There is a culture of violence that is threatening to destroy black America. Young black males, who constitute less than half of the total population, are responsible for half the violent crime in this country. In 1992, the violent crime rate for blacks was nearly ten times the average for white males the same age. Violence is also eroding the black family unit. 45% of all spousal homicides in this country are attributed to blacks, despite the fact that they represent only 13% of the population. One national study reported that "severe parent-to-child violence was 114 percent greater in black families than in white families. At the same time, out of wedlock birthrate amongst black Americans has increased nearly six fold over the last 35 years. This cycle of violence and deteriorating family values is one of the greatest scourges facing black America today. As noted author and political science professor, James Clark observed, "as the 20th century comes to a close, more black males will be incarcerated in prison than go to college."
There are many reasons for these self inflicted wounds: deteriorating family values, the failure of government housing programs, overcrowding in poor urban centers, underfunded public schools, and an inner-city subculture that glorifies violence and misogyny and derides conventional family values. One thing is clear: This must change.
So how does the liberal establishment and our civil rights leaders respond to the violence that is destroying our communities? Often they blame the guns. Sometimes they blame the gun manufacturers. Rarely though, do they blame the ones pulling the trigger.
For example, in 1999 the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus filed a lawsuit against the gun manufacturers in this country, charging that their negligent marketing practices contributed to the high rate of gun violence in black communities. The lawsuit really struck a nerve. Everyone began talking about how the gun manufacturers were practicing a form of prejudice, by willingly empowering black thugs in black communities. All across the country, people launched rallies in support of the suit. Newspapers studded their copy with quotes from people who had watched their friends or relatives die crumpled and bleeding on the sidewalk from stray bullets. Everyone was in agreement that gun violence was a source of real concern in the community.
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