“The View” co-host Joy Behar said on Wednesday that gun laws will change in the United States “once black people get guns,” clearly implying that Republican lawmakers’ racism would take priority over their support for the Second Amendment.
Joy Behar: "Once Black people get guns in this country, the gun laws will change. Trust me." pic.twitter.com/gaweZf483X
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) June 8, 2022
Because gun control is historically rooted in racism, Behar’s claim may have been true in the past. But in recycling outdated logic to today’s political environment, she only accidentally highlighted the modern liberal bias against black gun ownership.
What Behar was doing was using black Americans as a scapegoat to make her gun control argument while discussing the recent mass shootings across the country. These include the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, but also many other shootings specifically affecting the black community.
On May 14 at a grocery store in a black neighborhood of Buffalo, NY, a white supremacist targeted black shoppers. Tragically, 10 people were shot to death and three more were injured.
In less convenient-for-the-narrative news, a staggering 28 people were shot in Chicago, IL this past weekend, including a six-year-old girl. (Thankfully, she survived). These shootings all took place in states with some of the strictest gun control in the nation, and most of the victims were minorities.
Is it a coincidence that locations with high black populations have strict gun control that leaves law-abiding citizens defenseless against violent racists and gangs? I think not.
As a black woman in an increasingly polarized and divided nation where violent crime is on the rise, I want to make sure that I am protected. The only person that I can trust with my protection is myself—not the government, or anyone else.
History shows that when black people are unarmed, we are the most oppressed.
Yes, Gun Control IS Racist
After the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was added to the Constitution, black people were still denied gun rights because they were not considered to be citizens under the law. Eventually, the Civil Rights Movement and the subsequent Civil Rights Act of 1964 did away with most of that racist legislation, but their remnants still remain today in the form of “facially neutral” laws.
These are rules that don’t explicitly target black people, but the end goals and results are still the same: disproportionately limiting black gun ownership.
Examples include high taxes on firearm transactions meant to price out black people from buying guns, banning open carry in light of armed Black Panther presence, and banning certain types of guns in heavily black areas.
The tyrants’ goals of keeping black people down and reliant on the state haven’t changed in hundreds of years.
While Behar’s implication that racists don’t want black people to have guns is correct, I don’t think she realizes that she is on the same side as those very same racists in the gun control debate. Whether Behar realizes it or not, she is advocating for forcing an even further disarmed black community to rely on the same government for protection that she and many others believe to be anti-black.
Make that make sense.
No, Second Amendment Supporters do NOT Want to Disarm Black People
Contrary to popular belief (or maybe just Behar’s belief, because this is just common sense), black people own guns. A lot of them, actually.
According to the Firearm Industry Trade Association, black men and women showed a 58.2% increase in gun purchases during the first six months of 2020 versus the same period in the previous year. In fact, according to The Cut, black women are the overall demographic with the fastest-growing rate of gun ownership.
Why? Well, the vast majority of gun owners list “self-protection” as their main reason for having weapons, per Pew Research. What problem would true proponents of the Second Amendment have with that? Quite literally, none.
In fact, many gun lobby groups and clubs have openly embraced the growing number of black gun owners. Gun Owners of America’s legal branch, the Gun Owner’s Foundation, awarded activist Maj Toure, the founder of the Black Guns Matter organization, $25,000 in honor of Black History Month in an effort to increase urban outreach.
GOA’s director of women’s outreach, Antonia Okafor, had this to say to those who use black people to argue for more gun control:
Please stop w/ the ridiculous debate that “gun enthusiasts” would think differently about gun reform if it were “black and brown bodies holding up those AR-15s” I regularly post pictures like the one below & get positive reactions from ALL races. Stop this fake racism argument pic.twitter.com/iFixsqCsK2
— Antonia Okafor Cover (@antonia_okafor) February 16, 2018
Some will cite the National Rifle Association’s history as evidence that gun rights proponents are actually racist.
And trust me, I am typically the first person to bring up the NRA’s past support of racist gun control. The NRA actually backed then-governor Ronald Reagan’s 1967 open-carry ban in California, which was specifically prompted when Black Panthers began patrolling their communities while armed. But the NRA is not actually indicative of true Second Amendment supporters.
In fact, the NRA has compromised on the Second Amendment several times. In 1934, the NRA helped to form the National Firearms Act, which required the registration of and increased taxation on several types of firearms. (Remember those pesky “facially neutral” laws? Yeah…)
Today, the NRA even still supports former President Donald Trump, who spoke at their national convention last month. This is the same Donald Trump who put an illegal federal bump stock ban into place. This is all to say that the NRA has never been the arbiter of gun rights and shouldn’t be touted as such. True gun rights groups have never faltered on the racial aspect of gun control or supported applying the Second Amendment unequally.
So, I believe Joy Behar’s argument is simply projection. She’s scared of black people with guns, so everyone else must be too… right? To that, I only have this to say:
Me shooting a scary assault rifle.
Does this frighten you, @JoyVBehar?
P.S. I broke my poor thumb placement habit since then, don’t come for me! 🤣 pic.twitter.com/KvN6FV7i20
— Olivia Rondeau 🇺🇸 (@rondeaulivia) June 9, 2022