The failures of the gun control brigade have the group searching out fresh political allies. Now, they have set their sights on the #blacklivesmatter movement to help defeat Second Amendment supporters that have successfully stopped the gun control agenda.
The two groups certainly make an odd couple. On the one hand,the gun control brigade tends to focus on mass shootings that claim the lives of white people and much less on inner-city, black-on-black crime in places like Chicago. Writes Politico, “In addition, advocates have usually allied with law enforcement even as they signal to white, suburban gun owners that the government isn’t after their hunting rifles — a tactic that indirectly identifies urban minorities as the problem.”
The #blacklivesmatter folks and the criminal justice reformers, on the other hand, are suspicious of law enforcement and concern themselves mostly with black victims of law enforcement.
“The movement is too white,” said Marc Morial, head of the National Urban League, of the gun control movement. “There’s no input from communities of color.”
But all that is changing now.
Groups aligned with Black Lives Matter have started taking part in weekly conference calls with Washington’s top gun control advocates. A group related to the Center for American Progress has been distributing new talking points to get away from language that they say alienates black communities. And on Tuesday, the Joyce Foundation will hold community meetings in Richmond, Virginia, to discuss the intersection of gun violence, policing and mass incarceration — with gatherings planned for Milwaukee and Stockton, California, in the coming months.
The groups want to take a page out of the NRA playbook, which they claim has supporters calling their elected representatives and urging them to oppose any gun control measures. This isn’t actually the NRA’s doing — gun owners are naturally passionate about protecting their 2nd Amendment rights.
“The success of the gun lobby is that their supporters are passionate,” Morial said. “Not just that they’re numerous, they’re passionate.”
So a new tactic is to get gun control activists to pressure their representatives for gun control legislation. Can you manufacturer this type of commitment to a cause? I don’t think so.
How successful will this potential new union be? It doesn’t look hopeful. At least one person recognizes that these two factions often have cross-purposes.
“What we have seen not work is increasing penalties on people who are found to be in possession of illegal firearms,” said Samuel Sinyangwe, an analyst and data scientist at Campaign Zero, a Black Lives Matter ally that grew out of the Ferguson protests. “Those policies are in the spirit of many of the mandatory minimums that have gotten us to a system of mass incarceration.”
Good luck to both groups!