Far-left website ThinkProgress has sounded the alarm about new gun control laws that Pittburgh authorities moved to put in place after last October’s shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Reporting on a local story from the Public Source (TPS) last month, the ThinkProgress post highlights concerns that new gun control measures, including an “assault weapons” ban, an ammunition ban, and a new “red flag” law, will hurt young black men especially.
“Any ordinance like this… always lands on the backs of young African Americans,” Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network President Rev. De Neice Welch of the, told the Public Source. “Always.”
University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris told TPS that black communities have traditionally experienced “more draconian” enforcement of laws than that seen in white communities and cited disproportionate rates at which black marijuana users are penalized compared to white users.
Let’s clear something up before we dive any further: Police are going to spend more time policing areas where more crime is likely to occur. That’s just as true for a drug- and crime-ridden trailer park or motel in Appalachia as it is for a crime-ridden inner-city community anywhere, regardless of anyone’s skin color.
The real question here isn’t about racism. Rather, the real problem is what happens when politicians criminalize otherwise law-abiding people’s means of self-defense.
If you increase regulations and penalties against private firearms ownership anywhere, that enforcement is going to disproportionately affect populations and areas that experience more crime and more police presence. Period. In reality, the people who would benefit the most from more gun freedom are law-abiding people in high-crime areas, where gun control laws will make it that much harder to defend themselves. And yes, that would also include young black men who want to keep and carry a firearm to keep themselves safe from people who already decided to break laws that already existed.
Unfortunately, however, many of those same people also live under the more restrictive and draconian gun laws because of politicians who think that more gun control will eventually provide an answer to their city or state’s crime problems.
The numbers, however, show that people who commit crimes with guns don’t tend to get their hardware in ways that would be affected by gun control laws: 90 percent of 2016 federal inmates don’t buy from retail sources, and almost half of them got their guns off the black market. Furthermore, another survey found that four out of five gun crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms.
If you don’t want people over-policed and brutalized, reasonable and responsible oversight of law enforcement is one part of the equation, but the other would be for governments to not criminalize so many things that will need policing and enforcement. Additionally, if government officials want to decrease police presence anywhere for any reason, the only morally responsible thing to do is to allow the innocent law-abiding citizens a means of self-defense in their absence.
As always, the best and final defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy firing back.