January 16th, 2013
02:49 PM ET

Opinion: America's gun problem is not a race problem

Editor's note: David Frum, a CNN contributor, is a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He is the author of eight books, including a new novel, "Patriots," and a post-election e-book, "Why Romney Lost." Frum was a special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002.

By David Frum, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - Massacres such as Newtown are horrifying and heart-rending. They are also nothing like the typical American gun murder.

The typical murder has one victim, not many. The typical murder is committed with a handgun, not a rifle. And in the typical murder, both the perpetrator and the victim are young black men. Blacks are six times as likely as whites to be the victim of a homicide. Blacks are seven times as likely to commit a homicide.

The horrifying toll of gun violence on black America explains why black Americans are so much more likely than whites to favor gun control.

Conversely, fears of being victimized by violence explain why so many white Americans - especially older and more conservative white Americans - insist on the right to bear arms in self-protection. They see gun violence as something that impinges on them from the outside. They don't blame guns for gun violence. They blame a particular subset of the population. And they don't see why they should lose their right because some subset of the population abuses theirs.

Read Frum's full column

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Filed under: Black in America • Race • What we think
Will San Francisco name airport after slain gay icon Harvey Milk?
San Francisco voters may get the opportunity to rename their airport after slain politician and civil rights activist Harvey Milk.
January 16th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

Will San Francisco name airport after slain gay icon Harvey Milk?

By Katia Hetter, CNN

(CNN) - "Boarding for Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport."

Civil rights activist Stuart Milk can imagine the impact of that airport announcement on the scared young people he's met in the United Arab Emirates and other countries around the world, where gay people live in fear for their lives.

Stuart Milk's uncle Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor, was one of the first openly gay politicians in the United States when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were killed by former supervisor Dan White at City Hall in 1978.

"San Francisco has 9 million international passengers and about 40 million passengers total passing through annually, and (this name change) sends an important message of societal change," said Stuart Milk, co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation.

The name change could become a reality if a San Francisco lawmaker has his way.

David Campos, an openly gay Latino member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, plans to introduce legislation Tuesday to make naming the city's airport after Milk possible.

The supervisor sees the likelihood of U.S. Supreme Court rulings later this year on cases getting at "the core of whether or not members of the LGBT community will have equal treatment under the law" as a prime time to initiate the tribute to Milk.

Read the full story

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Filed under: History • How we live • Sexual orientation