Dan Keating, writing at The Washington Post, has published a powerful piece on gun deaths in America -- particularly by race (check here for a chart breaking down gun homicides by race in all 50 states). And the data shows white people primarily use guns for self-defense and fatal self-inflicted wounds (suicide), while black people use guns for criminal acts that lead to black-on-black gun violence/murder. [Gun deaths shaped by race in America, Washington Post, 3-22-13]:
Gun deaths are shaped by race in America. Whites are far more likely to shoot themselves, and African Americans are far more likely to be shot by someone else.
The statistical difference is dramatic, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A white person is five times as likely to commit suicide with a gun than to be shot with a gun; for each African American who uses a gun to commit suicide, five are killed by other people with guns.
The color of gun violence in America is black
Where a person lives matters, too. Gun deaths in urban areas are much more likely to be homicides, while suicide is far and away the dominant form of gun death in rural areas. States with the most guns per capita, such as Montana and Wyoming, have the highest suicide rates; states with low gun ownership rates, such as Massachusetts and New York, have far fewer suicides per capita.
Suicides and homicides are volatile human dramas. Both acts shatter families, friends and sometimes communities. But the reactions are as different as black and white, and those differences shape the nation’s divided attitudes toward gun control.
For instance, African Americans tend to be stronger backers of tough gun controls than whites. A Washington Post-ABC News poll this month found that about three-quarters of blacks support stronger controls, compared with about half of whites. The poll also found that two-thirds of city dwellers support stronger gun controls, while only about a third of rural residents back them.
So... whites use guns to off themselves and protect themselves, while blacks use guns for acts of criminality...
Janett Massolo, who is white, works at a suicide-prevention center in Reno, Nev. She provides training in suicide prevention and counsels families that have lost a member to suicide. She understands their grief — nearly 17 years ago her daughter Shannon killed herself.
Shannon was a 15-year-old high school student. Her behavior was sometimes erratic, but her mother put it down to teenage volatility. After Shannon’s best friend shot herself to death, she told her mother that she was appalled. “How could anything get that bad?” she said.
Six months later, shortly before noon on a Saturday, Massolo told her daughter that she was running next door for a minute. Shannon said she was hopping into the shower. When Massolo returned to the house five minutes later, her daughter’s body was on the floor in her parents’ bedroom. At first, Massolo thought Shannon was searching for something under the bed. Then she saw the head wound.
Her father’s handgun had been in an unlocked drawer; the bullets were elsewhere in the bedroom. Massolo said her daughter would not have had time to get the gun, find the bullets, load the gun and kill herself in the time she was next door. Massolo concluded that Shannon had planned her suicide.
Shannon knew how to handle the gun. Her parents had taught her and her sisters to fire weapons. They had gone to shooting ranges. “The mindset out here is that we use guns for hunting, for target shooting, to keep the family safe,” said Massolo. “If you want to keep the family safe and you have mental illness in the family, then lock your guns up for a while or give them away for a while. We’re not saying give them away forever. We don’t want to take the gun away.”
The gun Shannon used to kill herself had been in the family for years. It was a gift to her father from his father-in-law, a former Reno police officer. Shannon had used it for target practice many times.
“That’s something we’ve dealt with,” Massolo said in a recent interview. “We taught her how to kill herself. But we were trying to teach her how to be safe. It’s a different mindset out here about guns. I know the East Coast doesn’t think that way.”
Massolo said the weapon had sentimental value to her husband, so after the suicide inquiry, he got it back from the police. His wife won’t look at it, but her husband won’t part with it.
“The gun did not kill Shannon,” she said. “Shannon killed Shannon. I tell him it was not his fault. It could have been any method. She killed herself. That was my way of relieving some of his guilt.”
What do black people know about gun control that whites don't? Perhaps an end to black-on-black crime?
Shanda Smith, who is black, has a totally different view of guns and their place in society. Nearly 20 years ago, her two children were shot to death on their way to a church Christmas party in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Southeast Washington.
Smith, a single mother who never knew her own parents, remembers the new Scrabble game her children had opened two days before the church party. “I remember one of the words was ‘peril,’ ” she said in a recent interview. “They didn’t know it. I told them it means danger.”
Rodney Smith, 19, was home on break from the University of Kansas, where he had a football scholarship. He had borrowed a relative’s beat-up Camaro Z28 and was driving his sister, Volante, 14, and two younger children to the party. Boo, as his sister was called, was in the passenger seat.
As the car approached the church on Martin Luther King Avenue, someone ran up to it and fired a handgun into Rodney and Boo. Smith’s two children were in body bags being loaded into an ambulance when she got to the scene. It would later turn out that the Smiths were killed in a case of mistaken identity.
“They were right where they needed to be,” Smith said of her children, “but somebody had access to a gun, and he shot the wrong kids.”
Smith channeled her grief into a group called Survivors of Homicide Inc., where she works with others who have lost family members and close friends in shootings. Her favorite event is an annual Christmas party she hosts for children who have lost siblings or parents to shootings.
The Smith children were killed in 1993, a time when the District had one of the highest homicide rates in the nation. Even though rates have dropped dramatically, Smith knows many families that have suffered from gun murders, but she said they don’t buy guns as a solution.
“That’s a difference in the African American community,” she said. “We don’t teach our kids to go hunting and shoot. We don’t have guns in our homes.”Black people brandishing a gun while living on/walking by/driving on a street named after Martin Luther King Jr. is a recipe for immediate disaster, with an act of Spontaneous Blackness only moments from happening.
Meanwhile, white people are busy engaging in a metaphysical battle with their own reality, an introspective journey into measuring their own self-worth. If found wanting, they use a gun to take only their own life.
There's the truth about guns in America.
But you know what? Why not let Colion Noir, the National Rifle Association's (NRA) secret black weapon in convincing black America why they should embrace a gun culture and once again proving the theory that any cause must have a black face defending it so it can't be deemed 'racist' [ New NRA Commentator: ‘When’s the last time a little skinny black kid walked into a school and started shooting people randomly?’, Daily Caller, 3-18-13]:
NRA News unveiled its newest commentator, Colion Noir, on its website Monday.
Noir, in his first video commentary, pointed out apathy toward inner-city murder rates to open a conversation on the looming gun control legislation that he asserts only targets the
“Let’s talk about the violence in the inner cities. Everyone wants to ask why. Why the killing, why the murders, why the deaths?” Noir asks in his opening remarks that are followed by an NRA disclaimer that states that the following opinion “does not necessarily reflect the views of the National Rifle Association.”
The number of gun deaths in the inner cities completely dwarf the number of gun deaths from mass shootings,” Noir states, as the video displays a graphic of Chicago gun deaths (361) vs. mass shootings (33) in 2011.
“But for some reason nobody ever brings up the violence in the inner cities until we have a mass shooting in never, never land,” he said.
“While we’re at it, because everyone wants to cry gun control every time there’s a mass shooting, let’s be real. When’s the last time a little skinny black kid walked into a school and started shooting people randomly?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll wait.”
“That’s right, they haven’t. Because they’re too busy killing each other.”Black kids don't kill one another at their middle or high schools for a couple of simple reasons: majority black schools in the inner-city, urban areas of America are already crawling with police (resource officers) and have high levels of security to try and maintain some level of discipline -- think metal detectors, security cameras, and zero-tolerance policies for minor offenses.
“Let’s talk about the violence in the inner cities. Everyone wants to ask why. Why the killing, why the murders, why the deaths?”
Which is of course why many white people living in urban America are so excited about introducing gun control in their city, for it's merely an attempt at controlling black people from accessing guns (thus, an attempt to negate a tool blacks can use in crime).
And, of course, why many more white people are so excited about protecting their 2nd Amendment rights -- to defend their life, liberty, and property from the people most likely to use guns in a malicious manner.