How Will Gun Control Affect The Hood?
2 months ago
The heat is on to limit legal access to assault weapons, but what about illegal ones?
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, a Camden, N.J., gun buy back effort turned up just over 1,000 guns. Camden's population hovers around 77,000 people and isn't even the 10th biggest city in the state. So imagine how many other illegal guns are floating around in cities twice its size.
According to a report by ABC News in 2007, illegal guns aren't hard to come by. People who participate in the trade usually visit states where gun laws are lax, buying up as many as they can, taking them to states where it's hard to get a legal one and selling them at marked-up prices. In some cases, the police are in on the trade too.
Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that cities with the most gun deaths almost always have a equally high poverty or unemployment rates [PDF]; two ingredients that usually brew an environment where people feel a gun is needed, legal or illegal, to protect themselves.
Factoring in price also makes illegal guns more attractive in poorer neighborhoods, with legal guns running upward of $500 or more.
In an interview earlier this year with Loop 21, a black NRA member and founder of Legally Armed in Detroit, Rick Ector, insisted that gun control of any kind would probably do more harm than good in black and poor neighborhoods.
“When you look at the U.S. as a whole, gun control laws are the most strict and severe in cities where black people are concentrated,” he said. “Outside of those areas, gun laws are nowhere as strict.”
He continued, "Here’s what you have when you have areas with strict gun control: you have criminals in those communities, who are going to have firearms, legal or not,” says Ector. “So what happens is, people who can legally have guns, but don’t, are in a sense held hostage by the people with illegal guns. What we need to do is strike down these gun laws and allow law abiding people to defend [themselves]."
So would stricter gun control laws have an effect in the hood? As of now, it's unclear.