Outmanned and Outgunned: The Supreme Court’s Cruel Joke on Black America – Part 2

From Outmanned and Outgunned: The Supreme Court’s Cruel Joke on Black America – Part 1:

“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?

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Outmanned and Outgunned: The Supreme Court’s Cruel Joke on Black America – Part 1

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. – Second Amendment to the US Constitution

“The great object is, that every man be armed. […] Every one who is able may have a gun.” – Patrick Henry

“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.

“To make inexpensive guns impossible to get is to say that you’re putting a money test on getting a gun. It’s racism in its worst form.” – Roy Innis

“So Huey (Newton) says, “We’re going to the (California state) Capitol… they’re trying to pass a law against our guns, and we’re going to the Capitol steps. We’re going to take the best Panthers we got and we’re going to the Capitol steps with our guns and forces, loaded down to the gills. And we’re going to read a message to the world, because the press is always up there. They’ll listen to the message, and they’ll probably blast it all across this country. I know, I know they’ll blast it all the way across California. We’ve got to get a message over to the people.” ” – Bobby Seale on the Black Panthers armed protest in Sacramento in May, 1967.

“The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun.” – Richard Buckminster Fuller

History and time have a way of telling cruel jokes. So it is with the recent Supreme Court decision overturning the restictive gun ban in Washington, DC.

When black folks were outmanned and outgunned during the slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, various Supreme Court decisions left blacks defenseless against a tide of white terrorism. But now that black communities are awash in a wave of black on black crime, the Supreme Court accepts and rules on a case concerning the right to bear arms.

It is the cruelest of ironies. Before I go further, consider this admittedly self-serving timeline of the history of blacks and guns:

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