Black voters concerned with gun violence – Bearing Arms

Black voters concerned with gun violence – Bearing Arms

In a perfect world, one’s race wouldn’t matter one bit. Politics wouldn’t involve racial matters and different ethnicities would just be visual markers of where your family originated and little else.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, we live in this one.

Here, it does, so we have to listen to people based, in part, on ethnic groups.

So, when black voters say they’re concerned about gun violence, we need to listen.

Black Americans want the Biden administration to address gun violence and declare white supremacist violence a national security threat, according to new polling released Wednesday and shared exclusively with USA TODAY.

In the aftermath of last year’s midterm elections cycle, Black to the Future Action Fund and HIT Strategies polled 1,200 Black voters in Georgia, North Carolina and California.

Black voters are the most loyal voting bloc for Democrats and will once again be crucial for the party to maintain control of the White House in 2024. The survey results can help candidates and parties understand what motivated these Americans to vote or, in some cases, to stay home.

What were the top concerns?

The top concern for Black voters during the midterms was inflation, at 25%, and then jobs and the economy, at 23%. The third priorites were abortion access, crime and gun violence, and discrimination and race all tied at 22%.

Yet 44% of participants said they wanted gun control legislation enacted. And 42% said they wanted white supremacy declared a national security threat.

Those calls for action came before the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols earlier this year, which reignited political pressure on the Biden administration.

“I do think that the Biden/Harris administration is making progress on gun control specifically. On police violence, not really,” said Alicia Garza, principal of Black to the Future Action Fund. “And some of that is an issue of who’s in Congress. But some of it is also an issue of political pressure.”

The way I see it, though, we have an opportunity here.

First, let’s note the percentages involved. 44 percent said they want gun control, which leaves 56 percent ambivalent at worst. We also have a black community that seems concerned about white supremacists and police brutality.

It seems to me that it’s a fine time to start pointing out a few facts.

For one thing, guess who gets jammed up over gun control laws in the first place? It’s not your average white suburbanite, that’s for sure.

When one looks at the percentages of people imprisoned for weapons charges, gun control starts to look awfully racist by today’s reckoning. I suppose that’s only traditional considering the origins of gun control in this country in the first place.

So, pointing out this to black voters may make some reconsider supporting gun control in the first place.

Further, they’re worried about things like police brutality? Who do they think will be enforcing gun control laws in the first place? It sure as hell isn’t the Rotary Club.

If police are racist, as many claim, and gun control laws impact the black community more than other segments of American society, then passing more such laws will just give these supposedly racist police more opportunities to arrest young black men.

Then we have the issue of “gun violence” itself.

We know that violent crime deeply impacts the black community. Victims are disproportionately black compared to society as a whole.

Yet we also know that the shooters aren’t getting their guns legally. As such, gun control won’t stop “gun violence” any more than increasing showings of Sesame Street would.

This is an opportunity to tell show the 44 percent who think gun control is a good idea just how little it will matter and that, instead of gun control, what we need is more lawful black gun ownership in this country. This will mean they have the opportunity to defend themselves from so-called gun violence should someone try to perpetrate it against them.

If we can do that, then anti-gun lawmakers lose a key constituency in their fight to take away our Second Amendment rights. Democrats will have to, at a minimum, hold their tongue on gun control. If they want to address “gun violence,” they’ll have to start addressing violent crime as a whole, and by doing something other than gun control.

We have an opportunity.

Will anyone take advantage of it?

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