White Men Are the Problem

Imagine if African American men and boys were committing mass shootings month after month, year after year. Articles and interviews would flood the media, and we’d have political debates demanding that African Americans be “held accountable.” Then, if an atrocity such as the Newtown, Conn., shootings took place and African American male leaders held a news conference to offer solutions, their credibility would be questionable. The public would tell these leaders that they need to focus on problems in their own culture and communities.
Thus writes a pair of researchers who are as insulated from reality as any two people I've ever encountered. Can you actually imagine "the public" telling a group of 'African American male leaders' that their views were not relevant, and they needed to go focus on their own culture? Of course not. The American public is so afraid of being tarred as racists that they would never react that way, for one thing; and for another, when it actually happens that there is a huge number of gun murders in the black community, as it does regularly in places like Chicago, we look to those leaders as especially relevant because of their participation in the black community. Nobody has ever suggested that they should not lecture to us about how the broader American sweep of history affects their community, or what trends from the wider society might impact the problems we'd all like to see resolved.

When these researchers go on to say, "Unlike other groups, white men are not used to being singled out," I must assume they have somehow managed their academic careers without ever taking a course in history or literature. Aside from slavery, prejudice, imperialism, environmental damage, hate, capitalism and bigotry, I can't think of anything bad for which I've ever heard white men being especially singled out as blameworthy.

It's the common refrain on every subject. How stunning to realize that those making it apparently cannot hear themselves. Perhaps it's the fish/water issue: you can't see the sea in which you swim.


On the gun control/rights issue, by the way, my own native state of Georgia has recently concluded its legislative session. No new gun bills actually survived to pass, but we got close. Governor Nathan Deal was the obstacle to the passage of the bill, on terms that are very close to what we discussed here: guns would be allowed on college campuses as they are not currently (but as they are in most other public spaces), but only if permit holders took special safety training. Apparently Georgia Carry (who views the NRA as complete sellouts on gun rights) opposed the bill because it doesn't want gun rights to be entangled with any requirements or costs -- they're standing firm on "shall not be abridged."

They say Governor Deal has a "storied anti-gun record," but the governor's proposal is almost exactly the proposal I remember endorsing when we were discussing it earlier. I've long believed that the only viable response to terrorism of any sort -- including these mass shootings, which are a species of suicide terrorism except that the ideology underlying each act is usually limited to the single actor -- is to harden the broader society. However, we've allowed college campus culture to devolve into a sort of Saturnalia, especially on the weekends of home football games. Some extra steps need to be taken to ensure that the college students who assume this most adult of adult responsibilities are among the actual, and not merely statutory, adults on the campus.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen many other good recommendations on hand. I'm not immune to the idea of supporting new controls, if the controls are wise, likely to succeed, and written by people who actually understand the technology they want to regulate.


Eric Blair said...

That article is wondrous in it's idiocy.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

"...if the controls are wise, likely to succeed, and written by people who actually understand the technology they want to regulate."

Well, that would make gun control uniquely well-regulated by government, then. We'd be lucky to get one out of three. Hell, I might settle for two out of three, just for the novelty of it.

Grim said...

It might be that I am setting impossible conditions. But I don't mean to be! :)

MikeD said...

Part of me wants to be agreeable and say, "the Governor's plan is fine". but a large part of me is also sympathetic to Georgia Carry's position that "shall not be abridged" means what it plainly says.

A private property owner who wishes no firearms on his property is foolish (in my opinion), but within his rights to ban them. The government MAY NOT do so. For to do so is to abridge those rights. "What about in prisons and courthouses." I'll give the government some leeway in the cases of providing security for the criminal justice system. However, I believe that makes them 100% accountable for any deaths or injuries caused by lapses in that protection. I don't know how many of you saw the video of the woman beaten by her ex-boyfriend upon whom she was in court to have a restraining order placed. The judge left her, the man, and the man's grandmother alone in a room. She was beaten (thankfully, not seriously), but in my mind, she should be able to sue the stew out of that judge. They disarmed her and placed her in a room alone with a predator. That's their responsibility and their accountability.

E Hines said...

..."shall not be abridged" means what it plainly says.

I tend to be pretty hard over on such things. About the only "control" restriction I'm agreeable to is a requirement to be trained in the maintenance and operation of a firearm that I want to carry on my person off my property. A license (certification) that that training has been passed would be presentable to a cop who asked to see it. But that training and that licensing would be from a private company, not the government, and the records associated with that training would be mine and that company's, immune from the reach of the government to search.

Government works for me, not the other way around. The trust in that relationship is from the government to me. And absent a crime, or probable cause to suspect me of one, I have no obligation to indicate my trustworthiness to my employee.

Eric Hines

Cass said...

I would comment on this post, but I'm afeared of all you white guys with guns.

Anonymous said...

It has been of interest to me that the reasoning in "Miller" USSC was that certain firearms could be regulated because they were NOT in common military use (short barrel shotguns in particular). This would seem to affirm that the arms in common military use, the M-4 carbine for example, were precisely the arms the 2nd amendment protects.