Jan 24, 2013
Do we really want to have an honest debate about race?
Henry Percy exposes this question with Fareed Zakaria in ’Gun Violence in America Is Off the Chart’ in American Thinker, 1/14/13.
Shortly after being sworn in as Attorney General, Eric Holder told an interviewer that the US is “essentially a nation of cowards … we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial.” I don’t know if Mr. Holder is an “average American,” but here’s a small contribution to the national dialogue on “things racial” from the Bureau of Justice Statistics:
In 2008, the homicide victimization rate for blacks (19.6 homicides per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for whites (3.3 homicides per 100,000) … the offending rate for blacks (24.7 offenders per 100,000) was 7 times higher than the rate for whites (3.4 offenders per 100,000).
Some would say that reciting this fact is racist. It would be if I insisted the cause of this higher level of violence is race based, but it is not. This very uncomfortable fact underlies that the focus on gun violence is urban and cultural in its origins. High levels of gun ownership in less urban locations have little correlation with violent crime. It is easy to ban something. It is much harder to change culture. But it is more effective.