This wcpo report on Cincinnati’s response to a spate of shootings addresses many of the economic, social and even spiritual issues bedeviling the black community. What it doesn’t mention is gangs. wcpo.com does, elsewhere, and it’s most revealing:
On the heels of a violent summer and a spike in gun violence in Cincinnati, police data reveals that almost 54 percent of the 415 shootings this year involved a member of a gang. Fifty percent of the 63 homicides did, too.
“It’s very safe to say — and I’d like to stress, in fact — that if you’re not selling drugs, buying drugs or hanging out with somebody who does, Cincinnati is really a pretty safe place. It’s these people in high-risk groups that are shooting and being shot,” said Lt. Joe Richardson, who leads Cincinnati’s Gang Enforcement Squad.
Richardson said the impact gangs have on Cincinnati’s violence is “huge.”
Would it be impertinent of me to suggest that not mentioning gangs when talking about firearms-related crime in African-American neighborhoods is racist, because it impugns law-abiding citizens and ignores the central problem that must be addressed to curb “gun violence” in these communities?
More generally, gang bangers account for lion’s share of the non-suicide-related firearms fatalities. So why are people talking about “gun violence” rather than “gang violence”?