Quoth the good Reverend:
“Why on Earth would a fifteen year old kid have a sawed off rifle?” he asked. “Why can’t the city, the county, the state officials stop the flow of firearms that flood our community? It must stop.”With all due respect to the good Reverend and his organization, it's not the flood of guns into his 'community' that's the problem. I grew up in a 'community' where every single family we knew not only owned a gun, but owned several. All adults, men and women, regularly handled firearms, and most children had at least fired a gun by age 10. We didn't have 15 year old boys out in the street pointing rifles at police and getting shot.
I find it ironic that a leader in the NAACP, a group that specifically states a goal of improving the lives of Americans of African descent, is fetishizing an implement instead of pushing his own 'community' to stop blaming others for their problems and get on with finding real causes and solutions. Quit normalizing, and sometimes glorifying, behavior that contributes to the problem:
- Men who jump in the sack with any woman they can find, but not being there to actually parent the young men and women that are a consequence of that roll in the hay.
- Two generations of black youth who consider working hard and getting an education as 'acting white'.
- Two generations of black youth who think that 'thug life' is more desirable than 'good life'.
- Three generations of black youth who have grown up in poverty because there is no incentive to do better except as a thug, an entertainer, or an athlete.
- A community that condones criminal behavior by its members and blames the police when one of its members is caught, tried, convicted, and incarcerated.
- A community that turns a blind eye to destructive use of alcohol, cocaine, meth, and other intoxicants instead of shunning those who destroy themselves through weakness.
I could go on and on, and to be honest, I would be shocked if bringing these things up to the Reverend and his followers would make a difference. It takes real strength of character to stop looking outward for the causes of your problems and to change yourself, and so long as the NAACP scapegoats an inanimate object for the deaths of black Americans, that strength will not be evident in their ranks.
If I can get frank and honest answers from anyone in this argument, maybe I would put more stock in their assertions of racism and evil gun organizations:
- Why was LaVon Peete out in the street with a gun when he got shot instead of doing homework, working a job, or doing something constructive?
- Where were his parents, why were they letting him roam the streets with a gun, and why didn't they know that their 15 year old had a sawed off rifle?
- Why isn't the NAACP doing more to keep young black men from going out into the streets to act like thugs?
Instead of asking themselves the hard questions, Reverend Rice and his ilk deflect blame on to others. To expand on his belief that the fact that the NRA and other pro-gun rights organizations support our rights to keep and bear arms, including the discreet carry of a firearm for self-defense, he should be protesting in front of the local glassworks because they're flooding the market with cheap glass tubes that are turned into crack pipes. Maybe he should be protesting in front of the local breweries because they are flooding the market with cheap alcohol. Or maybe he should be protesting in front of his own church because his 'community' is flooding itself with young people who weren't raised right.
H/T to John Richardson over at No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money for the story.