William Saletan takes on the “abortion is genocide” campaign, pointing out that guns are really killing a lot of African-Americans, but the “pro-life” movement doesn’t seem too concerned — in fact, they’re unapologetically pro-gun.
The numbers are provocative. But there’s something odd about the billboards. The child who appears beside the text is fully born. Abortion doesn’t kill such children. What kills them, all too often, is shooting. If you wanted to save living, breathing, fully born children from a tool of extermination that is literally targeting blacks, the first problem you would focus on is guns. They are killing the present, not just the future. But the sponsors of the “endangered species” ads don’t support gun control. They oppose it.
Two months ago, the Violence Policy Center issued an analysis of black homicide rates based on the latest FBI data. The national U.S. homicide rate is 5.3 per 100,000 people. Among whites, it’s 3.1 per 100,000. Among blacks, it’s 20.9 per 100,000. That’s four times the national rate and seven times the white rate. In 82 percent of black-victim homicides in which the fatal weapon can be identified, it’s a gun. And 73 percent of those gun deaths are inflicted by handguns.
The report calculates that in 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, blacks were 13 percent of the U.S. population but suffered 49 percent of all deaths by homicide. And the problem has been getting worse: From 2002 to 2007, the number of young black males killed by guns increased by more than 50 percent.
Maybe that’s why blacks, unlike whites, strongly favor gun control. In a Pew poll taken last year, whites said by a plurality of 50 percent to 44 percent that it was more important to protect the right to own guns than to control gun ownership. But an overwhelming majority of blacks, 72 percent to 20 percent, said it was more important to control gun ownership.
Saletan highlights the hypocrisy of anti-choicers raising a stink about race, when gun fanatics have pretty solid Klan roots — or, as he so beautifully phrases it, “People who live in glass hoods shouldn’t throw stones.” Indeed.
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