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
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. The_Truth

    All parents want their children to be viewed and accepted as normal. However, too many parents fail to recognize or refuse to admit, when their child is too troubled to be in mainstream society. Their fear is that their child will be forever labeled as mentally unstable..

    January 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bubba

    Of course whites need guns to protect themselves from blacks when they start looting and stealing.

    January 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • bmonteith

      Please exercise your second ammendment rights in a room with cinderblock walls so after it passes through your brain it will just ricochet around a bit.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. LittleQueen

    Ok, I've stayed out of this debate, but I am sick to death of all the craziness, surrounding new gun laws. Yes, children were killed. Yes, people were massacred in a movie theater. Yes, this WILL happen again, regardless of how many gun laws and restrictions are passed. I am not a gun lover, but I do believe in personal responsibility. It is the responsibility of all of us, to take care of each other, especially those who are mentally disturbed. It is the responsibility of everyone, to instill some shred of moral fiber in the up and coming generations. No amount of gun laws that are passed and no amount of blame that is placed on others will ever change those facts. Stop looking to your politicians to make you feel better about how sad you are, every time there is a shooting spree, by demanding that they pass even MORE laws. The more laws your gov't passes, the less free we all are. Be careful of what you ask for, because you just might get it, and then what?

    January 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • The_Truth

      When the these laws dont stop the violence, other new more restrictive laws will be passed . Until eventually a total gun ban emerges. With all firearms are registered, the govt will be able to know who must volunterily surrender their weapons.... once we reach the point of total ban.

      Which is the road we are on. Because its obvious that some people believe more laws are the answer. Unless this tide of opinion is turned....



      January 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Personal responsibility???? If personal responsibility were all that reliable, King David would have never betrayed Uriah, the German people would have never followed Hitler and the Sandy Hook kids would still be alive. It's precisely because personal responsibility is such a weak force with the human race that we live with the necessary evils of the rule of law, restriction of absolute liberty and punitive incarceration.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |