Sunday, September 9, 2012

Genocide By Another Name

Gun violence is probably the most debated issue in the United States. There are numerous calls and petitions for both the right to carry arms as a deterrent to street urban violence, and more strict gun control laws that would prevent "straw gun" purchases. 

For Black America, the fear of gun violence is common place. I would seriously doubt if any Black person that lives in a major city has not personally (or a family member or friend) had  a confrontation with a handgun, either as a victim, or a witness . . . maybe even as a perpetrator. Gun violence in Chicago has fractured communities like never before, to the point where we have become immune and accepting of violence being part of urban culture. 

While some activists correctly place the blame on gangs, drugs, and the economic environment, for the rise in gun violence, we must also look at public policy that has allowed gun manufacturers and merchants to create a Wal-Mart and eBay climate for gun distribution: buy in bulk for more savings, and if you do not qualify, buy through a third party. At some point, we must realize that Black and Latino communities are under siege from gun policies that contribute to an escalating homicide rate and renders our streets unsafe. We are looking at the extermination of a young generation that will know guns better than mathematics. It's time we change public policy to suppress the sales and distribution of handguns and assault weapons, and begin to place more emphasis on deterrents to violence through peaceful means. It is hard to imagine that more guns in the hands of "law-biding citizens" will deter gun violence. The end result of our current approach is a dead community and a dead generation.

In an effort to curb gun violence in our community we have joined with the Faith Community of  St. Sabina, as well as other faith based and community organizations, to demand common sense gun legislation be passed. Please take a few moments to sign this petition to Governor Quinn asking support for legislation that requires handguns be titled like automobiles, and that prohibits the purchase and possession of military style assault weapons. Find out more about this interfaith effort by visiting

Kevin Tyson
Trinity UCC Justice Watch

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