Walter E. Williams
Recommend this article

Last year, among the nation's 10 largest cities, Philadelphia had the highest murder rate with 406 victims. This year could easily top last year's with 240 murders so far.

Other cities such as Baltimore, Detroit and Washington, D.C., with large black populations, experience the nation's highest rates of murder and violent crime. This high murder rate is, and has been, predominantly a black problem.

According to Bureau of Justice statistics, between 1976 and 2005, blacks, while 13 percent of the population, committed over 52 percent of the nation's homicides and were 46 percent of the homicide victims. Ninety-four percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer.

Blacks are not only the major victims of homicide; blacks suffer high rates of all categories of serious violent crime, and another black is most often the perpetrator.

Liberals and their political allies say the problem is the easy accessibility of guns and greater gun control is the solution. That has to be nonsense. Guns do not commit crimes; people do.

Up through 1979, the FBI reported homicide arrests sorted by racial breakdowns that included Japanese. Between 1976 and 1978, 21 of 48,695 arrests for murder and non-negligent manslaughter were Japanese-Americans. That translates to an annual murder rate of 1 per 100,000 of the Japanese-American population. Would anyone advance the argument that the reason why homicide is virtually nonexistent among Japanese-Americans is because they can't find guns?

The high victimization rate experienced by the overwhelmingly law-abiding black community is mostly the result of predators not having to pay a heavy enough price for their behavior. They benefit from all kinds of asinine excuses, such as poverty, racial discrimination and few employment opportunities.

During the 1940s and '50s, I grew up in North Philadelphia where many of today's murders occur. It was a time when blacks were much poorer, there was far more racial discrimination, and fewer employment opportunities and other opportunities for upward socioeconomic mobility were available. There was nowhere near the level of crime and wanton destruction that exists today. Behavior accepted today wasn't accepted then by either black adults or policemen.

Recommend this article

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Walter Williams' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.