The View co-host Joy Behar said gun control will only be implemented once “Black people get guns,” according to Newsweek. Black licensed gun owners have repeatedly become victims of police brutality even while not posing a threat. Recalling the decades of implicit bias and efforts to disarm Black people, Behar ain’t wrong.
Her comment was in response to a story about a Black man in Connecticut who reportedly built his own AR-15 assault rifle because the state barred the purchase of that type of gun. Guest host Lindsay Granger said it was odd that the man was Black and that owners of that grade of weapon are usually former members of the military, per Newsweek.
Behar responded, “Here’s the thing: once Black people get guns in this country, the gun laws will change. Trust me.”
She may very well have a point. Black men with legal firearms are often labeled “criminal” by police before having the chance to show their license. Consider Philando Castile, a licensed carrier who still lost his life while not posing a threat and providing a warning that he was armed.
More from Newsweek:
Co-host Sunny Hostin supported her statement. “That’s what happened with the Black Panthers,” Hostin said. “Know your history.”
Hostin was likely referring to the facts of 1967, when a state bill prohibiting the open carry of loaded firearms without a permit, the Mulford Act, was passed in California in what many saw as an attempt to curb the power of activist group the Black Panthers, who at the time often performed armed patrols.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation said they saw a 58 percent increase in gun purchases by Black people between 2019 and 2020, per ABC News. According to the Washington Post “Fatal Force” database, 58 percent of people killed by police over the past few years were armed and 22 percent of those victims were Black.
Though Newsweek reported there’s a diverse demographic in gun ownership, it doesn’t change the way gun owners of color are perceived. After the shooting and killing of Amir Locke, Black gun rights advocates argued that the Second Amendment rights of Black people are often violated.
“Black men, like all citizens, have a right to keep and bear arms. Black men, like all citizens, have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizure,” said Bryan Strawser, chair of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, via ABC News.