Juan Williams: Race Ought to Be Inescapable Part of Gun Debate

Katie Pavlich

3/28/2013 8:11:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Crazy right winger Juan Williams was on Fox News' Happening Now yesterday to talk about his most recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal where he argues a discussion on race should be a major component of the gun control debate. Williams, who favors an assault weapons ban, high capacity magazine ban and universal background checks, believes the real major problem of gun violence in the black community is too often ignored, calling it an "astonishing" omission. Williams also argues the only real solution to this type of violence and to change the gangster culture is to rebuild the family structure in those communities. The video below is worth your time to watch in full.

One thing you don't hear much about in the discussions of guns: race.

That is an astonishing omission, because race ought to be an inescapable part of the debate. Gun-related violence and murders are concentrated among blacks and Latinos in big cities. Murders with guns are the No. 1 cause of death for African-American men between the ages of 15 and 34. But talking about race in the context of guns would also mean taking on a subject that can't be addressed by passing a law: the family-breakdown issues that lead too many minority children to find social status and power in guns.

President Obama, a hero in black America as the first black president, has been remarkably quiet on this issue until recently. It was only in December, after the mass killing of mostly white school children in Newtown, Conn., by a white man, that the president took the political risk of backing new gun-control legislation.

Young blacks' violent deaths from handguns hadn't moved him to such action. The president spoke publicly about that matter only after the recent gun murder of a 15-year-old girl from his hometown of Chicago who had performed at his second inaugural. "Last year there were 443 murders with firearms in this city and 65 were people under 18," Mr. Obama said. "That's the equivalent of a Newtown every four months. This is not just a gun issue. It is also an issue of the communities that we are building."

I support gun control. But speaking honestly about the combustible mix of race and guns may be more important to stopping the slaughter in minority communities than any new gun-control laws.

Pro-gun advocates have been arguing this point for a long time (and have been called racists for doing so) and have been asking for years why Civil Rights leaders and President Obama have refused to seriously discuss the black-on-black crime problem around the country but specifically in Chicago. Though we disagree on new gun control measures, I applaud Williams for taking a stand on the issue.