I’m a strong believer that Black Americans often unjustly draw the short straw from our legal system, and the police are often guilty of systemic bias in their enforcement of the law, but I have to agree with Bob Owens in this particular story which highlights a black v. white open carry encounter. I’ve seen some white guys get treated equally poorly, and sometimes worse, depending on jurisdiction, and how familiar the officers are with handling open carriers. I’m open to the hypothesis that Black Americans will, on average, have more negative experiences, but these two encounters are do necessarily represent an example of such bias.
My purpose in bringing this incident up is to note there seems to be a meme going around. I go over a LOT of news in this issue. You only ever see a fraction of it here, because I don’t often decide to write about a topic until I notice new patterns. This has become a new pattern. There seems to be a concerted effort to convince African-Americans that gun rights are for white people, and white people are only interested in preserving this right for themselves, and blacks can never hope to exercise it on an equal basis with whites.
While I have no doubt in a country of 300 million, you could find people who believe that gun rights are only for white people, it is not even remotely mainstream opinion even among the most gun nutty of gun nuts. Even at my working-class, aging suburban gun club, we have African-American members, and the guy who ran my qualification test for my membership was an African-American. I won’t say there ain’t a racist among us, it’s a 1200 person club, and you can find plenty of assholes among any 1200 people, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find many people who would agree Second Amendment rights are for whites only.
So why would someone try to float this meme? I think this all started with the recent Pew Poll, showing support for gun rights swinging in our favor among Black Americans. Nick Johnson, who’s written a whole book on the topic, has noted that support of African-Americans in favor of gun control seemed to come more from a desire to coalition with progressive-minded whites than out of any deep cultural or historical inclination from within the black community.
It’s not that I believe there’s any overarching or coordinated conspiracy to put meme out there, but if you can plant the idea with a few sympathetic and influential opinion leaders, and then let other influential people chew on it a bit, you can get a meme to spread. Progressive Democrats are completely dependent on owning the black vote. They can’t let any issue drive a wedge, and this one is now threatening to do that, so they need to bring their base back in line. The real solution for Democrats would be to abandon gun control, return to more traditional liberalism, and leave the progressive mouth foamers hung out to dry. But how many traditional liberals are left these days?
8 Responses to “New Meme: Gun Rights Not for Blacks?”
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