The debate over gun control has been controversial and confusing. The black community has one of the highest gun homicide rates in the country. In a report compiled by the Children’s Defense Fund, the statistics show that for 2006-2007, the largest metropolitan areas suffered the most from gun-related homicides. The report states that 67 percent of 25,423 homicides were gun-related. Also, the report showed that the top cities during that same period with the highest firearm homicide rates were in places like New Orleans, St. Louis, Oakland, Newark, Baltimore, Richmond, Detroit, and more. So, that would insinuate that the black community, which heavily populates these areas, are not having a problem obtaining guns.
But, Columbia University Professor and HuffPost Live host/producer Marc Lamont Hill, feels that the debate on gun control will disenfranchise the black community disproportionately. He invited Trymaine Lee, a Huffington Post senior reporter, Niger Innis, who heads up the Congress of Racial Equality, Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the conservative radio host Steve Malzburg to the conversation. Hill didn’t find a friend on this debate.
Essentially, Hill’s argument states that the gun laws disproportionately affect black people and any change protects white America:
“I have no problems with laws that make sense,” he said. “But I also think that we cannot endorse blanket statements about taking guns out of the hands of the undeserving. You know why? Because somehow whenever we say ‘undeserving,’ that ends up meaning black people, and poor people, and poor black people.”
Ladd Everitt dismissed Hill’s issue with the change of gun laws to conspiracy theory. He also mentioned:
“Seventy-three percent of African Americans are more concerned with gun control than protecting gun rights…I don’t know of any law that is specifically targeted at African Americans.”
Niger Innis revealed that he and his father, who started the Congress of Racial Equality, are proud members of the NRA but two of his brothers were killed in gun-related homicides. Steve Malzburg asks the question:
“What’s wrong with locking people up if they commit a crime? Ten years if you use a gun, 20 years if you fire a gun. You’ll see a significant difference in criminals using guns!”
Good point! But, Trymaine Lee and Marc Hill make the point that mass incarceration doesn’t reduce stop crime. Check out the debate. It is a great discourse on changing gun laws.