Time to Remove Race From Gun Debate

Straight Up: Calling out black-on-black crime diverts attention from taking on the powerful gun lobby.

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The gun violence in Chicago should indeed be part of the discussion propelling gun-control reform. It should be because it, too -- like Newtown, Aurora, and Columbine (and too many other places) -- involves a needlessly high toll of gun deaths. This is not a "black-on-black crime" issue (indeed the phrase probably needs to disappear as it is so fraught and inapposite). The challenge here is not how to bring "race" into the discussion, but how to match the outsized and destructive power of the National Rifle Association and the gun and ammunition manufacturers in our national politics.

Lawrence D. Bobo is the W.E.B. Du Bois professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University.

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