In an op-ed entitled, “My real take on Gun Control,” embattled Fox News sports columnist Jason Whitlock attempted to clarify his thoughts on gun rights, gun owners, and the National Rifle Association.
Whitlock found himself at the center of a controversy after writing a pro-gun control op-ed that NBC broadcaster Bob Costas paraphrased and recapitulated during the ‘Sunday Night Football’ halftime show.
While the opinions Whitlock expressed in the op-ed were divisive, what really landed him in hot water were his subsequent remarks about the NRA during an interview with Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner morning radio show.
“You know, I did not go as far as I’d like to go because my thoughts on the NRA and America’s gun culture – I believe the NRA is the new KKK.”
So, in this latest piece, Whitlock explicitly addressed his incendiary choice of words, seeming to initially blame them on lack of sleep and an inability to articulate the parallels between the two organizations in the limited timeframe he was given.
“I analogized the National Rifle Association to the KKK. Big mistake. My views on the NRA and distaste for the organization cannot be explained at 4:30 a.m. (I live in LA) during a fast-paced interview on a morning radio show,” wrote Whitlock.
Okay, if that’s not what he meant to say, what did he really mean to say by the analogy? Whitlock delves into why the analogy is “appropriate” toward the end of the article:
We can’t see this or even have a discussion about it because the propaganda-political-lobby-machine, the NRA, has hoodwinked America into believing handguns make us safer. The NRA, like the KKK, has brainwashed us through fear and division.
I don’t believe individual NRA members and/or gun owners — and I’m quite aware the NRA has members of every race — are racist. I do believe the NRA capitalizes on and promotes racial fears and ignorance that swings all directions. People of every race are buying guns to “protect” themselves from their own race or other races. It’s an unhealthy arms race. The NRA is powering it by promoting unnecessary and harmful stand-your-ground laws. The message isn’t subtle: Strap up, the other guy is out to get you.
The NRA traffics in fear, division and the seductive power of guns — the same tools used by the KKK. Other than money, I don’t think the NRA has a dog in the race. It just wants all sides armed to the hilt and convinced the other side is ready to shoot. That’s the recipe that left a 17-year-old Jacksonville kid dead over loud music blaring from a car.
It’s a dangerous recipe that I believe is fracturing our imperfect union. Nations as big and powerful as ours die from internal — not external — wounds. We’ve been duped into believing handguns are our salvation, an expression of our American patriotism. They’re just the opposite. Their rising popularity pushes us closer and closer to the brink, closer to a war inspired by racial divisions.
Now, as his been iterated time and time again on Guns.com, the central argument that handguns (or firearms) make us less safe or make society more dangerous is factually untrue.
We know this for two main reasons: first, there is research that shows concealed carry permit holders commit far fewer crimes on average than the general population. Second, there is research that shows a negative relationship between gun ownership (which is increasing) and gun-related violence (which is decreasing).
I’d implore Mr. Whitlock to take a long, hard look at those studies.
However, reading requires time, so assuming Mr. Whitlock doesn’t have the time to examine those studies or their findings, here is a much more rudimentary way of making this point.
Concealed Carry Expansion
Mr. Whitlock, if gun culture (which is fully embraced by the NRA) makes society more dangerous, how do you explain the correlation between those two graphs?