By now, you’ve probably heard about former NYC mayor Bloombergs call to disarm blacks:
Bloomberg claimed that 95 percent of murders fall into a specific category: male, minority and between the ages of 15 and 25. Cities need to get guns out of this group’s hands and keep them alive, he said.
“These kids think they’re going to get killed anyway because all their friends are getting killed,” Bloomberg said. “They just don’t have any long-term focus or anything. It’s a joke to have a gun. It’s a joke to pull a trigger.”
This is kind of…amazing. For one, he has grossly exaggerated the proportion of minority murderers. According to the FBI, in 2011 just under 40% of murderers were non-white, with another 28% unknown. So, making the unlikely assumption that ALL of the unknowns were “minorities,” we get to 2/3 of murders. He’s off by 30 percentage points at a minimum. On top of that, 8% of murderers are known to be women, with another 27% unknown–so he even managed to exaggerate the number of men committing murder, although by less.
I can’t see how this is anything other than racist and even sexist. I just can’t. I don’t understand why a young black man who wants to carry a gun for self-defense should be denied that right because someone else with a similar skin color once did something bad with a gun. It’s a complete inversion of the ancient tradition of innocent until proven guilty, and an ugly reminder of America’s racist past that we’re supposed to be ashamed of, rather than enthusiastically recreating.
But ignoring the bigotry (!) for the moment, let us concede that Bloomberg has half a point here: many murders are committed by people who place little value on life, either their own or that of others. Some of these people are “minorities,” but of course if some white drug dealer shoots you, you’re just as dead. In the interest of using a race-neutral word, I propose calling these people “criminals.” Hopefully that’s not too judgmental of me.
Soooooo…anyway…how does hassling men and women who are NOT criminals, who DO value life, stop murder? If you’re hitting a gun show this weekend, is that basically the same thing as pimping out a runaway teenager you got hooked on drugs? Does Bloomberg have a Magic Racist Gun Wand that he can wave and pull guns only from certain households? And if so…has he considered using it for child porn or drugs? And that question goes just as strongly for getting guns from non-criminal minorities, who of course are often the main victim of criminals in their midst.
Just explain how you’re going to disarm only the “right” people–by which I mean criminals, not people with dark skin, although Bloomberg appears to see that differently–and maybe I’ll be willing to listen. Otherwise keep your racist twaddle for your billionaire friends and leave the normal people alone.