History isn’t a topic researched thoroughly by enough Americans. This is unfortunate because history has so much to teach. Consider the modern gun control movement. Few proponents of gun control realize that their movement was founded on racist ideas. Gun control in the United States started as a way to prevent newly free blacks from acquiring arms. If you want a quick overview of this history the Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership put together a good documentary a few years back:
For those who prefer to read history Clayton Cramer put together a short, well-cited summary. The more things change the more they stay the same. Today the big player in American gun control is Michael Bloomberg. Considering his stated support for the New York Police Department’s stop and risk program, which heavily discriminated against black and Hispanic individuals, it’s not surprising to see racist motives in his push for gun control:
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.
Statistics are a funny thing. If you massage numbers properly you can get whatever result you want. But if you look at the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ (FBI) Uniform Crime Report for 2013 you will see that the age range of 15 to 25 isn’t the majority. There were 12,253 murders reported in 2013 and a majority of the victims fell in the age bracket of 25 and above. Furthermore 5,537 victims were white, 6,261 were black, 308 were listed as other, and 147 were unknown. Nowhere could you get the 95 percent figure Bloomberg cites.
But it’s not surprising, considering his above mentioned history, that he’s specifically targeting young male minorities. History of the gun control movement, after all, arose because people wanted to disarm that particular segment of society. Even so it’s rare that you see a gun control proponent so openly state such a desire.