Last week, James Madison of the website The Maryland Minute Men posted this recently-viral video of a 15-year-old high school student “[leaving] anti-gun politicians speechless.”
This Maryland State Rifle Team member cites commonly-used arguments like the fact that Chicago (a city with some of the strictest gun-control laws in the U.S.) has a high gun-violence rate or the fact that many murders are committed with hand guns (not rifles). She also notes that in China, on the same day as the Sandy Hook shooting, a man stabbed 23 people, and that banning rifles will therefore not solve our violence problems.
But this young rifle-owner then provides an argument that I had not yet heard: “The majority of gun violence occurs in low-income neighborhoods. Raising the overall cost of owning a gun through higher licensing and registration fees denies the ability of low-income individuals to protect their self against the crime focused in the areas they live in.”
Crime, as stated above, is higher in poorer areas and using the argument that “Republicans want to protect the poor from criminals,” is one that is certain to appeal to high-crime, poor, urban areas — areas where Republicans have historically lost.
From a political perspective, this is the argument that Second Amendment advocates need to be making. The right has always hard time appealing to the poor (namely because they fight against welfare, Medicaid, housing subsidies etc.) and finally, here exists an argument that the poor can (and should) support.
From a human perspective, maybe conservatives are right. Maybe it is the case that arming the citizenry (the poor included) will decrease gun violence in typically high-crime areas.
At least one group seems to want to test this theory. The “Armed Citizen Project” has set out to give guns to the poor (after a background check has been performed) to help them to protect themselves.
I’m sure that this young lady isn’t the first to make the argument that gun rights can be used to protect the poor, and I’m sure that she won’t be the last. But the argument used in this recently viral video is one that should not be ignored, and we are sure to see it in the months to come as the battle over guns wages on.