One summer night, I was watching Dave Chappelle’s comedy special on Netflix called “Sticks and Stones” and he shared an outrageous concept on what he believes needs to be done for guns to be more controlled and laws to be stricter in the United States. The idea is that all black people would be registered to carry a gun. According to him, that way the government will pay more attention to the gun epidemic and change will really start to happen. I was reflecting upon the statement as reality and as funny as the joke was, it was a well-thought and logical idea that I believe should be turned into a reality.
What would happen if all black people were enabled to be registered to carry a firearm? It would be similar to what happened when the Black Panther protested on the steps of the California state house armed with .357 Magnums, 12 – gauge shotguns, and .45- caliber pistols according to an article titled, “The NRA Supported Gun Control When the Black Panthers had the Weapons.” This frightened many politicians that helped pass the Mulford Act, a state bill that prohibited the open carry of loaded firearms. This bill was one of the strictest gun laws in America and helped jumpstart a series of gun control restrictions. They included laws such as the Gun Control Act of 1968 that provided for improved restrictions for licensing and inspections of gun dealers. This was targeted to African Americans at the time and racial tensions between both races, white and black, contributes to why gun control laws got stricter.
Unfortunately, this is what must be done for the government to pay attention to this social problem today. It baffles me that after an abundance of school shootings by white kids over the years in America, the government still won’t make gun control laws stricter..In my opinion, it just means that people still harbor a high level of fear from a black person compared to a white person.
The reason why is because black people are stereotyped to be more violent than white people due to the media. For example, section 8 housing comprise of mostly minorities who are perceived as violent criminals. A reason why some could support that stereotype is to provide for their families since they are poor. In addition, my understanding of this stereotype comes from the Black Panthers being involved in violent encounters with the police. To clarify my argument, there have been many instances of black people being violent in the United States which has reinforced the stereotype of them. On the other hand, there have also been numerous instances of white people being violent in the history of America such as the Sandy Hook shooting. The difference between them stems from the notion of black people being violent since slavery. It has instilled fear and distrust in white people because they look different.
Some of the reason behind why black people may become violent is because they feel threatened from the social injustices going on in America and may feel the need to protect and provide for themselves and their families. Some circumstances of desperation may leave no choice but to rob a store for food or protection. For instance, a founder of the Black Panther Party, Huey Newton, allegedly killed Oakland officer, John Frey, in 1967 as they were portrayed as a gang. When I think of a gang, I think of a group of people that are comprised of minorities who are violent. The reason why I have this perception is because the media I have watched has a recurring depiction of a gang such as the proclaimed bloods and crips in Los Angeles.
Dave Chapelle’s comedy special on Netflix called “Stick and Stones” prompt me to call for all black people in the United States to be registered to carry a gun. The reason why is because it will coerce the government in paying more attention on the gun control situation. Fortunately, this has been proven to have a significant impact when The Black Panther group frightened the government in passing better gun control laws in the past. History will have to repeat itself by black people using their stereotype of being violent as an advantage to receive attention and demand the betterment of the country’s safety.