Why Black Americans Are Buying More Guns

Why Black Americans Are Buying More Guns The people who bear the brunt of rising violent crime are taking steps to protect themselves.

“The issue we face is one of conscience and common sense.” So said Joe Biden last week in a prime-time plea for more Second Amendment restrictions. The president is right on both counts, just not in the way that he and other gun-control enthusiasts imagine.

Voters have noticed that cities where shootings occur almost daily also have some of the strictest gun laws. Using common sense, they’ve concluded that more gun-control legislation probably isn’t the solution because criminals by definition don’t respect laws. Many of the same people likewise find it unconscionable that elected officials would make it more difficult for law-abiding residents of high-crime neighborhoods to arm themselves for protection.

Someone might remind Mr. Biden that the past two landmark Supreme Court rulings on gun control were fueled by black plaintiffs who simply wanted to defend their homes and their families. Moreover, they hailed from cities controlled by liberals who have done an extraordinarily bad job of protecting low-income minorities from criminals. In a 2008 case, District of Columbia v. Heller, the court affirmed that the right to bear arms is an individual right and that you don’t need to be part of a militia to exercise it. One of the initial plaintiffs was Shelly Parker, a black computer-software designer who decided to challenge the district’s handgun ban in court after a 7-foot-tall neighborhood drug dealer tried to break into her home one evening and threatened to kill her. “What I want is simply to be able to own a handgun in my home, in the confines of the walls of my home—nothing else,” she told National Public Radio.

Two years later, in McDonald v. Chicago, the high court expanded on Heller. The lead plaintiff was Otis McDonald, a black Chicago retiree who wanted to own a handgun for protection from the gangs that terrorized his low-income neighborhood. Ruling in his favor, the court said that the Second Amendment applies with equal force to federal, state and local governments alike. When McDonald died in 2014, the Chicago Tribune obituary described him as “the man who brought down Chicago’s gun ban.” Continue

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