Do Some Gun Control Laws Contribute To Mass Incarceration?

I’m about to go off the deep end, so in the interest of full disclosure before proceeding to the diving board:

  • I’m a middle-aged, heterosexual white male.
  • I’m an owner of firearms, and am generally in favor of gun ownership.
  • I’m currently a member of the NRA. (My dad purchased a membership for me without asking. If he’d asked, I would’ve told him emphatically not to buy me in. Right now I’m letting my membership lapse. I should probably be more proactive in ditching that group.)

It was another perfect day on Twitter where a set of topically-related but user-unrelated tweets converged in my mind to produce a theory that borders on the conspiratorial, but seems to tie in to recent Twitter conversations and at least one book I’ve read recently. (The book, mentioned in a prior post, is The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander. Allow me to state again, it’s a must-read.) I’ll start with Kim Moore, who posted a series of brilliantly informative tweets about how 29 years ago Philadelphia, PA police attacked and quite literally bombed the communal home of an organization called MOVE:

Read her timeline from that tweet on for more. A good overview is also available at GlobalGrind.

Shortly thereafter Rebecca A-P posted a short series of tweets about how social and economic injustice forces young men of color into the military.

Dig hard enough and you’ll find a few replies I wrote in support of her viewpoint.

Within the last couple of hours Max Blumenthal started live-tweeting from an event where candidates in the race to be mayor of Newark, NJ are speaking. One of his tweets was:

As soon as I read this, the final puzzle piece landed and revealed a disturbing picture to me. In a nation where mass incarceration is in effect, the ruling elite don’t care about the sort of gun control that might actually reduce crime/violence. What they do want are laws which further criminalize gun possession at the level of the urban street, precisely where related policies like Stop And Frisk are focused. And that’s hardly the limit of it. Consider the story of Keith Pantaleon, an upstanding young man who, after moving to Jersey City, NJ, was unjustly arrested for the crime of legally owning a firearm while black.

Though at a philosophical level I’m opposed to the sorts of gun control President Obama and associated democrats claim to want to implement, their “failure” to advance a more robust gun control agenda in the wake of the recent school shootings now seems to me much more sinister. The excuse presented to the public of a lack of political capacity to successfully press the issue now seems not merely hypocritical, but actively complicit. The Powers That Be, whether left, right or corporate, share under the surface an agenda that does not include sensible laws relating to gun control or ownership, but does include the kind of laws that will contribute to a perpetuation of our state of mass incarceration. I’ve long thought the gun control issue was one composed largely of hyperbolic theatrics on both “sides”. I’m even more convinced of this now.

If you’ve gotten this far, I hope you’ll consider commenting. It’s not my inclination to try to sell a post, but I think it important to get feedback on this, whether affirming or challenging. (Admittedly, I would just as soon not have the traditional Internet Gun Control Debate roll through this post. I hope people will be circumspect even in disagreement, and not turn this into the usual fare.) Thanks in advance for your potential contribution.

2 thoughts on “Do Some Gun Control Laws Contribute To Mass Incarceration?

  1. I think you are correct in many of your statements; it is focused in the wrong direction and it is focused on the control.
    But that is because the government does not want to tackle the causes of violent crime; just the tool.

    We need to focus on employment, education, family, population density, ending the war on Some drugs etc. Those actions, not ‘gun control’ laws, will reduce deaths and injuries.
    What i think many people miss about the nature of the current and proposed gun control laws is how it increases the power of the government in controlling people’s lives and behavior. It isn’t enough that criminal use of a firearm can be punished; it isn’t enough that some areas effectively prohibit the right to “keep and bear” arms; nope, the government wants the power to stop anyone they think MIGHT be a threat. That is why ‘stop & frisk’ is implemented.
    Not only to do the street level control but to condition people to the idea that ‘for your own safety, we have to search you’.

    No thanks. I’ll look after my safety.

  2. Pingback: Taking Exception to Some Assertions Regarding Firearms and Self-Defense | The Ubiquity Principle

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