Kudos to Jerry Markon for his Washington Post article (Tuesday, “Gun violence down over decade, Justice report finds”), and kudos to The Herald for running the article, which makes several points that many of us in these pages have been trying to make for some time now — including the point that, despite all the hoopla about what a huge loophole gun shows represent in the background check system, less than 1 percent of criminals who used guns actually got them at a gun show.
Near the end, the article also briefly mentions that the homicide rate (per 100,000 people) among black Americans was almost eight times the rate among whites. What the article didn’t mention was that black Americans, who make up about 13 percent of the population, account for over 50 percent of homicide victims, and more than 90 percent of them are killed by other black Americans. Those who really care about gun violence might be better served by looking into the causes and possible cures for this black-on-black epidemic, in which drug- and gang-related violence plays a major role. A quick look at Chicago or Washington D.C. should be enough to disabuse yourself of the notion that tighter gun control laws are going to help with that.
As Utah Sen. Mike Lee wrote in USA Today: “…members of Congress do not get to vote on broad poll questions. They have to vote on specific legislation.” And the legislation before the Senate was “too vague for law-abiding citizens to understand with certainty, and too easy for criminals to avoid … If we are trying to minimize the burden on law-abiding gun owners while taking significant steps to prevent the next Sandy Hook, the (legislation) failed both elements of that test.” I wish our own senators brought that kind of rational thought to the law-making process.