In recent Courier articles the Pittsburgh Police, and a report by the Pittsburgh Development Group says that most of the guns being used to commit street crimes are coming from females, friends or family of the person using the illegal gun, or they are stolen guns.
First let me congratulate and thank all the people working hard to curtail Black on Black street violence. Something must be getting through because there was only one homicide last month. Now we must work to move that number down to zero, because I’m sure the family and friends of Joseph Boone feel that one was far too many.
Back to the guns. Street guns are closely linked to drug trafficking; they go hand in hand. One does not go into the multi-trillion dollar business of selling or providing illegal drugs without having something to protect them, which is a gun.
Yes, I said trillion-dollar business. Illegal drugs are probably the biggest business in the United States. Being a capitalistic country, as long as there’s a demand, there will be suppliers. That’s why as soon as one drug dealer is put into jail, two more spring up to take his place. That’s why the competition is fierce out there. Anyone going into this business, must not only look out for the police, but also people looking to either steal what they have, or take over their territory. How do you protect your business when you can’t go to the police? With a gun.
Thus, making the sale of illegal guns a multi-million dollar business. And all the drug traffickers know it. So why would so many risk their lives to sell illegal drugs, but not do the same to sell illegal guns? There are huge profits in both.
The War on Drugs, most believe, started under the Nixon administration during the ’60s but it actually started under the Teddy Roosevelt administration in 1914. Maybe the reason America has lost the War on Drugs is that the police departments and other people who are suppose to be fighting this war, are looking for the wrong people.
The National Rifle Association owns the Republican Party, and has most of the Democratic Party afraid of them, so they can do pretty much what they want. Which means they can make guns that should only be used in the military or police departments available to private citizens as well as fighting common sense laws which say a person must report a stolen or lost gun.
Drug trafficking is probably the biggest business in most urban communities. We are talking about million dollar businesses, thus making gun trafficking the second largest, since they go hand-in-hand. With a high percentage of the people involved having police records that block them from buying a gun legally, this makes it extremely hard to believe they are getting all these guns through female friends or family. Remember, we are talking about hundreds of guns in Pittsburgh and thousands throughout the country. With all their creativity in avoiding the law in selling illegal drugs, wouldn’t there be the same kind of creativity in selling guns to protect the money made off drugs. In most urban cities finding illegal drugs is generally as easy as finding the local grocery store.
Anyone who lives in the Black community knows that most of these people have guns, and the ones that don’t have someone around them that does. I’ve lived in Black communities all my life. I have family, associates, and I know people who are involved in the street life. They have guns, yet I don’t know of any of my female family, friends or associates buying guns for the males.
Think about it. Think of all the people involved in the illegal drug trafficking in urban communities. Now think, most of them have guns. Now think. How many guns are we talking about? Hundreds, and in some cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, D.C., Atlanta, Philadelphia and maybe even Cleveland, we are talking thousands.
Now do you really think all these guns are coming from girlfriends or stolen? Come on.
Because if they are, there have to be stiffer laws passed pertaining to stolen guns. One cannot go to a gun show, purchase 100 to 1,000 guns, and then get them stolen. There has to be a reason the NRA is fighting these laws.
The argument by the Conservative Right is the Constitution says everyone should have the right to bare arms. Let’s get real; do we want everyone walking around like in the Western movies, with a gun hanging on their side? The Constitution was written after the Revolutionary War. There were few to no police departments west of the eastern seaboard. We had marshals, and sheriffs covering hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles. Most people lived in rural areas farming or ranching, so there was no law to call. You had to protect yourself and family against men and animals. This is a different day, everyone should not have a gun, and there should be strict safeguards against everyone getting one.
My question is what are they going to do with this report? If they truly believe this, then something has to be done to protect our citizens against stolen guns. And something must be done to prevent women from buying guns legally, to pass them on for illegal use. There should be some kind of action coming from this report.
But I think this is a big camouflage to hide gun trafficking, where large gun manufacturers and distributors are selling guns to the black market.
And instead of looking for gun traffickers, we are going to make it harder for women to buy guns. There are too many guns on the streets for this report to be correct. Reports have been wrong in the past. We must keep the pressure on to get the guns off the streets. By any means necessary.
(Ulish Carter is managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)