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Opinion: Columnists

Star Parker: Preserve gun rights, save black lives

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On Friday, my organization, CURE, sponsored a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington to bring attention to the importance of rigorously defending the right of all Americans, guaranteed under the Second Amendment of our Constitution, to own a gun.

Our event provided a forum for black leaders from the world of politics and public policy in Washington, from the business community, from academia and from the clergy, to express their deep concern about efforts currently underway to limit our God-given and constitutional individual right of self-defense.

Why would an organization like CURE, whose mission focuses on the relevance of American values of faith and freedom to minorities, be so concerned about guns? Because, as conservative black Americans, we know that the soul of America is kept alive with the free flow of the oxygen of freedom. And we know that when that flow is interrupted in any way, the people that suffer first and most are blacks.

New gun control initiatives coming from our president and from Democrats in Congress are an attempt to expand the power of government and limit the freedom of citizens in response to a highly publicized tragedy. This is not surprising. There is no problem facing America today that liberals do not believe should be solved by more government and less freedom. And liberals are consistent and predictable in their indifference to facts and experience that show whenever they do succeed in growing government and limiting freedom, they make matters worse, not better.

A substantial body of research already shows that gun controls empower criminals and weaken law-abiding citizens.

As John Lott, former chief economist of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "With just a single exception, the attack in Tucson last year, every public shooting in the U.S. in which three or more people have been killed since at least 1950 have occurred in a place where people are not allowed to carry their own firearms."

Regarding black reality, blacks are the least armed, least protected and defended and the most assaulted citizens in our country.

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 42 percent of whites and 16 percent of blacks say they have a pistol or rifle at home. And according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for the period between 1980 and 2008, "Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and eight times more likely to commit a homicide."

Law-abiding black citizens live under siege in crime-ridden urban centers. Somehow, they are supposed to buy the logic that stripping down the freedoms of those who do obey the law, and giving more power to those in law enforcement -- who are already charged with maintaining order but don't -- will make them better off.

In a Pew Research Center survey in 2009, 46 percent of whites compared with 24 percent of blacks said they have a "great deal" of confidence in the local police to enforce the law.

Can anyone whom God has blessed with a brain actually think that universal background checks will keep guns out of the hands of gang thugs? Or that these same checks, in which some past legal infraction might nullify a gun application, will not result in even fewer urban law-abiding blacks obtaining a weapon for protection?

Gun control initiates are just another pretend big government "answer" that will not only fail to solve the problem, but will actually make it worse. They will only mask the issues that really need attention: a culture that devalues personal responsibility, that fosters government dependence, that trashes traditional understanding of sex, marriage and family, and that bans traditional values from our public schools and our public life.

Americans of all backgrounds must fight yet another misguided liberal attempt to undermine our personal freedom and sap the vitality of our nation.

Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. She can be reached at urbancure.org.

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Star Parker

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The Washington Examiner