The Truth About Guns

Maj Toure: Black People with Guns Matter

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Maj Toure is a 29-year-old black activist in Philadelphia who wants black people in urban centers to exercise their Second Amendment rights. “Toure is a young African American man who grew up in North Philadelphia watching the destruction caused by gun violence, but who nonetheless was attracted to firearms,” philly.com reports, “and became an official, dues-paying NRA member and legal gun owner.” . . .

“The stigma, especially in an urban environment like Philly, is if you have a gun, you’re either law enforcement or the bad guy,” Toure said when we talked recently. “What we’re trying to do is say that just because you have a gun doesn’t make you the bad guy. But while you have your firearm, which you have the right to have, you have to be a responsible, card-carrying good guy.”

It’s nice to see an idea that has been pushed by many Second Amendment activists taking root in Philadelphia, a city governed by officials adamantly opposed to citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights.

John Lott has found that urban minorities benefit the most from being legally armed. This seems obvious on reflection. Areas whey they live tend to have some of the nation’s highest crime rates. From uchicago.edu:

Lott: I won’t speculate about motives, but the results tell a different story. High crime urban areas and neighborhoods with large minority populations have the greatest reductions in violent crime when citizens are legally allowed to carry concealed handguns.

A strong reason to encourage blacks to be armed: to reinforce the idea that the Constitution applies to them just as it does everyone else. When a black person sees they can be legally armed, it shows that the rights enshrined in the Constitution are being enforced. Belief in the criminal justice system is essential for lower crime rates.

Black people were the first to be disarmed as the “shall not be infringed” clause of the Second Amendment was eroded over time. Considerable history has to be overcome to change black attitudes about weapons permits. The permit systems were used to disarm black people. It’s common to see opinions on the Internet that black people will not be able to get permits or legally defend themselves.

Attitudes are changing rapidly. It seems that society has hit a tipping point. From the article:

Toure is hitting on something that is playing out nationally, which is the rise of gun ownership, and gun clubs, among African Americans, and the rise in urban areas of law-abiding citizens brazenly open-carrying. According to a December 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 54 percent of blacks said they believed guns were more likely to protect people than to put their safety at risk. That figure was up from 29 percent two years earlier.

Changing attitudes toward the Second Amendment may build support for Republicans in the coming election. Donald Trump has expressed strong Second Amendment positions in his campaign. Hillary Clinton has made gun control and attacks on gun manufacturers major planks in hers. It’s one of the strongests contrasts on the issue in the last 20 years.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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