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Millions of African Americans across the United States own firearms, which appeared to be news this week to “The View” co-host Joy Behar. Now some are speaking out after she suggested that loose gun laws would rapidly change “once Black people get guns in this country.”
The remarks on the left-wing gabfest drew applause in the studio audience, but they drew revulsion just about everywhere else.
“What she really shows is her, you know, utter lack of history of her own party’s racist heritage and trying to disarm not just all Americans, but particularly African Americans,” Oklahoma Republican Senate candidate T.W. Shannon told Fox News Digital. “We know that a big part of the NRA movement was to arm African Americans, to protect them from the Democrats that made up the KKK. So I think Joy Behar really owes an apology to African-Americans for this incendiary comment.”
Gun owners frequently carp that the media is barely literate when it comes to guns and the Second Amendment, such as conflating semiautomatics with all “assault weapons”, or in this case, baldly declaring that Blacks in the United States don’t own firearms.
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As recently as 2017, according to Pew, roughly a quarter of African Americans reported owning a gun, and data from the National Sports Shooting Foundation found between 2019 and 2020 there was a 58-percent spike in African Americans buying guns.
Behar made her remarks in response this week to guest co-host Lindsey Granger recounting the story of a Black Connecticut man who constructed his own AR-15 rifle after a nearby home invasion. The most popular style of rifle in the United States, the AR-15 has long been in the crosshairs of liberal gun control enthusiasts such as Behar’s co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who spoke to the camera last week and said, “I don’t want all your guns, I want that AR-15. I want it.”
“I think Joy Behar is just ridiculous,” Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., told Fox News Digital. “I think her comments are stupid. They’re just meant to sensationalize and get clicks. Nobody’s changing gun laws if Black people start owning guns. The truth of the matter is a lot of Black people already own guns, and they’re buying more guns because that’s what’s actually helping them feel safe in their communities, because there’s this radical ideology from the left about police in America is not doing the job.”
It isn’t just conservatives who are annoyed by Behar’s remarks, either.
“The idea that Black people haven’t and don’t own firearms is both ignorant and racist,” said Lara Smith, a spokesperson for The Liberal Gun Club, adding, “most if not all gun control tends to be racially motivated.”
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Maj Toure, the president of Black Guns Matter, responded directly to Behar’s remarks in an Instagram video, saying they were “racist” and “ignorant.” He urged “The View” to invite someone on the show like him to publicly correct her remarks, and he reminded viewers that Whoopi Goldberg was quickly suspended after her widely panned remarks about the Holocaust in February.
“It’s race-based, and it’s completely insensitive and disgusting,” he said, calling Behar’s comments a Freudian slip. “Gun control in America was started to stop Black people from having the means to defend their life.”
Philip Smith, the president of the National African American Gun Association, told MSNBC in April that “we’re not monolithic” when it comes to why Black people own guns. He noted that 15,000 Black women have joined his group since he founded it in 2015.
“Some folks want to competitively shoot,” he said. “Some folks want to have a self-defense strategy at home… Some want to conceal carry when they leave their house. We’re not monolithic, and we’re very, very intuitive in terms of what we want long term as it relates to firearms.”
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Bearing Arms editor Cam Edwards noted the significance of gun ownership to African Americans in the depths of the Jim Crow South to protect themselves.
“Black gun ownership and the struggle for civil rights has gone hand-in-hand, and I find it both appallingly ignorant of history and grossly bigoted for Behar to assert that a rise in Black gun ownership will lead to more support for gun control. Maybe that’s true in her social circles, but it’s certainly not the case among my gun-owning friends and neighbors,” he told Fox News Digital.
“The View” and other liberal media shows and outlets have been quick to call for broad gun reforms in the wake of last month’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, up to and including confiscations of weapons like the AR-15 and repealing the Second Amendment.
With drastic measures like that impossible to pass with Democrats holding slim majorities in Congress, frustration grows with those who want to address gun violence but see the press taking a one-sided stance.
“They don’t reflect the views of law-abiding gun owners. That’s the problem,” Donalds said. “They reflect a viewpoint that’s largely held in urban corridors where gun ownership is taboo… And so I think what we have really found in this whole scenario is the media does a terrible job actually covering it, because their worldview with respect to gun ownership is not ‘in the mainstream.’”
Shannon says fighting “woke media” was part of his job while head of Black Voices for Trump in 2020, and he’s now seeking the Republican nomination in this month’s Oklahoma special election primary to replace retiring Sen. James Inhofe, R. He says not giving “an inch” on the Second Amendment is a key part of his platform.
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“There is a reason that our Constitution recognizes and guarantees the right to bear arms. It is not for hunting. It is to protect your family from an encroaching government and from people who would want to do you harm,” he said. “That is the reason that right exists. And it doesn’t come from the government. The right to bear arms is a God-given right, guaranteed by the Constitution.”
“The View” didn’t respond to a request for comment.