The Real Truth About Blacks And Gun Violence


DeWayne Wickham recently penned a piece lamenting the number of black children killed as the result of gun violence.  During his reflection, he set the foundation for the need for more gun control by acknowledging the deaths of both Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager killed by George Zimmerman, and Hadiya Pendleton, an innocent victim who was recently killed in a case of mistaken identity by gang members on the South Side of Chicago.

Though Wickham’s point that gun violence among black children being pandemic is well taken, he neglected to properly label the reasons for such violence.  He also doesn’t go far enough in detailing who’s responsible for this pandemic. Mr. Wickham did make mention of it, but almost in passing- that the overwhelming majority of the deaths of the black victims come at the hands of other blacks. That’s the first issue.

The death of Martin, though sad and unfortunate- especially for his family- does little to advance the case for increasing gun laws to reduce violence.  Martin was as much a victim of his bad judgment, and the profile set by the previous eight burglars, as he was of Zimmerman’s gun.

The Pendleton case, however, may provide cause.

When citing FBI statistics regarding the number of black deaths, Wickham didn’t note that the majority of those deaths came at the hands of other blacks.  Using the same FBI statistics cited by Wickham, of the 2,938 murder offenders (up to the age of 22) in 2011, 1803 were black.

The total number of black murders regardless of age in 2011 was 2695. Of that number, 2447 were committed by blacks.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, of all homicides committed between 1980 and 2008, 47.4 percent of the victims were black while 52.5 percent of all offenders were black. Of all felony murders during the same time period, blacks accounted for 44.1 percent of those murdered while accounting for 59.9 percent of the offenders.  Blacks accounted for 56.9 percent of all gun homicides.

Any serious mention of protecting black children from violent crime has to include a sincere effort in assigning blame to the causes of crime, along with effective methods to reduce it.  Wickham uses a false argument to justify his blame for violent crime by condemning “those who want more prisons, not better schools…” He also blames Congress for kowtowing to the NRA.

This undermines his concern for black youth by appearing disingenuous. Who, specifically, wants more prisons and not better schools?  What specifically does the NRA have to do with black gang members on Chicago’s South Side who shot Pendleton with their illegally-obtained guns?

I don’t doubt Mr. Wickham’s sincerity regarding black youth.  But if the obligation to confront this problem belongs to “all of us” as he claims, then it’s our responsibility to point the finger directly at who and what is responsible.

First, some of the cities with the harshest gun laws also have the highest rates of black-on-black gun violence.  This is no coincidence.

Second, Wickham is right: America’s children need to be protected from gun violence, but not necessarily with more gun laws.  Restrictive gun laws punish only those who follow the law, not those who don’t.  This is precisely why we call lawbreakers criminals.  No matter how many (more) laws are created with the intention of reducing gun violence, criminals by definition will disregard these laws, knowing that their potential victims will be increasingly defenseless.

We should consistently and effectively prosecute lawbreakers with stiffer prison sentences, not constrain the law-abiding.

Third, and most importantly, Wickham makes absolutely no mention of the fact that the disproportionate numbers of gun violence that victimizes blacks, committed by other blacks, are from fatherless households.  That’s the second and most crucial issue.

Seventy percent of black children are born out of wedlock, and roughly 60 percent live in homes without fathers.  This sad reality should motivate state and federal governments as well as local communities- especially churches and other religious organizations- to encourage blacks to get and stay married. Children from households where a mother and father are present are less likely to engage in violent behavior, including gangs.

A number of social pathologies have been attributed to those who come from fatherless homes, including juvenile delinquency, youths in prison, youth drug use, high school dropouts, behavioral issues, and trouble dealing with authority.  Nowhere is this more prevalent than among black children.

Mr. Wickham and I agree that gun violence is a detriment to black youth; we simply disagree with whom and what receives blame.  If we want to reduce gun violence, especially in the inner cities, we have to change and redeem the cultural values that foster it.  This begins with recreating and redeeming the black family.

Lee Habeeb’s Thoughts Regarding The Violent Deaths of Black Men

The War Against Black Men By Lee Habeeb


Lee Habeeb is vice president of content at Salem Radio Network and in this commentary, he delivers an honest look at the devastating reality regarding the gun violence currently taking place on the streets of Chicago and the cause of it.  Sadly, this cause doesn’t carry the political weight needed to generate the attention it deserves.  Definitely a must read.

Chicago police at a crime scene, April 8, 2011
Chicago police at a crime scene, April 8, 2011

“The date was January 12, 2013. You probably didn’t hear about this tragedy involving guns and two teenage boys. But this was the headline in the Chicago Tribune: “Boys, 14 and 15, killed in separate shootings Friday.” You didn’t hear about it because such events aren’t news in Chicago. They’re ordinary daily occurrences. As we continue to hear calls for ever-tightening gun laws from the Obama administration, and from states such as New York, it is worth thinking about those headlines in Chicago. And in inner cities all around America, places where strict gun laws are already in place. Places where the weapon of choice isn’t an AR-15 but a semiautomatic handgun — the same kind of weapon most Americans use reasonably, and safely, to secure their most precious assets: their loved ones and their property…”

A Fundamentally Transformed America

Last month, after forty-five months of unemployment near or above eight percent, record numbers of Americans on welfare and receiving food stamps; increasing numbers of Americans receiving federal disability and Medicaid; four straight years of record, trillion-dollar deficits which has led to four years of record-breaking debt levels due to record-breaking borrowing resulting from record-breaking spending, sparking a series of “relief measures” known as quantitative easing, which has devalued the dollar, increased food prices along with consistently high gas and energy prices, all of which (and more) has led to the economic stagnation and market uncertainty that has come to characterize the Obama presidency, roughly 51% of Americans who voted decided that we needed another four years of economic misery.

That some people would vote for a continuation of a government-controlled economy at the expense of the private sector is understandable and unfortunately, expected. Many of those who voted in favor of the continuance of these economic policies have something to gain from the prolongation of Democrat/progressive statism- be it the reception or maintenance of government-extended benefits or retention of power and influence.  That the majority of Americans decidedly voted for the policies which have been a clear disaster and a detriment to resurrecting the American, free-market economic machine is confusing and disheartening.

The day after the election, the stock market fell roughly 300 points.  Several days later, the heads of several major businesses and corporations revealed that they would be laying off hundreds and in some cases, thousands of employees.  Both of these unfortunate realities were said to be precautionary, the result of avoiding what many have termed “taxmageddon,” the significant increase of taxation due to expiring tax rates and as it relates to businesses complying with taxes and regulations associated with the implementation of Obamacare.   This was no coincidence and is but a small sample of what is still to come.

Aside from literally electing to continue the policies that have failed time and again- not only here but also overseas- both contemporarily and in the history of the late nineteenth and twentieth century, the result of the election is informative for a couple of reasons.  First, although President Obama received close to ten million fewer votes than he received in 2008, his re-election- which was predicated on a vision of big government and class warfare- is a triumph of fifty years of liberal miseducation. Only in a society that has forsaken its economic foundation of the free-market and has preferred to teach several generations of publicly-educated children- up to and through college- the benefit of government-induced, economic collectivism could create an environment where a president with such a demonstrably disastrous economic record could be taken serious enough to be re-elected.

The second reason, which is predicated on the first, is that America has now reached a point where it is comfortable making emotionally-reactive decisions at the expense of common sense and reason to the detriment of the country.  This is an essential characteristic of liberalism and the policies birthed from it. Whether Americans chose to re-elect the president because he was black (and many did) or they bought into the rhetoric of class warfare or because they felt entitled to the fruit of someone else’s labor through the immoral course of redistribution, these reasons are based on emotion.  Why?  Because color offers no recourse in determining a person’s ability and punitive taxation at the expense of the wealthy never solves deficit spending or justifies excessive entitlements; it’s also theft.  It may indeed feel good voting for a person based on their skin color and punishing the “rich” through disproportionate taxation, but feeling good at the expense of reason isn’t sound economic policy.

Unfortunately, the fundamental character of America has changed and fifty-one percent feels good about it.