More Guns, More Peace?

If there was one thing, one solid-as-a-rock thing, that the New York Times could be counted on, it was that guns were bad. Guns killed. Screw the Second Amendment, which was a bad one and consequently could be rightly ignored, and eliminate guns. Then came the first crack in the rock.

Emily Bazelon’s homage to illegal guns in the hands of black kids was, to be blunt, simultaneously bizarre and unsurprising. It was less about the virtue of guns than an apologia for illegal guns, but only when held by young men who swore that they were only carrying them in self defense and would never use a gun offensively. It wasn’t their fault. They said so. She believed them.

But the New York Times has had its Doctor Strangelove moment.

What does it take for Black Americans to feel safe right now?

For some, it’s owning a gun. Even if that’s not something they may have ever wanted to do. In the video above, a chorus of Black voices from across the country — a schoolteacher in Oakland, Calif., a political strategist in Aurora, Colo., and others — have an urgent message: “Go buy a gun. Arm yourself. And just make sure you get some training.”

There is no question that the Second Amendment’s fundamental personal right to keep and bear arms protects people regardless of race. Ironically, this goes unmentioned by the Times, which instead presents two arguments in support of the proposition that black people need guns to protect themselves, that white people come to protests with an AR slung over their shoulder and that police pull guns on black people.

Right now, I need a gun to be safe in this country. We see heavily armed folks showing up at the capitals across the nation and demanding that their constitutional rights were being violated. And then we had the back-to-back murders of Black folks. We are not safe.

Both of these arguments are true, but it doesn’t quite address the question of whether guns will make anyone safer.

I parked my bike over here to take a break real quick. Got a white guy out here pointing a gun at four Black men. Look at this. All we’re doing is standing here. This lady literally just pulled a gun because we’re out here and didn’t have reservations.

Brandishing a gun because some black guys show up is very much a problem. But they didn’t shoot anyone. What would have happened had the black guys, in response, drawn weapons? There is no data that suggests there is a new epidemic of white people shooting black people, even if there is a sense of threat from white people with guns. And then there are the cops.

We are not safe. Three years ago, I was driving with my children. We were pulled over to a stop by a police officer. And the police officer brandished a gun on me, with my children crying in the back. That was a turning point for me, understanding that the people that are supposed to take care of us and keep us safe may not always be there for us.

Another huge problem, far better exemplified by the murder of Philando Castille. But would it have gone better, differently, if she had a gun? Would she have drawn it in reaction to the cop? Does she think this would have better served her crying children, about to be motherless?

Unfortunately, we have no choice but to own firearms. Right now, it’s a very key time to get you a firearm, get you some training. We’re not going to live with stigmas. We’re not going to live with fear, period.

That’s when the realization hit. Until we have legislation and all the wrong people don’t have guns, you need a gun.

All Black people pretty much, we need guns to protect ourselves. Go buy a gun. Arm yourself.

The rationale isn’t that their homes are threatened by crazies burning crosses on their lawn, with all the emanations and penumbras that flow from racist attacks on black people. Perhaps this will happen, and there will be evidence that black people are once again being threatened with harm, with death, by white racist mobs, and that the only thing that stands between them and a lynching is their gun. But there’s no evidence that it’s happening now.

If the New York Times’ assertion was that black people have every bit as much right to possess guns as white people, there could be no dispute. They do. The problem of cops presuming a black guy with a gun, even lawful and announced, and pre-emptively killing them has to be addressed. And cops aren’t all that happy about white guys with guns either, because they care more about the First Rule of Policing than the race of the guy they just shot.

But the thrust of the Times epiphany isn’t that Americans have a right to possess a gun, but that black people feel threatened and need to arm themselves to survive. Except the examples offered, the arguments made, reflect a high probability of two things: that gun fights will break  out when they otherwise wouldn’t, and that it will end with more black people getting killed, whether by the white crazies whose weapons are already out, locked and loaded, or the cop who won’t hesitate to protect his life if he smells any whiff of a threat.

My personal goal for gun ownership is never to hurt anyone. But if, in fact, my life is threatened, my family is threatened, I probably wouldn’t hesitate.

Who wouldn’t feel the same way? But the solution isn’t to die fighting, but to not die at all.

23 thoughts on “More Guns, More Peace?

  1. Guitardave

    Dear Chloe Brown, Tarikh Brown, Nylah Burton, Anubis Heru, Lawrence Taylor and Kat Traylor,
    Thank you very much. Your check is in the mail.
    Sincerely yours,
    The Firearms Manufacturers Association of America.

  2. Elpey P.

    Wow, the NYT really wants to escalate this whole race war thing. Just think about the case they could have made using CHAZ/CHOP as their anecdotal evidence.

    1. SHG Post author

      The NYT has managed to almost completely ignore the happening of CHAZ/CHOP. Weirdly un-newsworthy, I guess.

  3. B. McLeod

    So, guns still need to be illegal, but it should be OK for NYT-favored groups to illegally possess them?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      That is the whole point of “gun control” laws like NY State’s Sullivan Act and NY City’s myriad restrictions so only the right people have guns.

  4. Hunting Guy

    Brad Pitt.

    “ America is a country founded on guns. It’s in our DNA. It’s very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel the house is completely safe, if I don’t have one hidden somewhere. That’s my thinking, right or wrong.”

  5. PseudonymousKid

    Pops, this may be as idiotic as anything ever from NYT. They should skip the foreplay and go straight to advocating armed insurrection already. As long as its an “anti-racist” insurrection it should all work out fine according to them. Defund the police is just too timid when ACAB. Let’s start shooting back instead. Nothing will go wrong at all and Chris Dorner was right.

    Screw just having guns. The cops have tanks. Let’s make sure everyone is trained in asymmetrical warfare and possesses anti-tank weapons too. Some SAMs will help with the copters. To fight a civil war you’re gonna want a lot more than ineffective guns.

    1. SHG Post author

      Mutually assured destruction works for nukes. But when the other side has the draw, reaching for a gun is generally not a good idea.

      1. Keith

        It’s an unexamined assumption that a group with guns will lead to a bloodbath. Maybe?

        There’s not a lot of data to draw on, so perhaps you are using common sense.

        But I’ve read the stories of the Black Panthers following cops with firearms while yelling legal advice and I didn’t see a whole lot of bloodbaths mentioned in the retelling.

        As for the main point of your post, it would seem that tools can be used and abused. But, I’d hate to have the wrong tool when the job needs to be done.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=6DGNZnfKYnU

  6. L. Phillips

    Hand surgery yesterday, so this will be short.

    Actually the commitment to die fighting is the solution. If your opponent is not sure where your heart is then she is emboldened to join the fight. If your quiet but firm tenacity even unto death is apparent it gives pause to all. The finest compliment you can give me on the range or the street is, “Geez, remind me never to get into a gunfight with you.”

      1. L. Phillips

        ac·tu·al·ly
        /ˈak(t)SH(o͞o)əlē/

        adverb

        as the truth or facts of a situation; really.
        “we must pay attention to what young people are actually doing”

        (Don’t know what the doc gave me for pain, but it works and makes me feel sassy,too.)

  7. Matthew Scott Wideman

    The whole article seemed troubling to me. What are the stats on white people killing black people? Has that number increased? Decreased? I have no problem with people obtaining firearms for protection. We live in strange times. But, to act like white people are hunting black people is to reinforce a narrative that is going to lead to a race war.

    1. Rendall

      The 2018 FBI “Expanded Homicide Data Table 6” has it at 234 black people killed by whites and 514 white people killed by blacks over the year. Which is comparatively low, compared to the intra-racial homicides of around 2,600 for each group.

  8. Hunting Guy

    Breitbart news. Data from FBI.gov NICS firearms background checks.

    “The number of National Instant Criminal Background System Checks (NICS) conducted in May 2020 shattered the record for the most checks conducted in any May since the inception of background checks.

    FBI numbers show 3,091,455 NICS checks were conducted in May 2020, easily surpassing the previous record of 2,349,309 checks set in May 2019.

    Moreover, May comes on the heels of April 2020’s record setting checks, as there were more NICS conducted in April 2020 than in any April since background checks on gun sales were conducted in April 1999.

    And March 2020 not only set a record for the month of March but actually shattered the all-time record for the number of checks conducted in single month.“

    ……
    FBI info.

    # of checks 2019 – 28,369,750
    # of checks 2020 – 19,180,047. (Through 30 May.)

    I leave it to others to figure out why gun sales are so good but it looks like a great year for anyone that has stock in gun manufacturers.

  9. Jim Cline

    Whether you’re pro guns or anti guns it is our 2nd amendment right. I’ve always thought (not that anyone her necessarily cares what my thought is) that while the requirements to purchase a gun are less stringent than the requirements to be a parent, it’s far easier to buy a gun than it is to get a driver’s license. I’d feel much better if any gun owner had to at least pass a safety and proficiency test. While that wouldn’t stop people (of any race,sex, whatever) from being shot down a driver’s license doesn’t seem to be keeping people from being needlessly run down. And as one of mine and other commentators popular authors here have quoted ;
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
    Robert A. Heinlein

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