Back in 2004, I hypothesized in my “Baby Gap” article in The American Conservative:
The endless gun-control brouhaha, which on the surface appears to be a bitter battle between liberal and conservative whites, also features a cryptic racial angle. What blue-region white liberals actually want is for the government to disarm the dangerous urban minorities that threaten their children’s safety. Red-region white conservatives, insulated by distance from the Crips and the Bloods, don’t care that white liberals’ kids are in peril. Besides, in sparsely populated Republican areas, where police response times are slow and the chances of drilling an innocent bystander are slim, guns make more sense for self-defense than in the cities and suburbs.
White liberals, angered by white conservatives’ lack of racial solidarity with them, yet bereft of any vocabulary for expressing such a verboten concept, pretend that they need gun control to protect them from gun-crazy rural rednecks, such as the ones Michael Moore demonized in “Bowling for Columbine,” thus further enraging red-region Republicans.
From the Aspen Times, an account of a question and answer session with former New York City mayor and crime-fighting billionaire Michael Bloomberg:
Bloomberg claimed that 95 percent of murders fall into a specific category: male, minority and between the ages of 15 and 25.* Cities need to get guns out of this group’s hands and keep them alive, he said.
“These kids think they’re going to get killed anyway because all their friends are getting killed,” Bloomberg said. “They just don’t have any long-term focus or anything. It’s a joke to have a gun. It’s a joke to pull a trigger.”
At one point, the former mayor brought up New York City’s stop-and-frisk practices, which gained national attention in 2011. Bloomberg said that during his last year in office, a minister at a Baptist church in Harlem invited him to speak.
“While I’m sitting there waiting for him to introduce me, he said to his congregation, ‘You know, if every one of you stopped and frisked your kid before they went out at night, the mayor wouldn’t have to do it,’” Bloomberg said. “And so I knew I was going to be okay with that audience.”
Minimum age limits for handguns, such as 25, seem not unreasonable.
* 95% is exaggerated; domestic murders make up a sizable fraction of all murders. Still, I agree with Bloomberg’s unspoken assumption that mayors should be more concerned with murders in the street than in the living room, just as mayors should be more concerned with people getting killed in traffic accidents on the streets of their cities than with people getting accidentally drowning in bathtubs or falling off ladders while cleaning leaves out of their gutters.