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Gun Bans Hurt Black Families… 20 Years from Now Will Marc Lamont Hill be a Conservative?

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Posted on July 10 2010 11:00 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here

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We may have challenged hip-hop professor and former paid Fox News contributor Marc Lamont Hill quite a bit but I’m still hopeful for him. For some people it just takes a bit longer to get Right in the head.

Consider this encouraging response he published at The Loop 21 to the recent pro-gun rights Supreme Court decision:

As someone deeply concerned with violence prevention, it is tempting to echo the angry sentiments of mainstream American liberals, who regard the latest decision as a major step backward. For them, gun ownership is an expendable rather than inalienable right, one that is worth ceding in exchange for a more peaceful society.  While I sympathize with such a desire, I find the cost of the ticket too high.

As citizens of the United States, we live in a nation founded on revolutionary violence and sustained through a range of violent practices. It was this belief in the redemptive possibilities of violence that informed the creation of the Second Amendment, which allows citizens to keep and bear arms to prevent the creation of an unjust, anti-democratic, or outright tyrannical government. In other words, American democracy is underwritten by the possibility that everyday citizens can fight back if the government no longer acts in the interest of freedom and justice. For Blacks, who have never received the full protection of the State, such a right must be viewed as an indispensable nonnegotiable component of complete citizenship.

Gun bans against public housing residents, expressly designed to prevent violent crime, have served to disarm poor Blacks almost exclusively. While rural white communities have done little to encroach upon the gun possession rights of citizens, majority-Black urban centers like Washington, D.C. and Chicago have imposed draconian anti-gun laws on the community. Regardless of intent, these laws have a clear and disproportionate impact on poor people of color.

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