Greenfield: Study Shows Gun Laws Don’t Matter, Race Does

33 people were shot over the weekend in Chicago. Urban gangland violence like that is what real “mass shootings” look like and finally a Journal of the American Medical Association paper addressed the problem by shifting the blame to something it calls “structural racism”.

The JAMA paper, which was quickly picked up by CNN as “Structural Racism may Contribute to Mass Shootings” and by Bloomberg as “Mass Shootings Disproportionately Victimize Black Americans”, acknowledged what conservatives have been saying about gun violence.“There was no discernible association noted in this study between gun laws and MSEs [mass shootings] with other studies showing similar findings,” it noted.The issue wasn’t gun laws, it was race. “The study found that in areas with higher black populations, mass shootings are likelier to occur compared to communities with higher white populations,” CNN reported. “The findings disrupt the nation’s image of mass shootings, which has been shaped by tragedies like the Las Vegas festival shooting and Sandy Hook in which most of the victims were not black,” Bloomberg added.Faced with an immovable statistical object and the unstoppable force of equity, the JAMA paper blames the whole thing on structural racism. The study correlates urban areas and neighborhoods with high concentrations of single-parent households” to mass shootings. It then demonstrates that “structural racism” must be at fault because of “the percentage of the population that is black.” Black people in the study are interchangeable with racism.Such is the state of woke medical science which tries to fix racism with more racism. The study never comes up with any plausible explanation of how structural racism causes people to shoot each other. At one point it claims that “racial residential segregation practices are predictive of various types of shootings” in a country where segregation had been abolished since 1964.The study’s definition of segregation is so senseless that it lists majority black cities like Detroit, a 77% black city, as being 73% segregated, and Baltimore, a 62% black city, as being 64% segregated. A city with a strong black majority and black leaders is racially segregated and its people are suffering from “structural racism”. That’s why there are so many mass shootings.But if segregation is the issue then why does Atlanta, which had actual segregation, have only 18 mass shootings, while Chicago has 141? Southern cities show up as less segregated and less violent in the paper’s data. A history of segregation is clearly not the issue. This isn’t about the past, whether it’s the historical revisionism of the 1619 Project, or any other.If segregation were the issue, crime would have been far higher during segregation than after it.Murders actually shot up after the end of segregation. So did most other kinds of crime. (That’s not to suggest that the end of segregation was responsible. After cratering in the fifties, crime was rising sharply even before the end of segregation along with general social breakdowns in which divorce rates rose sharply as did single parent families, Protestant religious denominations declined, so did various forms of institutional allegiance and public confidence.)Crime did not turn the corner until the middle of the nineties when, by most accounts, gentrification actually pushed black people out of some neighborhoods resulting in what leftists misleadingly described as “resegregation”. It rose sharply again in response to pro-crime policies such as the elimination of bail, the mass release of criminals from prison during the pandemic, and the end of public safety due to the Black Lives Matter movement.Segregation, real or fictional, has nothing to do with crime rates which track more closely with pro-crime policies, whether those of the Warren Court, that began with inventing the right to a lawyer and concluded with banning the death penalty, and with its modern counterparts.The JAMA study however sticks to the central premise of anti-racism which is that any black statistical outlers represent systemic racism in action. Higher black crime statistics can only be interpreted as the consequence of white racism even if it means describing Baltimore, a black city with a black mayor and majority black city council, as a segregated city.Who is segregating Baltimore and Detroit, or for that matter Atlanta and Chicago? Almost all of the cities that the JAMA study lists as the most segregated, including New York City, Buffalo, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco, have black mayors.What magical “structural racism” is forcing black Democrats to “segregate” their own cities and how does that cause gangs to shoot each other in the street? The JAMA study can’t do much except wave its arms toward generic ideas. “Future research is needed to develop more specific and sensitive markers of structural racism,” it claims. Unable to even define any kind of causative factor between what it deems to be structural racism and violence, it concludes, as every study does, that more research is needed to explain its inexplicable premise.Every time the study bumps into a statistic that contradicts its premise, it shrugs awkwardly. Despite repeatedly blaming poverty, it observes that the “higher firearm injury rate persists even after correcting for income levels. In fact, the rate of gun violence among the highest income levels in Philadelphia was 15.8 times higher for black residents than white.”Why are wealthier black people more prone to shooting and being shot? Structural racism.“A potential explanation may be related to housing policies, as a long history of redlining has resulted in a higher density of black residents in certain neighborhoods,” the paper claims.Today, what’s holding back any black person in the “highest income levels” from living anywhere he wants in Philly? Like Rittenhouse Square. Why could Stephen Smith, born a slave who bought his own freedom, started a lumber business and became the wealthiest black man in America in an era of actual slavery, live without fear of crime or anything except racist mobs?The lies of anti-racism lies don’t help black people or anyone else. Gun laws don’t work. Blaming racism doesn’t work. The only thing that works is personal responsibility.The cult of anti-racism insists, as the study does, that everything can be explained by waving at the “normalized and legitimized range of policies, practices, and attitudes that routinely produce cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color.” Rather than the adverse outcomes being the result of choices from within the community, critical race theory chooses to render black people powerless victims by claiming that their problems all come from outside.Structural racism, like guns, doesn’t kill people. Poverty isn’t generational, it’s personal. History doesn’t hold us back, to paraphrase Obama, we are the ones holding ourselves back.

Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in New York City. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a contributing editor at Family Security Matters. Daniel's original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and his blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish Press, Times of Israel, Act for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. He has a column titled Western Front at Israel National News and his op eds have also appeared in the New York Sun, the Jewish Press and at FOX Nation. Daniel was named one of the Jewish Press' Most Worthwhile Blogs from 2006-2011 and his writing has been cited by Rush Limbaugh, Melanie Philips, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Judith Klinghoffer, John Podhoretz, Jeff Jacoby and Michelle Malkin, among others. Daniel's blog,, is a daily must-read.

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