An Eye-Opening Graphic

     I stole this from Ragin’ Dave at Peace or Freedom:

     Says a lot, doesn’t it? But there’s a larger tale to tell, and tell it I shall.

     Have you ever heard the term “Saturday-night special?” I’d bet most of our Gentle Readers have. It’s a derogatory phrase that refers to inexpensive handguns. It’s usually combined with the proposition that whatever the law thinks of other firearms, those cheap guns should be banned.

     So far, not really news to most Gentle Readers. But what’s probably news is the origin of the phrase. It’s closely tied to another phrase: this one no longer in general circulation because what it refers to doesn’t happen anymore: Niggertown Saturday night. That…event was once a feature of Jim Crow states. Lowlife whites would arm themselves, journey to where blacks lived nearby, and terrorize the neighborhood. Happily, that practice has died out.

     The phrase “Saturday-night special” referred to the weapons the local blacks would acquire, to be wielded in their defense on such a Saturday night. Those inexpensive handguns, affordable by even the poorest blacks, were a large part of the motivation for some of the earliest gun control statutes. They leveled the playing field, such that those who sought to terrorize them had to expect return fire. The lowlifes didn’t like that. Neither did the political powers of their day, who were willing to overlook a little Saturday-night fun, but not the death or maiming of their youngsters.

     Well, as the graphic above indicates, the times have changed, and we’ve changed with them. But that’s not an argument for gun control of any variety. The states that have the most permissive gun laws have the least amount of violent crime per capita. Rather, it suggests that the investigation, prosecution, and overall deterrence of violent crime is still racially biased. It’s just that the vector of that bias has reversed direction – and now that firearms are available to persons of all races, the cohort with the greater inclination toward aggression and lawlessness dominates the statistics.

     Food for thought.