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It has been one year since the horror of the Newtown shooting where 20 children sadly lost their lives. A lot of people thought gun laws would change. They did. They expanded in spite of the President and Vice President’s push to restrict assault weapons.

Combined studies show almost every state has enacted new gun laws. Nearly two-thirds of the new laws ease restrictions and expand the rights of gun owners.

In an article on Slate, they asked the question, “How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?”  Their answer? More than 11-thousand.

And while mass shootings tend to get everyone’s attention, suicides and urban gun violence kill far more people each year.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that whites are far more likely to shoot themselves while African-Americans are far more likely to be shot by someone else, usually another African-American.

Most of those shooting and killing each other are black people between the ages of 20 and 24, most of them men.

The latest CDC study shows the leading cause of death among black teens, ages 15 to 19 in 2009 was gun homicide.

That same year, black males were 8 times more likely than white males to be killed by a gun. The rate of gun injuries was 10 times higher for black children and teens than it was for white children and teens.

Black teens were 25 times more likely to be injured by a gun during an assault than white teens. There’s obviously a crisis of gun violence in the black community and no one knows it better than Reverend Sam Saylor of Hartford whose son was gunned down last year just before Newtown.

The more he watched the nation cry for the Sandy Hook victims the more frustrated he got because no one was crying for him or the thousands of dead young, black men like his son.

But after meeting some of the Newtown parents something clicked. Saylor says he realized quote, “Newtown is our town,” and began his mission to get people to pay attention to urban shootings like they do mass shootings.

There has been a lot of discussion this year about gun control and mental health. Gun control efforts so far have failed.

On the anniversary of Newtown, The President and Vice President have pledged 100-Million dollars towards mental health services.

Are African-Americans who perpetrate gun violence suffering from mental health issues? I don’t know. But, perhaps because of generations of poverty, neglect, racism, and plain ignorance some are suffering from soul health issues and have become way too dismissive of the value of human life.

And I’m not so sure there’s enough money in the world to cure that.

13 thoughts on “Gun Violence: It’s a Black and White Thing

  1. An intriguing treatment is couturier interpret. I suppose that you should make many on this message, it might not be a prejudice substance but generally fill are not sufficiency to verbalise on much topics. To the succeeding. Cheers like your 301 Moved Permanently.

  2. Its a human issue, there are killers of all colors. African Americans are not any more violent than any other killer. White serial killers seem to be more violent, killing multiple whites, eating their flesh, saving body parts. Whites kills whites they kill their parents for insurance all the time.

  3. d14279755 on said:

    Fellas…young blacks are killing themselves…can’t blame it on the white man…can’t blame it on the government not spending enough money on black issues…you can only blame it on the young blacks that are killing each other…there is no “societal” problem…it’s just that a minority of young blacks have no home training and don’t know how to act…and society will never be able to help that…its a problem with home training…

    • JanCorey on said:

      It’s not really about a black/white thing, it’s really about a criminal verses a non-criminal thing. Sorry there blacks, but facts rule.

  4. JanCorey on said:

    Black males are more likely to be shot by another black male than by being shot by a white or Hispanic person defending themselves from the crimes by a black male, statistics don’t lie.

      • JanCorey on said:

        But, Mary, blacks are much more violent than any other race, especially against other blacks. Facts do prove me correct.

  5. Don, excellent piece and you are absolutely on the right track. “Soul health issues” caused by “generations of poverty, neglect, racism, and plain ignorance” are causing people to be dismissive of the value of human life…starting at a very young age.

    IMO racism and poverty are only symptoms of a larger issue; the real culprit is the normalization and acceptance of abusive behavior in American culture. Verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, economic abuse. It manifests as disrespect, domestic violence, street violence, bullying and discrimination in schools and the workplace, internet trolling, negative political rhetoric, etc. etc.

    Herein lies the brilliance of taking a mental health approach and how finite resources and leadership can be applied in a way to have a huge positive impact. We’re not talking about major mental illnesses like schizophrenia or even depression – although these illnesses were factors in high profile mass shootings reported in the media and worthy of funding….I am referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs being unfulfilled every day on an epic scale. How can society help children and adults to recognize when they are being abused and how to constructively stand up against it? There is a reason an ‘ideology of victim-hood’ exists. Some blame the breakdown of the family. Domestic violence professionals know the cycle of violence passes victim-hood down from generation to generation. Their formula supports victims and provides them a way out.The harder nut to crack is/will be reforming the abusers. That will ‘take a village’.

    Whether the abuse is domestic, corporate, individual, group or cultural – people need knowledge to recognize when it occurs, the courage to call it out and skills to stand up against it. Abuse of any kind must be made culturally unacceptable.

    Thank you for asking the tough questions and having the courage for a very public conversation on the topic. Can you maybe get some more of America’s mayors to talk please?

    • Until we see ourselves and other as human beings who DO NOT all lok the same, we will continue to have violencein all its ugly forms. Angelia

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