Tuesday July 23, 2013
Quote of the Day
“Today, whites support gun rights over gun control by a margin of nine points. By contrast, African-Americans support gun control over gun rights by a 44-point margin. [N.R.A. president David] Keene cites the traumatic memories of Jim Crow violence as reason to support gun rights; African-Americans cite the ongoing bloodletting in American cities as reason not to. ...
”Then there’s the thorny reality that not all self-defense is created equal. A study by the Urban Institute shows that just one per cent of cases in which a black person shoots a white person is ruled justifiable. When the races are reversed, in states without Stand Your Ground laws, that number climbs to 9.5 percent; in states with such laws, it reaches almost 17 percent.
“The N.R.A. has done little to ease the disparity. In May, 2012, Marissa Alexander, an African-American from Jacksonville, Florida, attempted to employ a Stand Your Ground defense after firing a “warning shot” during a dispute with her estranged husband, who had a history of domestic violence. (He was not harmed.) The claim was rejected and she was sentenced to twenty years in prison. The Alexander case appears to be precisely the kind of defense that the N.R.A. would support, especially as it strongly advocates guns as a form of self-protection for women, but the group has remained uninvolved.”
-- Jelani Cobb, “Perceived Threats: The Folly of Stand Your Ground,” on the New Yorker site