(June 26, 2009, Chicago) – The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence sharply criticized the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) and Illinois Carry for holding a public rally today calling for ending Chicago’s 27-year-old handgun ban only days after the tragic shooting of 9-year-old Chastity Turner who was gunned down while bathing her dog in front of her own home. Thirty-six Chicago Public School students were also killed during the ’09 school year in a continuing rash of gun violence.
Gun Guy's conveniently leave out the fact that Chastity Turner's shooters were 19 and 17 years of age and prohibited from purchasing, owning, or carrying a firearm of any kind in not only Chicago but the entire state of Illinois. Eliminating Chicago's handgun ban would have only made Chicago law consistent with the rest of the state. If would not have made it any easier (or harder for that matter) for the shooters to obtain a weapon.
In addition, gun homicides plague the African-American community. According to the Violence Policy Center the annual study, “Black Homicide Victimization in the United States” found that there were 7,425 black homicide victims in the United States. The homicide rate for black victims in the United States was 20.27 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall national homicide rate was 5.38 per 100,000 and the national homicide rate for whites was 3.14 per 100,000.
What both Gun Guys and the VPC fail to report is that black people are also more likely to live in large metropolitan areas with stricter gun laws and thus have a lower rate of firearm ownership.
Most troubling is the language, tone and materials that pro-gun groups are using to promote their rally in downtown Chicago. Ralph Connor, an African-American conservative who will speak at the rally, continues to preach a divisive message that “gun control is racist” and is eagerly promoting a film that features him, called "No Guns for Negroes.”
It appears that Ralph Connor is right. While current gun control legislation isn't written with racist intent, its results are most definitely racist. As a black person in America you are less likely to be able to lawfully purchase and carry a firearm and more likely to be a victim of homicide.