Leah Barkoukis

That MSNBC host would be the one and only Touré who was responding to a section in Wayne LaPierre’s recent article on The Daily Caller. The NRA chief was discussing the various reasons law-abiding citizens need a firearm, including after a natural disaster.

 “After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all.”

And just like that, Touré’s racism radar went off.

“Perhaps we know Wayne LaPierre is wrong about good guys and bad guys and guns. I’m sure many of us find him hard to trust given his obvious use of racial demonization to spread fear that will lead to buying guns. In his recent editorial in the Daily Caller, he spoke of supposedly rampant crime and murder in some place he called South Brooklyn in the days after Hurricane Sandy. Put aside that no reporting bears that out, I live in Brooklyn, and I have for a long time, and there is no place referred to as South Brooklyn. But I think it's safe to say that when he says that, much of the country envisions a place clogged with black people.

Now if Adam Lanza had walked into a black public school in this mythical South Brooklyn or in the Southside of Chicago, we would probably not be having a sustained national conversation about guns.Adam just smushed the pain of the gun epidemic in America's face, but black people have been living with that pain for so long we're numb to it. We’re rightly outraged by interracial killings, but black on black crime is a far more prevalent problem.”

He does have a point though. If Adam Lanza, a white male, had walked into a black public school and massacred 26 children and teachers, we’d be talking about racism. But that would be only part of the national conversation. Many have argued the reason the president’s real push for gun control came after Sandy Hook rather than Aurora is because it was in his second term. While this may be true, I’d also argue the public’s outrage and many people’s emotional draw toward gun control stems from the fact that the majority of victims were innocent children. Moreover, they were victimized in an elementary school--one of the safest places young people can be. This has nothing to do with race. 

That being said, however, black on black crime is a far more prevalent problem—so in that sense, Touré’s right. If we are to stick with his example of the Southside of Chicago though, we can see that more gun control isn’t the answer. Guns are an easy target for progressives but it’s time people stop overlooking the many reasons people choose to the pull the trigger. 

As a side note, NewsBusters’ Noel Sheppard points out there really is such a thing as South Brooklyn and he just happened to find a HuffPo article titled, “Hurricane Sandy Looting, Fights Plague South Brooklyn." Hmm.

"It's getting dark, and it's real dangerous out here -- that's why there's a cop on every block," one NYPD officer told HuffPost Crime. "You could get your stuff stolen." [...]

Dena Wells, 39, a resident of Ocean Towers, had had enough after watching the melee.

"People are turning on each other -- they're attacking each other," she said, shaking her head. "Even when there's no disaster, this building is disastrous. But after the hurricane, it just got crazy."

Don't expect an apology from Touré. 


Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Managing Editor at Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography