Trymaine Lee (courtesy msnbc.com)

“My family has experienced its own measure of gun death,” former crime reporter Trymaine Lee [above] confesses at nytimes.com. “In the mid-1970s, a couple of years before I was born, a disgruntled prospective tenant murdered my grandfather over a $160 security deposit. Decades later a young woman put a bullet in the back of my stepbrother’s head. Years later, two cousins, brothers, would be touched by the plague: One was shot down and the other is serving a long prison sentence for a separate incident, a botched robbery turned murder.” Now you might think that someone who’s experienced that much murdereous mayhem would . . .

examine the possibility of arming oneself against aggression, and consider the lifestyle choices made by the people who ended-up on the wrong end of a gun. But then you’re probably someone who uses rational thought when weighing the pros and cons of America’s firearms freedom.

If you were an educated black journalist, you might even take the time to research the racist history of gun control before arguing for its implementation. And begin to appreciate firearms’ role in protecting civil rights-seeking African Americans from racist “gun violence.”

That’s not how Mr. Lee rolls. If he did, the end result of his intellectual exploration would be very different. Then again, his rational examination wouldn’t be published in the New York Times Sunday Review, aiding and abetting his publisher’s jihad against firearms freedom. Spreading this kind of hand-wringing, self-pitying, anti-gun agitprop that is their stock-in-trade.

I like to tell myself that I’ve served as a conduit for the last whispers of lives lost too soon. That I am capturing, in a crucial way, the sad mundanity of American gun violence. But sometimes, it seems I’m little more than a peddler of pain. A cog in a much broader story that seems to give short shrift to black death and too little scrutiny to a gun industry that profits while so many perish.

What kind of scrutiny does Mr. Lee suggest? None. He’s too busy crying the beloved country (a.k.a., waving the bloody shirt) to take a good hard look at the causes of firearms-related injury and homicide. And why is that?

Mr. Lee has bought into the profitable myth of black victimization. Not only is Mr. Lee suggesting that those who pull the trigger are simply gun industry pawns, he’s also asserting that he’s powerless to affect change. By his own admission, he’s just a small cog in a media machine.

That much is true, by his own choice (I might add). But more than that, Lee’s blood-soaked frustration reveals that he doesn’t know what to do.

Like the vast majority of people supporting civilian disarmament, Mr. Lee knows that gun control doesn’t work. Some maybe most believe it doesn’t work because there isn’t enough of it. But some admit this failure — at least to themselves — and continue the crusade to assuage their feelings of guilt.

It’s understandable that a crime reporter who’s seen so many bloody corpses would feel that guilty for his own powerlessness in the face of violent death. But public policy should not be based on feelings. It should be based on hard evidence, followed by hard choices.

Mr. Lee chose his line of work. He has to live with its consequences. One of which is his abject inability to accept the importance of personal responsibility. “The burden of their weight [people killed in firearms-related violence] belongs to all of us” he concludes. Not true.

The truth about guns is that the person holding a firearm bears full responsibility for its use. Until and unless Mr. Lee and his enablers can see this sometimes sad fact, they will be blinded by their guilt, and try to make us pay the price. Unaware that they are guilty of far more than they will ever know. [h/t mister3d]

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36 Responses to Inside the Twisted Mind of a Gun Control Advocate: Trymaine Lee

  1. Move. And find another profession other than crime reporter. That’s what I did. I was the crime reporter for an afternoon newspaper. The job sucks and the only thing that prevented me from quitting was that I illegally carried. Hangin’ with hookers, robbers and burglars was not my idea of fun. And my co-workers were little better. So I moved and got a job as a feature writer at another paper.
    His wounds are self-inflicted.

    • Self-inflicted indeed, as well as all the wounds that were inflicted on his family save 1. Criminal behaviour and hanging with people who lack the ability to be ethical or moral in the way society demands should expect to be ejected forcefully from that society. Sometimes that ejector seat is lethal. Sometimes it’s prison. Only with the thing with the grandfather was there ever a genuine tragedy and their response to that was seemingly to slide further down the hill to validating horrendous stereotypes. If you want to change how people stereotype you, change your behaviour and push your community to do the same otherwise nothing will ever change. That’s not racism, that’s just reality.

  2. Used to shoot against a guy back in Texas in the early 80s that went the other direction. His father, who owned a book store, was murdered at work. So his bookish, sort of wimpy looking son considered his options, took over the business, and tooled up. Back then there were various informal shooting events in our area and this guy was absolute hell-on-wheels with a 1911 in his hand. Still bookish, but now in a quiet, deadly way. Fast, accurate, and very, very serious. Don’t know how things turned out as I left the state on a long odyssey that involved living (or working) in every state that has “New” in it.

    I always respected his response to very painful, very personal violence.

  3. Why did the girl shoot his step brother in the head? In my experience women that have had enough do that. Why was his cousin just gunned down? Robbery? Drug deal gone bad? Was cousion a victim or a banger that got his? His cousin that went to prison, sounds like he’s blaming the gun.

    His family seems to be the type that draws gunfire. When that many people are killed in a given family it’s usually cause they’re the one’s that everybody else fears.

    Ask me how I know this. My fathers side of the family was full of murderous biker trash and a lot of them died the way you’d expect. Violently and young.

    They made choices that had sweet fuck all to do with guns.

    • There you have it; my/our owning a gun made his cousin commit a robbery & end up in prison. It’s our fault.

      What would MLK say about this level of immaturity among the folks who are supposed to be speaking out for the betterment of black Americans? That this reporter is the worst enemy faced by black Americans (and poor folks in general)? Or would he agree?

      • We don’t have to wonder…

        “I know the situation is responsible for a lot of it, but do you know that Negroes are ten per cent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58 per cent of its crimes? We’ve got to face that. And we have to do something about our moral standards.” – MLK 1961

        • Nothing has changed. Less than 13% of the US population today, and they commit over 54% of the murders. And over 65% of the other violent crimes.

    • His family is what normal folks call “undesirable”. He’s the one that has the genes and the gumption to escape that mess, but rather than look back at their bad choices, he pretends they would have all been fine of it wasn’t for a tool.

    • Yes, that is the big factor associated with dying by a homicide: being a criminal.

      This journalist’s relatives(except perhaps his grandfather) were criminals.

      “Criminals target each other, trend shows” -USA Today, 8/31/2007

      “‘If you are trying to look at prevention, you need to look at the lives of the people involved,’ says Mallory O’Brien, director of the Homicide Review Commission in Milwaukee.

      In Baltimore, about 91% of murder victims this year had criminal records…”

      http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-08-31-criminal-target_N.htm

      The article mentions the same phenomenon in other cities.

      Don’t want to be murdered? Then don’t commit crimes, don’t join gangs! The gun grabber/writer of this piece won’t tell you that, instead he has an agenda.

  4. “…a disgruntled prospective tenant murdered my grandfather…” “…a young woman put a bullet in the back of my stepbrother’s head.”

    So, Trymaine, I can’t help but notice it was human beings, and not guns, who murdered your grandfather and stepbrother. You’re not doing victims any good when you take a stand against inanimate objects instead of the murderers who use them to commit their crimes. You’re wasting your time.

    • But with no guns, his slum-lording grandfather would be alive to extort tenants, his robber cousin would be on his fourth or fifth murder by now, and his step-brother would have free rein to beat or abuse his girlfriend. Peace and happiness reigns o’er the land of milk and honey.

      Hate to ‘presume,’ but contrary to popular representation, people don’t typically get murdered ‘mostly over bullshit;’ they are usually in deep with serious criminality themselves (avoidable or not, but usually the former) either personally participating in, or directly profiting from drugs/robbery/organized crime.

  5. Okay, so look — here’s the thing with blacks and guns. You tell them to arm themselves, you tell them it’s their right, you tell them that gun control is racist. Sure, the facts may be on your side, but the real fact of the matter is that they see possessing a gun as an open invite for the po-po to go po-po-postal on them.

    In this article (yes, I know it’s from the Rolling Stone, so what) there’s an interesting couple of paragraphs, from a white Oath Keeper who tried to do some 2nd Amendment preaching among the residents of Ferguson.

    “The conversations that ensued took Andrews by surprise. One after another, the black men in the crowd told him that if any of them tried to wear a gun like he and his teammates had — openly and on the streets of Ferguson — the police would shoot them down. Andrews was skeptical at first. He quoted the Constitution. He cited Missouri’s open-carry law. At one point, Andrews says, he even called a state trooper over to tell the men that it was perfectly legal, given the proper permit, to own and carry a weapon in the state.

    “I told them, ‘As long as you don’t point the thing at anyone, nobody’s going to shoot you,'” Andrews says. But the protesters were unconvinced. No matter what the law maintained, they argued, the reality was different: if one of them walked along West Florissant with a rifle on his shoulder, he’d be dead. “I must have heard it a hundred times that night,” Andrews recalls. “And that’s when I thought, ‘Whoa, we’ve got a problem here.'”

    So that’s the reality of the situation. Blacks in general aren’t fighting for gun rights because lots of them think that “legal or not, right or not”, it’s going to bring unwanted attention (maliciously, and ballistically) their way.

    THAT’S the problem that’s gotta be solved, if you want to see this particular community more active in defending and advancing their natural, constitutional, and God-given right to self defense.

    • The frightened whimpers of slaves offered a route off the plantation; “But massa’ll come find us up Nawth!”

      In today’s media climate? They really believe a planned march by blacks in an urban center with guns on their hips (peacefully) will end in un-earned bloodshed from bloodthirsty cops & racists? Someone get these cowards a clue; they can friggin’ burn down & loot city blocks and no one will order weapons fired at this point. A peaceful march (followed shortly after by daily business/errands) with guns on the hip will draw nothing but a second glance at worst.

      Not that many of these (almost entirely) good folks will ever admit it, especially to a white guy in public, but the real reason they fear liberalized gun carry is because they have even less faith in their fellow black Americans to act responsibly than white people do at this time. Sadly, responsibility only develops in people when we have faith in them to do the right thing, and the cycle repeats both directions.

      • Yeah but now they’ve seen the Finicum guy get his white ass shot just because they knew he carried and saw him reaching. And we want them to go full chipotle to prove our point? To them, we are basically asking them to die for our beliefs, and we are not from the ‘hood.

        Another thing; many of them may genuinely be prohibited persons; think of all the suspended licenses, missed court dates, etc that must spring up around the abusive arrest procedures uncovered by the doj. “Crimes punishable by 1 year in jail.” The good people of these ghettos are disarmed by design.

  6. Suppose all guns instantly disappeared tomorrow, what then? Every death described by the journalist would still exist. Black on black violence is not about the gun, it’s about criminal opportunity. To suggest a good start to fix the culture of black violence by gun removal is a cheap placebo that fails to address work required to reverse policies of welfare and the death or incarceration of 1.5 million black men.

    After 50 years of failed policies,
    Government has two choices. Keep status quo watching black communities cull themselves or immediately make conceal carry available to all law abiding citizens. Although some criminals will die, damage to black communities will pause, giving breathing room for communities to collect themselves and begin to rebuild. Law enforcement must continue while the judicial must sentence criminals to full terms, only commuting acceptable behaviors are demonstrated…it’s the only thing that can save a generation of black men.

  7. This black person like many believes a black person has no personal responsibility for any thing.
    He has been raised to believe the racist American government must take care of blacks. This is irrational. But it is how many of them think. And the white socialist think the same way. They are also irrational.

    The welfare system has replaced the old slave system. Lawyers and welfare case workers have replaced the overseer with a bull whip. They persecute those who try to get out of the system. Black inner city people are hooked on the government welfare “crack”. It is just as deadly as real crack. People say if only crack was made legal then all crime would dissappear!!! Not!
    Broken families produce criminals who kill and steal. In Chicago these criminals are an organized political force. They make sure corrupt people keep getting elected.
    That is why the large cities are dying. But as long the the democrat party is in charge that is ok.
    I doubt this black reporter has read the book Liberal Fascism or a Walter Williams economics book, or Negros with Guns by Robert F Williams.

    • Why should he feel responsible? Fifty years of Great Society has stripped every last bit of decision from so many black Americans’ lives, every last bit of authority from their social institutions, with the singular goal of protecting them from every possible consequence (good or bad) resulting from their own personal initiative. The problem is that all too often, they really aren’t responsible for where they are or where they are going, the fruits of initiative & risk relegated entirely to the illicit drug & organized crime economies.

  8. “If it weren’t for guns, they could have been knifed to death instead, which would be so much better…”

  9. OK-we got ourselves a “peddler of pain pimp”. What a shite ghetto gene pool. But blame “guns”. Or S&W. Or Glock. Just because…big shoutout to the most pro-2A candidate>Ted Cruz for the win!

  10. Two things stand out in my mind looking this over;

    “But sometimes, it seems I’m little more than a peddler of pain. A cog in a much broader story that seems to give short shrift to black death and too little scrutiny to a gun industry that profits while so many perish.”

    Ah, the old ‘gun industry profit’ meme. So the problem isn’t the drugs, the gangs, the fatherless families, the crime, none of that stuff seems to matter. The problem is the firearms industry actually makes a profit off of manufacturing and selling a legal product in a highly regulated market. How this argument makes sense to anyone is completely beyond me, are guns and ammunition supposed to be free? What am I missing here?

    Oh, and don’t forget the little blurb at the bottom:

    “Trymaine Lee is a national reporter at MSNBC, a fellow at the New American Foundation and is at work on “Million Dollar Bullets,” a book about gun violence in America.”

    So this gent is working on a book, all about same ‘gun industry profit’ bullshit. Will Mr. Lee be giving this book away for free or will he be benefiting from the ‘anti-gun industry profit’ loophole?

    If Mr. Lee had any intellectual integrity, if he really thinks his arguments and experience are so valid I’d like to see him come on here and back up his ideas on an open forum such as this one. It’s very easy to speak to and discuss such things with people who all stand for gun control and won’t challenge any of his stances. Scientists and engineers do this all the time!

    Mr. Lee, stand up and be a man. I see you here http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/qa-msnbcs-trymaine-lee addressing your readers questions from the world of your true believers, very slick indeed. Put your ‘anti-gun industry profit’ money where your mouth is (so to speak) and why don’t you submit a post to TTAG, and take on some questions from the law abiding citizen you intend to disarm.

    I think you are too cowardly to do such a thing, as you know you won’t be able to effectively answer the many difficult questions you would be asked.

    For example, from the above MSNBC QA,

    “But Chicago police recover as many as 10,000 illegal guns from the streets each year. So far this year, more than 5,500 guns have been recovered.

    So, the number of legal gun owners on the books is relatively low. And by the number of guns pulled from the streets each year by police, it’s clear that illegal gun ownership is relatively high.”

    Given that you admit that illegal gun ownership in Chicago is so high, and crimes involving guns also involve guns carried illegally, clearly the ‘gun industry’ isn’t making much profit from this activity. how can you justify blaming the firearms industry and the completely legal and ethical profit they make from this lawful and highly regulated business? This profit mind you in fact comes from us, the law abiding citizen exercising their second amendment rights to keep and bear arms, that you would disarm if you had your way.

    Thinking people would love to see your response to that one.

  11. Leftists are Leftists first, last, and always, regardless of the particular victimhood or grievance identity that brought them into the fold. Blacks, LGBTQWERTYs, feminists, Latinos, Asians, convicts, etc., will all willingly subordinate their personal agenda (and fellow-travelers) when it diverges from or conflicts with the overarching Leftist objective: the Death of the West. Leftist dogma relies exclusively on the emotional appeals of envy and resentment. Critical thought is its anathema. Which is why Trymaine Lee cannot be expected to think his way out of a wet paper bag.

  12. typical cognitive dissonance of a liberal idiot. “if it wasn’t for ( insert bad thing ) they wouldn’t be a criminal, therefore get rid of the ( insert scapegoat object )s”

  13. Years later, two cousins, brothers, would be touched by the plague: One was shot down and the other is serving a long prison sentence for a separate incident, a botched robbery turned murder.

    So let me get this straight – your robbing murderous thug cousins committed a crime so I need to go through a background check and turn in my scary black rifles?? This is what I’m getting out of this. I need to go through gun controls because of your murderous thug cousins?

  14. “Mr. Lee has bought into the profitable myth of black victimization. Not only is Mr. Lee suggesting that those who pull the trigger are simply gun industry pawns, he’s also asserting that he’s powerless to affect change.”

    This is the same kind of curious mindset that people develop when they are unable or unwilling to face disturbing truths about themselves or their cultural values. It reminds me of the imam in Germany who justified Muslim men attacking women “because they were wearing Perfume”. Just get rid of the perfume and everything will be OK. Right, got it.

  15. Our correspondent is confusing his family’s entanglement with violence with the tools they happened to use.

    Does he claim none of this violence would have happened, but for their having guns?

    And really, why does taking guns away from people neither his family, nor prone to violence, help at all?

    “My family should never be around guns.” may make sense, but, indeed, what laws would help with this? Id like to know what was already ineffective at helping our correspondent, so we don’t waste time on more of the same. For example, were all the shooters legal owners?

  16. “Mr. Lee has bought into the profitable myth of black victimization. Not only is Mr. Lee suggesting that those who pull the trigger are simply gun industry pawns, he’s also asserting that he’s powerless to affect change. By his own admission, he’s just a small cog in a media machine.” — Mr. Lee is obviously a good student of the Public Education System. Welcome back to the Plantation, Mr. Lee.

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