Notre Dame prof. calls permissive gun laws a 'manifestation of racism’

A professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame published an op-ed in The New York Times linking lenient gun laws in America to racism.

Prof. Gary Gutting argued “permissive gun laws are a manifestation of racism” and invoked “hatred of racism” as a motivation for the gun control movement. According to Gutting, high exposure to guns in largely poor black neighborhoods along with low restrictions on gun ownership permeates a culture of racism.

Gutting, in an effort to rouse his gun control allies, posits racism as the motivational force behind a successful gun control campaign. Racism, in Gutting’s argument, will give the gun control movement “the vigor and persistence needed” to overcome gun lobbyists.

“If we fail to oppose with equal passion and vigor the relentless political pressure of (mostly white) gun advocates, we force a large number of black citizens to live with the constant threat of gun violence. We’re in effect letting the Second Amendment trump the Fourteenth Amendment, implicitly preferring the right of gun ownership to the right of black people to live free from fear,” Gutting argues.

Gutting supports his argument with a Gallup poll that shows blacks favor stricter gun control laws considerably more than whites. However, the majority of the sample group in the Gallup poll Gutting links to does not think universal background checks would be conducive to fewer mass shootings, and agrees America would be safer if more Americans were allowed to carry concealed weapons.

So hopeless for the future of gun lobbyists, Gutting calls any attempt at “arguing against the claims of the gun lobby” an obvious “waste of time.”

“The case for action is overwhelming, but there’s no chance of convincing the entrenched minority who are so personally (or financially) invested in gun ownership,” he adds.

After clearly stating “his purpose is not to continue arguing with the gun lobby,” Gutting concludes his article by anticipating a couple of popular gun lobbyist arguments.

“The gun lobby, of course, will say that gun control laws won’t help. Some will also dismiss gun violence as a ‘black problem’ since it’s often a matter of blacks attacking other blacks,” Gutting writes before once again stating he is “not concerned with refuting gun-lobby arguments.”

Gutting proceeds to argue that “it’s morally vacant to say it’s their problem,” referring to the argument that gun violence is often a result of black-on-black crime. Gutting then concludes his op-ed by dismissing the argument that radical gun control measures are the work of oppressive tyrants as “passionate fantasy.”

“Hatred of racism should be a major motivation for the gun control movement,” he writes. “This will give it the vigor and persistence needed to overcome the gun lobby’s passionate fantasy that citizens with guns protect us from tyranny.”

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