Waiting for the War on Guns
Laws have been made to end drug trade and terrorism. So why don't mass shootings inspire change?
Gallup Poll statistics from 2005 show that white Americans are twice as likely to own guns -- 44 percent to only 23 percent of nonwhites. And white men are three times as likely.
Yet despite national statistics showing white males are most likely to own and carry weapons, intellectually dishonest politicians like Bloomberg find ways to harass minorities instead. The conventional wisdom has become that whites use guns for hunting or protection. But who needs a 100-round magazine and automatic assault rifle to hunt? It only takes the actions of mass shooters to remind us that crazed men are stockpiling weapons to unleash horror, while police officers are busy stopping and frisking their black or Latino neighbors.
The over-policing of African Americans, Latinos and Muslims creates a separate and unequal justice system that too often allows white criminals the ability to escape notice. And though FBI statistics show whites commit 70 percent of all crime in the United States, police forces continue to focus on minority communities -- using the war on drugs as justification for racial profiling. The horrors of Aurora and Columbine are dismissed as the acts of madmen -- which can't be prevented with policy -- while the potential dangers of inner-city crime are controlled with military precision. Even the unarmed -- Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and Kendrec McDade -- become victims of an over-zealous police state, shot to death simply for being black and suspicious.
Perhaps, at the very least, the nation can begin to apply policing of gun crime equitably to whites in line with their percentage of the population. That very act -- aided by sensible, more restrictive gun controls -- can help prevent the kinds of horrors unleashed by this latest tragedy.
Edward Wyckoff Williams is contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing on MSNBC, Al-Jazeera, CBS Washington and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.