back into the file marked “Astrology, etc.” Suffice it to say, no.
More to the point, contrary to Frum’s willful mischaracterization, gun rights advocates and pro-gun commentators who raise the alarm over the preponderance of gun violence in minority communities are not trying to marginalize their suffering. It’s exactly the opposite.
They’re trying to bring the issue to the public’s attention so that law-abiding members of those communities can exercise their right to armed self-defense. So that minorities can defend themselves, their families and their community against the criminal element plaguing their lives.
In short, Frum is an evil idiot with dangerous ideas who no more deserves a national platform that David Duke. If further proof be needed of Frum’s perfidy, here it is:
Those young men in Baton Rouge who are killing each other in such horrific numbers do not manufacture their own guns. They did not organize the gun trade that brings the guns to their town. They did not write the laws that prevent their town government from acting against guns. They carry guns — and misuse guns — thanks to a national system of gun regulation that makes guns easily accessible to those least likely to use guns responsibly.
The gun laws intended to put guns into the hands of “good guys” are the laws that also multiply guns in the hands of “bad guys” — bad guys who might not have become such bad guys if the guns had not been available to their hands.
Do people actually think that way? That bad guys wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t have guns? There’s naive, seriously naive, insanely naive and what you just read. In fact, if you wanted to put all the insanity of civilian disarmament into two sort paragraphs you could hardly do better than that. Or worse.