“Gun control has not worked in D.C. The only people who have guns are criminals. We have the strictest gun laws in the nation and one of the highest murder rates. It’s quicker to pull your Smith & Wesson than to dial 911 if you’re being robbed.” – Lowell Duckett
“Our neighbors in Virginia are just as responsible for these killings as the criminals are because they won’t pass strong gun [control] legislation.” – former Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry.
“A teenager is more likely to die from a gunshot than from all natural causes of death combined. This is unacceptable in America.” – President George W. Bush, 2001
1980s-2000s The scourge of Black on Black Crime comes to the forefront of American consciousness, and the doorsteps of African American neighborhoods. The Brady Center notes the chilling statistics in GUN VIOLENCE IN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY:
Gun violence is a priority issue for African-Americans and other minorities. Nearly 350,000 Americans were victims to murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults in 2003 committed by perpetrators carrying a firearm, and our minority communities are the hardest hit:
• In 2002, firearm homicide was the number one cause of death for 15-34 year old African-Americans.
• In 2002, the firearm death rate for African-Americans was over twice that of whites.
• In 2002, an African-American male under age 30 was nearly 9 times more likely to be murdered than a white male under age 30.
• In 2003, 91 percent of African-American murder victims were slain by African-American offenders.
• In 2002, African-American males accounted for 47 percent of all homicide victims, while they only account for 6 percent of the entire population.
• Firearms have become the predominant method of suicide for African-Americans aged 10-19 years, accounting for 64 percent of suicides in 2002.
— June 2005
2008 The Supreme Court, in the case of Heller vs the District of Columbia, strikes down the District’s gun ban law.
As noted in Part 1 of this two part series, the history and guns and African Americans is clear: for much of our country’s history, through acts of omission or commission, the Supreme Court was a willing participant in creating an environment where whites could terrorize blacks, in a manner that left blacks unable to defend themselves.
That was then, this is now. What should be today’s stance on guns in the African American community?