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Guns, Race, and Bad Parenting

The Chicago Tribune columnist Brady Campaign Board member Tom Vanden Berk has an editorial defending Garry McCarthy’s racially charged statement, noting:

We all fail to acknowledge that children — and, yes, mostly African-American children — are dying disproportionately because of our failure to take action.

As the father of a biracial son, Tommy, who was tragically killed in the crossfire of a gang shootout 19 years ago, I know the complicated intersection of race and guns.

He then goes on to describe the shooting, which I’m hard pressed to identify race as a factor in. Gang membership? Sure. But he also notes:

As I desperately looked for Tommy, I learned that a group of teenage gang members found a flier about the party, showed up at the house and started shooting at each other with guns they obtained on the illegal market.

An illegal market in Chicago? How could that happen? Chicago’s laws are a great example of not-racist gun laws, if you ask ol’ Garry. Of course, federal laws also apply to making that market illegal too. You know, those racist federal laws that make it illegal for criminals to purchase, possess, and use guns unlawfully?

No one seems to have heard past McCarthy’s use of the word “racism.” I believe his point was that weak federal gun laws facilitate a form of institutionalized racism, the unregulated flow of guns into the hands of young, black teenagers, and that we have a moral responsibility to strengthen these laws.

How do you regulate a black market? It’s already illegal for teenagers of any race to buy handguns. It’s illegal just about everywhere, and federally, for teenagers to possess handguns unsupervised. It’s definitely illegal in Chicago. What more do you want?

This is a tough thing for these folks to hear, and it’s going to make me seem cold, but so be it: i’m really tired of these people making their tragedy my problem. It’s not. I had nothing to do with it. I’m not about to share responsibility for your poor parenting choices, and surrender my freedom. Did you talk to the parents who were supervising the party, or just the kids? I didn’t seem to catch that part. I can promise you my parents would have, if I was going to be permitted to stay. This is harsh to say to someone who lost a kid, but if you’re going to blame me, and make no mistake, when you advocate my freedom be more limited, you’re doing exactly that, I’m going to throw it back in your face that your kid died because you were a shitty parent. Go deal with your grief, man up to your choices in life, and leave me, and every other American out of it.

33 Responses to “Guns, Race, and Bad Parenting”

  1. todd says:

    Tom Vanden Berk is not a columnist. this was a guest oped piece by someone on the Brady bunch BOD.

    On the Board of ICHV and past Acting Director of ICHV when the were looing for a new one.

  2. David says:

    He can’t bring himself to see that his shitty parenting and his “I want to be my sons friend” approach to raising a child failed.

  3. Sigivald says:

    It is interesting that when some kid gets drunk and wraps his car around a tree, killing himself and a few buddies, there’s never (or very rarely and never “seriously”) a call to ban liquor or cars.

    Those bad decisions and illegal actions somehow aren’t viewed as amenable to Making It Double Illegal To Fix It.

  4. Weer'd Beard says:

    Sigivald, but there are calls to raise the driving age. You see “Progressives” are all about removing rights they don’t use.

    They don’t own guns, so a ban is A-OK. They DO drive cars and drink wine and martinis (and the occasional domestic beer when they think nobody is watching) and they drive cars. So you can’t ban that.

    Still they aren’t kids (and don’t have kids because its bad for the planet!…or their kids are all grown now) so they call to raise the driving age, because it doesn’t take anything from them!

  5. Chas says:

    http://gunvictimsaction.org/boards-of-directors/

    “Tom presently serves as a board member of the Brady Campaign/Million Mom March…”

    Thomas C. Vanden Berk is not exactly just another concerned citizen writing in to express his opinion, but The Chicago Tribune merely says about him, “Tom Vanden Berk is CEO of Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network, a social service agency in Chicago.”
    That’s exactly the kind of disingenuousness, also known as lying, that one would expect from the sneaky gun banners at The Chicago Tribune. As for Mr. Vanden Berk, he fails to disclose his interest in a gun control organization, which is dishonesty on his part.
    All in all, par for the course for gun banners, The Chicago Tribune, and Chicago. Chicago is Mordor, and Mordor is murder.

  6. Chas says:

    When adults refuse to carry guns, criminal teenagers step into the void and take up the slack.
    How did that Chicago gun ban paradise work out for you Mr. Vanden Berk? Not so good, huh? Is that why you want to impose it on everyone else? Misery loves company?
    They don’t have gun laws in Vermont, and they don’t have teenage gangbangers running around shooting at each other either.
    Chicago has been a terrible failure that has only succeeded in giving an advantage to criminals with guns, and some people, like Mr. Vanden Berk, refuse to acknowledge that. The current resident of the White House, also from Chicago, is also one of those people who can’t see the failure.

  7. pdb says:

    How do you regulate a black market?

    Racist!

  8. mikeb302000 says:

    You really want to know how to regulate a black market? You turn off the tap. You require all guns bought by anyone anywhere to require a background check first. Then you license gun owners and register guns. Then you require gun owners to store their guns safely at home.

    Those measures would stop the gun flow. Over about ten years you’d see dramatic improvement, not in regulating the black market and you sarcastically said, but in controlling the source.

    And what is that source? it’s you Sebastian and all your friends. It’s the gun manufacturers and the FFL guys and all you civilian gun owners who let your guns so easily slip into that black market. Take responsibility for your part in keeping things the way they are, or actually making them worse.

    Your responsible.

  9. mikeb302000 says:

    sorry that’s supposed to be “you’re.”

  10. Sage Thrasher says:

    He also fails to address the basic question of why certain ethnic groups have disproportionately high rates of violence. IMHO, ignoring such obvious factors is itself racism, what G. W. Bush referred to as the soft bigotry of low expectations.

  11. GMC70 says:

    Yea, that’ll work. It worked with alcohol – except it didn’t. It’s working with drugs – except it isn’t.

    And after, MikeB, you have all those “responsible” guns neatly catalogued and recorded, you’ll find a ‘good’ reason to start restricting further. Because, of course, the gangbangers and miscreants aren’t going to give a damn about your silly paperwork. Never did, never will. But you know that, of course. That’s the idea. That lets you come back, when this “new” policy fails, to ask for yet another “reasonable” restriction.

    Your entire premise is disingenuous. Your goal is a total ban. We know it, you know it. We’re honest enough to say so. You hide it.

    No one’s responsible for “gun violence” (a disingenuous label in itself, as it pretends all gun uses are equally bad) except the person pulling the trigger. And, perhaps, people like you, who insist on victim disarmament, and who’s only response to failed policies it to make illegal acts even more legal. Good luck with that.

  12. Sebastian says:

    Turn off the tap? You mean make it completely illegal right? Well, it worked for Heroin and Weed, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for guns.

  13. GMC70 says:

    to make illegal acts even more legal

    Should, of course, be “to make illegal acts even more illegal. Perhaps Double Secret Illegal! – That’ll learn ’em!

  14. wfgodbold says:

    And don’t forget about the black market for guns that doesn’t exist in the UK.

    Good thing, too, or people might get shot!

  15. “You really want to know how to regulate a black market? You turn off the tap. You require all guns bought by anyone anywhere to require a background check first. Then you license gun owners and register guns. Then you require gun owners to store their guns safely at home.”

    That’s very close to what California did. And it failed. That’s what New York did. And it failed. That’s what Washington D.C. did. And it failed. Are you beginning to see a message here?

    The core problem of violence with guns is violence. Solve that problem (or even make a serious attempt at doing so) and the guns don’t matter.

  16. “He also fails to address the basic question of why certain ethnic groups have disproportionately high rates of violence.”

    Simple explanation: whites don’t have access to guns.

  17. Chas says:

    “Your responsible.”

    Markie Marxist sez: “That should be ‘You’re responsible’. If our useful idiots can’t spell they should at least use spellcheckers! It’s tough being a Marxist! We can’t get decent help! All we get are useful idiots, and they aren’t even all that useful!
    At least he got the blame part right. We don’t want anyone blaming our Marxist/warrior/hero/criminals even though they’re the one pulling the triggers. We like to keep the blame off of them, because that works for us, even though it’s a lot of work keeping the idea of responsibility separate from the idea of pulling the trigger. It’s like comedian Rita Rudner once said, ‘I’m going to waterski someday…just as soon as I can mentally separate it from being dragged by a boat.’ That’s what we Marxists have to do with separating the trigger pulling/responsibility thing. It’s not easy! A black, teenage gangbanger with a rap sheet a mile long shoots another black gangbanger in Chicago, and we have to put the blame on a white, middle-aged, law-abiding gun owner in Phoenix who was watering her lawn at the time. The legal system would laugh at us for doing that, but the court of public opinion is more easily confused, and we can take advantage of that. Yes, it can be a challenge at times to stand the truth on its head, but that’s what we Marxists must do to advance our gun ban agenda. Responsibility must lie where we say it does, regardless of the facts. It’s just common communist sense to do it that way! Ha! Ha!”

  18. illinois voter says:

    Mike B Turn off the tap? Chicago’s famous for that capability. Just ask Al Capone about the success of prohibition in the 30’s. Oh and the almost 3 decade long ban on handguns in Chicago.

  19. Nate says:

    @mikeb

    You really want to know how to regulate a black market? You turn off the tap.

    I would really like to see you address the counter-arguments about drugs and alcohol. What even is a black market other than under-the-table commerce in a good that’s illegal? Does it even make sense to propose that an illegal market would be crippled by making the trafficked good illegal?

    If totally banning alcohol and drugs didn’t stop people fron consuming them, then how do you propose that it will work this time with guns when you can’t even bring yourself to call for a total ban? I mean, licensing, registration, and safe-storage laws? I can’t see how that would affect the least thing! If you’re really serious about “turn[ing] off the tap”, wouldn’t the solution be to, you know, actually turn off the tap and just make all guns illegal?

  20. Druid says:

    @mikeb

    You really want to know how to regulate a black market? You turn off the tap.

    Chicago – turn off the tap

    Hysterical metaphor FAIL

  21. Mobo says:

    Rule number one: the easiest way to get what you want is to make accusations of racism!

  22. Spade says:

    “the unregulated flow of guns into the hands of young, black teenagers,”

    I’d be amused if some nearby stores put up this article and said “Sorry, but we agree with this guy and so we just won’t sell guns to African-Americans anymore.”

    Whole things sounds like typical liberal paternalistic white man’s burden racism. Another fat white liberal basically saying, “Well, we just can’t trust black people with guns.”

  23. Rush/Beck says:

    There was talk on Second City Cop that G-Mac got drunk, sjot street lights, and dropped a cluster of N-Bombs.

    Also he would cover up friend’s DUIs.

  24. Rush/Beck says:

    Shot*

    Also this was in NYC, so this was his “pennance”?

  25. Weer'd Beard says:

    And you wonder why Mike doesn’t want to talk about the specifics of his illegally owned guns.

    He’s living proof that his own suggestions won’t work.

  26. mikeb302000 says:

    Clayton, What California and New York ALMOST did is not good enough. Proper gun control enforced nationally would be. And I suspect you know that but suffer from the same paranoia as GMC70. Registration leads to confiscation, right?

    The truth is what registration would do is make you responsible for the guns you own. No longer could you sell them privately to someone who hasn’t passed a background check. Other restrictions would help you to be more responsible with the storage of your guns, minimizing theft.

    You see you guys have done such a piss poor job holding onto your weapons so far, you obviously need the government to help you do the right thing.

    Sebastian, Weed and Heroin didn’t start out legally distributed by licensed dealers and then get diverted into the black market. Why are you pretending to make such a non-sensical comparison?

  27. Sebastian says:

    How exactly does a piece of paper prevent you from selling a gun to a criminal? Is it printed on two sided tape or something so it can physically retrain you? The only thing registration does for you is make it a little easier to go after the proverbial girlfriend who buys a gun for her drug dealing boyfriend after it’s recovered during a crime. Otherwise it doesn’t get you jack. It also doesn’t deal with all the guns already in circulation in the black market that are unregistered, and will remain so. Finally it does not recognize the compliance rates among lawful gun owners will be very low, both due to ignorance and deliberate non-compliance. Even in very law abiding Canada, compliance rates for long gun registration are pitiful. Do you think they’d be any better here?

  28. GMC70 says:

    And I suspect you know that but suffer from the same paranoia as GMC70. Registration leads to confiscation, right?

    You’ve historical evidence that same is not the case, right?

    No?

    I didn’t think so.

    It’s not paranoia if it turns out to be true . . . .

  29. GMC70 says:

    Clayton, What California and New York ALMOST did is not good enough.</em?

    Proof positive, if there ever was, that NOTHING will ever bee "good enough" in the likes of Mikeb's eyes.

    Except banning, of course.

  30. Weer'd Beard says:

    Better yet Mikey, since you illegally owned guns, tell us how you acquired them, and how your proposed laws like registration and permitting would have stopped you from committing your crimes.

    If you really care about your cause your experience could be a huge help!

  31. Nick says:

    The truth is what registration would do is make you responsible for the guns you own. No longer could you sell them privately to someone who hasn’t passed a background check. Other restrictions would help you to be more responsible with the storage of your guns, minimizing theft

    This “truth” worked so well that it completely eliminated the black market prescription drugs! MOAR!!

    More violent crimes are committed with knives than with guns, and I bet there are several in your kitchen. I bet they’re not stored with lock-on blade protectors in locked containers or blades separate from handles, either. Have you killed anyone with them? Have they killed anyone on their own? A room with several vicious, horrible, evil lethal weapons and no one dead… imagine that.

    Let’s take another look:

    The truth is what registration would do is make you responsible for the guns knives you own. No longer could you sell them privately to someone who hasn’t passed a background check. Other restrictions would help you to be more responsible with the storage of your guns knives, minimizing theft

    Either inanimate objects control humans, in which case you’re shockingly and probably criminally irresponsible to live with so many lethal weapons you can’t control, or people control inanimate objects, in which case you’re living proof that the measures you advocate for are unnecessary and useless. You can’t have it both ways.

    If you’re somehow convinced of the efficacy of these restrictions in spite of overwhelming and readily-available evidence to the contrary, at least have the courage of your convictions. Catalog, report, and store everything you own that could be used as a lethal weapon using the same guidelines you propose for firearms. If you can’t find a suitable authority, you may report them to me. I’ll decide what you can and can’t be trusted with, what types of cutlery (wouldn’t want anyone getting stabbed… and I don’t think you need an 8″ cook’s knife when a 2″ parer will do the job), household cleaners (wouldn’t want anyone getting poisoned), water (wouldn’t want anyone drowning), beverage containers (wouldn’t want anyone getting hit over the head with glass bottles), cordage such as shoelaces, twine, and electrical cords (wouldn’t want anyone getting strangled), cookware (wouldn’t want anyone getting hit over the head), sports equipment (wouldn’t want anyone getting hit with a bat), stove/matches/lighters (wouldn’t want to encourage arson), electricity (wouldn’t want anyone getting electrocuted), etc. you may purchase, how much of each you may purchase per month, and set appropriate waiting periods. I’d still disagree with you–as does the evidence–but I’d at least respect you for walking your talk.

  32. mikeb302000 says:

    C’mon Sebastian.

    “How exactly does a piece of paper prevent you from selling a gun to a criminal?”

    You WOULDN’T for the simple reason that when time comes for renewal of the registration, you have to produce the gun.

    I agree it wouldn’t do anything about the guns already out there, as far as registration goes, but the law-abiding among you would have to adhere to the new background check requirement when selling any of those guns too.

  33. Alpheus says:

    “You WOULDN’T for the simple reason that when time comes for renewal of the registration, you have to produce the gun. ”

    Would it be unreasonable to expect that a gun registration program would also have provisions for reporting stolen guns? If so, how difficult would it be to ruffle up your house a bit, “crack” a safe, and then report the guns missing? You could do this before or after you choose to sell your guns.

    Of course, it would be FAR easier to just acquire your guns paper-free (by stealing, smuggling, or manufacturing) and then to sell them on the black market.

    That’s assuming, of course, that you registered your guns in the first place, or that you have enough bureaucrats to check up on every single lapsed registration. (A hint on the latter: NOT BLOODY LIKELY!)

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