War — The World is a Ghetto.
Of late America has been having a conversation with itself about one of our great loves: guns. (Jesus, money, sex, narcissism, alcohol, and football are also on the list of America things America goes, dare I say it “Apey” in the paint for.) Unless you’ve been under a rock then you know why we’ve been chatting about our firepower and its place in our lives. On one side of the conversation you have politicians and citizens who would like to limit and regulate the type of firearms that can be purchased while setting up a comprehensive process to obtain guns. On the other hand you have other politicians, the National Rifle Association, and independent citizens who thinking any sort of regulation of weapons is a bad idea or would set a precedent that would allow the government to run roughshod over the Second Amendment (A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.)
Everyone who reads Cloud 9 is rather well read so there’s no need to go into the blow-by-blow of the gun control debate. That’s not what I intend to write about right now. Allow me to channel my inner Rod Serling on.
Imagine if you will, a world where the Newton shooting occurred. What if the victims and members of the United States Government then started a dialogue about gun control? What if the shooting got the ball rolling toward actually reform and control? Then ask yourselves the question: What if the NRA, the largest group in opposition to the reforms was a 90% black organization?
You see the reason I ask is because on one hand I enjoy shooting (I am the guy whose blog’s header contains the words printed on the side of a land mine.) on the other I completely agree that someone should be put through the wringer in order to obtain certain weapons. Back to my point how would the gun control debate be framed if the membership of the largest organization advocating shooting and firearm ownership looked like me or the men in the picture up top? (Seriously, I hope that guy in the middle’s Sergeant was keeping an eye on him. That brother is looking a little Marlo Stansfieldish around the eyes. Whatever these cats were about to get into my man was not there for it.)
America, throughout the course of our troubled history has always had an issue of sorts with black men with firearms. It could be argued that the vaunted Second Amendment itself was partly spawned out of the fear of men who weren’t considered “American” at the time who had guns. Take a look again at the picture above, the notion of black men wearing the uniform of the United States armed forces while engaging in combat put a bee in the bonnet of many who would think of the men in the picture as a threat. What if the men in the picture and those of their ilk who would fight in the American Civil War, then in the American west, then in Cuba and the Philippines had joined together after retiring to form a massive civilian organization advocating gun ownership? Then what if that organization turned into a powerful political lobby?
Again, how would the nightly news lead into stories about the vice president meeting with the NRA, a group of black men putting pressure on their elected officials, to maintain the status quo? What if mouthpiece for the NRA named was Dewayne LaPierre in lieu of Wayne LaPierre and he went on national television vehemently denying the lack of regulation of guns was what was behind the Newton shootings placing the blame on lax mental health?
Imagine that? Imagine it all? Would guns then be regulated to the hilt?
Back in reality I know a lot of black folks who legally own firearms and follow the rules that come along with gun ownership. (I’m from the country.) However, I cannot say that I know a lot of black folks who are members of the National Rifle Association. They hunt, shoot targets, and keep weapons around to protect them and theirs just like their NRA counterparts but still no NRA membership or no need to join any groups advocating gun ownership. Wonder why?
I just had these questions floating around in my sizeable head. Think of the possible answers and all of the differences with my scenario.
Vaya con Dios.