By Dorothy Leavell | NNPA Newswire


I join the nation in mourning the tragic loss of life in what we now know is one of the largest mass shooting events in U.S. history. As the nation grapples with this latest act of domestic terrorism and investigators seek answers, one thing is certain: Easy access to military-grade weapons and ammunition undoubtedly makes it easier for those who would engage in these acts to carry out their crimes.

What is troubling in this latest round of national discourse is that when there are high-profile incidents involving so-called ‘Black-on-Black’ violence, the cries for gun control ring loud and clear. Yet, when White males are accused of domestic terrorism, suddenly gun control is a forbidden subject.

Those who demand reform are singled out by gun proponents for reportedly politicizing the issue. How many lives must be lost before our nation takes an aggressive look on why we need to sell such weapons to its citizens? I can only ask, what might have happened had not disturbed individuals been able to get their hands on the weapons used in Charleston or Sandy Hook?

Too many lives have been lost, because of the legal and illegal access to weapons that should be reserved for military combat.

When people of color engage in gun violence, there is no debate about stopping the flow of guns in urban and impoverished neighborhoods, but when perpetrators are White and affluent, as it is alleged with Paddock, suddenly the conversation is about anything but gun control. This is a glaring double standard that we can’t ignore.

Dorothy Leavell serves as chairwoman of the NNPA board.

Dorothy Leavell

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