Gun rights should be an issue for all people. Particularly those who don’t enjoy the economic privilege of private security officers.
Minority people are often over policed when it comes to minor violations and left twisting in the wind when it comes to being the victims of violent crime.
One of the major reasons I am an ardent supporter of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership is because they point out how often gun control is aimed at disarming minority people who are more likely to be victims of violent crime.
Shaneen Allen, a black single mother from Philadelphia, got a raw deal from police and prosecutors. But her biggest champions came not from the political left, but the right.
April 17, 2015
Shaneen Allen and her family were only a few minutes away from the hotel when they were pulled over by a New Jersey state police officer. “What are you doing out here?” Allen said the officer asked. “Where are you coming from?”
As Allen dug through her purse for her drivers license and vehicle registration, she realized that in it was the new handgun she had just purchased — and applied for a license to carry — in her home state of Pennsylvania. She told the officer about the weapon, she said, and the officer snatched the purse away from her. The officer called for backup, setting into motion Allen’s months-long battle to avoid being locked up for years under New Jersey’s strict gun laws.
“I was shaking and crying and asking him, ‘What did I do?’” Allen said. “And he wouldn’t answer me.”
The case made a minor celebrity of Allen, a 28-year-old black single mother who legally bought a handgun in Philadelphia but was arrested after unwittingly violating New Jersey’s strict gun laws. Similar to how tough drug laws designed for taking down kingpins ended up being used against low-level offenders, harsh gun laws can ensnare people like Allen, who are merely trying to protect themselves.
Allen’s case was left largely untouched by liberals, who strongly support strict gun laws, as do most blacks. Indeed, some pro-gun rhetoric contains naked appeals to white fears of rampaging nonwhites. Yet it’s blacks who make up almost half — 47% — of all people convicted on federal firearms offenses, according to data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission. And that figure doesn’t include black Latinos.
“Gun laws, by and large, are supported on the left and opposed on right, but those left-based laws have a disparate impact on the black community,” said Adam Bates, a policy analyst with Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice.