Reader Don N. writes:
MARTIN: I do want to ask about one thing that you didn’t mention, which is gun violence. I mean, at the beginning of the year, because of a number of, you know, horrific incidents – the Newtown shooting among them – the president made a big push for new gun controls. But that seems to be stalled. It seems that African-Americans are disproportionately affected by gun violence, either as victims or as the people who are targeted in certain law enforcement strategies. And I just wondered if there was something that the CBC can do to jumpstart this discussion . . .
FUDGE: We have been talking about a culture of violence in this country for a very long time, well before Newtown. We lose people every day. Babies are shot in our neighborhoods every day. And so we’ve been talking about it for some time, and clearly gun violence is an issue but it has been an issue in our communities for a very long time.
MARTIN: Well, that sounds like, though, you’re saying that you’re stuck.
FUDGE: Well, I don’t know that we’re stuck. I think that – now, I’m just going to be very, very frank with you, if I may. We had hoped that the killing of those babies in Newtown would make a difference. I’m not so sure that it has made the difference that we wanted it to make. At least people are talking about it and thinking about it. This country has already said, poll after poll after poll, they want something done about gun violence in this country.
But you have to also understand that we work within a structure, that even though our voices are heard, we are 44 of 435. Or, if you take the Senate, 535. So even though we raise our voices about the issue on a consistent basis, we still have to go through certain hoops to make something happen.
First she calls out the fact that black communities are disproportionately victims of “gun violence”. True enough. But then she conveniently skips over the other side of that coin – the fact that unless hate crime statistics are being vastly under-reported, the assailants in those crimes come from those very same black communities.
Then the Congresswoman says that black communities are targeted by specific law enforcement strategies, implying gun-related law enforcement strategies, i.e. NYC’s stop and frisk. I agree that stop and frisk is a violation of civil rights, just like gun control. But think about what this woman is saying. She’s for civilian disarmament, draconian gun controls that target, restrict, limit, and affect everyone all over the country. Which would include people outside of the urban neighborhoods where the majority of crime is happening, people who have no involvement in the problem space.
But a gun control enforcement strategy that violates the rights of the very communities afflicted most with the problem? That’s a BIG problem as far as she’s concerned. What would you even call a crime reduction strategy that’s consistent with this strange logic? Trickle-down law enforcement?
Then she inadvertently admits that there is a serious problem in her communities of interest and has been for a long time. Through periods of gun control, no gun control, and everywhere in between, the problem has been the same. She’s admitting here that, in spite of varying the parameter of gun control, there has been no observable change or improvement.
That should indicate something about the causality of gun control on this issue. Babies being killed every day? That’s something I have no conception of, that sounds otherworldly to me, and I live in a place where every home owner is legally armed to the teeth. An area where twenty-one-year-olds pack, 18-year-olds get their sportsman handgun permits and carry while fishing and hunting for protection from animals. And *shudder* children go hunting – regularly. With a rifles. And no adult. Under the age of 18. All the time. Full stop.
Then, finally, she lets loose with the real doozy – admitting the gun grabbers’ attempted exploitation of the Newtown murders. A statement like that betrays a catastrophic failure of empathy. She’s only looking for one “difference” to be made and it’s in gun control politics, not saving kid’s lives. To some people tragedy is fuel, burnt to attain a political objective. And she hoped to burn every drop of the Newtown tragedy on more gun control laws. Not access control, not armed protection for the kids. Just when you think you can’t be any more appalled . . .