Dr. John Lott appeared on Fox News earlier this month to discuss Michael Bloomberg’s controversial remarks about minorities and homicides.
At an event in Aspen, Colorado, in February 2015, Bloomberg said, “95 percent of your murders — murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops.”
“They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York. That’s true in virtually every city…And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them,” he continued.
That statement is problematic because (a) it is factually incorrect and (b) it perpetuates the stereotype that most minorities are inherently violent people.
As Lott explained in a Fox News op-ed, “According to the FBI data, among murderers whose race we knew, almost 44 percent of murderers were white. Unfortunately, the FBI doesn’t break down the Hispanic murderers by race, but even if we assume all Hispanic murderers were white, at least 23 percent of murderers were non-Hispanic whites. We don’t know the race of all murderers, but even if one assumes that all murderers whose race isn’t identified are minorities, about 31 percent of murderers were white.”
Indiscriminately throwing young minorities against the wall isn’t going to solve the issue of violence. What it will do, however, is terrorize a lot of responsible citizens while giving them a negative impression of law enforcement in the process.
We do know that a small number of bad actors are ultimately responsible for the majority of crime. It’s hard to quantify precisely, but some estimates suggest that half of all crime is committed by 5-8 percent of the population. What’s also true is that authorities usually have a good idea who these perps are even though they may not have the evidence to arrest and prosecute them.
If we as a society are going to target anyone to disarm, it should be the known criminals and repeat offenders who have through some failure (or limitation) in our justice system slipped through the cracks and are back out on the streets. Random citizens who look a certain way or live in a particular neighborhood should not be harassed simply because they fit a certain racially-biased profile.
What’s more, and Lott mentions this as well, is that minorities are more likely to be victims of violent crime. As a result, they are the ones who benefit the most from permissive concealed carry laws.
We’ve witnessed this recently in Detroit where the local police chief has openly encouraged residents to carry concealed firearms. Murders are their lowest in 50 years and justifiable homicide rates are 25 times the national average!
Turns out that empowering citizens to exercise their right to keep and bear arms is an effective way to combat violent criminals. When we can’t put violent offenders behind bars or when we fail to disarm them on the streets, the next best thing, if not the best thing, is to ensure good guys have the tools they need to defend themselves and their loved ones from those that might do them harm.
Sadly, presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg does not see it that way. He has made it his mission to chill the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens, thus making us more vulnerable to violent crime.