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The racial politics of gun control

Washington (CNN)When Americans talk about guns, what's arguably most interesting isn't what we say about the devices themselves. It's what we betray about whose voices -- and lives -- matter when it comes to our country's virulent gun culture.
Indeed, the heartbreaking permanence of the school shooting reality is undeniable when watching Sandy Hook Promise's wrenching new back-to-school PSA, which forces viewers to come to grips with present-day America for school children.
The heightened concern over mass shootings in schools is something Dave Chappelle satirizes in his controversial new Netflix stand-up special that highlights a harsh truth about America's relationship with gun control.
One of its few moments of insight arrives during the comic's discussion of gun violence. In particular, he subtly gets at a key trend: how much the messaging on gun regulation, on the whole, has changed in recent decades.

"Shooting up schools is a white kid's game. I hated school, too. It never occurred to me -- kill everybody in school? It's f***ing crazy," Chappelle says.
Decades ago, when Congress actually passed an assault weapons ban (that, notably, was allowed to expire in 2004), the broad concern was around guns in the hands of minorities -- black Americans, specifically. Our modern Congress finds itself paralyzed now that we're increasingly facing a different dimension of the issue: white people's guns and the consequences of their contested rights to have them.
Understanding this shift requires looking back at the social and political pieties that helped to spur America's contemporary gun-rights movement. Consider how fear of the Black Panthers motivated conservative politicians -- even the National Rifle Association -- to push for stricter gun control in the 1960s. The Panthers, frustrated by the country's repeated failure to protect its black citizens, advocated for black self-defense via gun ownership and "copwatching."
To no one's surprise, the backlash against this vision of protection was swift. In 1967, in response to the Panthers' activities, then-Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford Act, named after Republican Assemblyman Don Mulford and which repealed a California law that permitted people to carry loaded firearms in public.
Of the bill, Reagan said later that it'd "work no hardship on the honest citizen." (This citizen, we can assume, was white.)
Sandy Hook Promise's chilling back-to-school PSA hopes to prevent mass shootings
Sandy Hook Promise's chilling back-to-school PSA hopes to prevent mass shootings
Crucially, while unthinkable today, the NRA's position on gun regulation until the late '70s -- when more and more (white) people began viewing guns as a means of protecting themselves and their status -- was noticeably divorced from Second Amendment arguments, as Adam Winkler, a professor at the UCLA School of Law, charts.
How distant all that seems now.
These days, despite a bit of a resurgence in black gun ownership, the face of the gun-rights advocate has changed -- rural white conservatives are now among the most vocal proponents.
Take, for instance, Missouri, where, in the past two decades, "an increasingly conservative and pro-gun legislature and citizenry had relaxed limitations governing practically every aspect of buying, owning, and carrying firearms in the state," writes Jonathan M. Metzl, a professor of sociology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, in his new book, "Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland."
Compare this to the rhetoric of the '90s, when, in signing what became the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (which contained the aforementioned Federal Assault Weapons Ban), former President Bill Clinton said, "Gangs and drugs have taken over our streets and undermined our schools."
It's the difference between vanquishing the specter of black criminality -- seen in gangs and the weapons associated with them -- and protecting the property of white conservatives.
Or put another way, the hypocrisy around gun ownership in America is a broadcast of something indisputably fundamental: the country's struggle to bolster a racial hierarchy.
There was a nod to this knotty history at the Democratic debate in September, when Cory Booker, New Jersey's junior senator and a presidential candidate, mentioned how even though gun violence had long afflicted areas of the state, it was often ignored until it crept into other, presumably whiter neighborhoods.
"We're never going to solve this crisis if we have to wait for it to personally affect us or our neighborhood or our community before we demand action," Booker said.
In Washington, it's still an open question as to whether lawmakers will make any headway on the issue, given the White House's waffling on proposals such as expanding background checks.
Chappelle's solution, though?

"Every able-bodied African American must register for a legal firearm. That's the only way they'll change the law," he says.
Chappelle may be (half-)kidding, but in his gag is also a history that reveals more about the politics of gun regulation in America than the words of most politicians.
egg-fuckin-zacto-knife

you dumb pile of trash reporter and editor absolutely miss the notion that anti human rights laws hurt everybody with your scream for a race war and class division.

fuck you for failing to see gun control for what it is. choke on avocado toast for seeking to piss away the rights of all americans and only highlighting this as a 'white/black' issue, like gun owners are all scared bigots.

dave chappelle is a national treasure :flipoff2:
 

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Blew me away when I heard him say that...

It’s nice to hear people speak their mind in this fucked off social climate.
 

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Five hyper liberal reviewers gave it 0%

Actual viewers gave it 99%

Rotten tomatoes tried to close it down for regular people to review. Everyone should watch that standup.
I enjoyed it.

He just did what every old school comic used to do... go after the large social/ethnic group of the time. That just happens to be the, well, you know who right now, and social justice warriors of our time say that’s not ok.

The alphabets in the car going on a road trip is some funny shit.
 

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I enjoyed it.

He just did what every old school comic used to do... go after the large social/ethnic group of the time. That just happens to be the, well, you know who right now, and social justice warriors of our time say that’s not ok.

The alphabets in the car going on a road trip is some funny shit.
Agree.

I would add that I think he deserves extra credit for being the first comic to realize that liberals and the trans/gay movement have all the power right now so he was the first to punch up. That's what makes comedians funny. And Dave is king.
 

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Agree.

I would add that I think he deserves extra credit for being the first comic to realize that liberals and the trans/gay movement have all the power right now so he was the first to punch up. That's what makes comedians funny. And Dave is king.
thats because he doesnt need to make money, he proved that his personal space and ability to do what he wants matters more than money aka walking away from the chappelle show when they were throwing money at him so he doesnt have to pander to the left leaning show business.
 

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That Chapelle special is amazing. He lost me on the registration part though, but I know he didn't mean that part how it came off.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I watched about all of his old specials a few months ago, his overall messages back then were solid and still very relevant today.

as far as standup goes, he absolutely nails it without being overly crass
 

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That Chapelle special is amazing. He lost me on the registration part though, but I know he didn't mean that part how it came off.
if everybody went out and purchased registered nfa items it would become very difficult to aruge that those are not "in common use" and subject to further or continued restrictions
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
remember the dumb thing a while back whe AOC said millennials were the first geberatioin to question the government? this ties in to that

found this while reading about the rotten tomatoes thing https://brobible.com/culture/article/dave-chappelle-sticks-and-stones-review-outrage/

had a link to new wave commedians who attempt to be "unfunny"

https://qz.com/quartzy/1333263/nanette-and-why-a-new-wave-of-comedians-dont-want-to-be-funny/

and it had this paragraph

The trend that Wolf critiques has been building for a while. In 2015, Megan Garber argued in The Atlantic that comedians were the new public intellectuals. More and more comedy came with moral messaging, she pointed out: “Comedians are fashioning themselves not just as joke-tellers, but as truth-tellers—as intellectual and moral guides through the cultural debates of the moment.” Whereas once philosophers and political theorists held a public role of guiding national debates and parsing the nuances of current affairs, comedians were increasingly taking on that responsibility.
let me just say this: for thousands of fucking years comedians have skewed politics and norms. Since 2015?!? holy fucking shitballs, what an ignorant waste of humanity.

this notion is a disgrace to comedy, drama and all of the arts. If you cannot make social commentary with your comedy, stick to ballon animals and fart jokes or don't call yourself a comedian :shaking:

Having become political comedians, they’re dropping the comedy act and becoming straightforward commentators. Why?

According to Gadsby, comedy is too simplistic a medium
 

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Who would of thought that guys like Bill Burr and Dave Chapelle would wind up being the voice of reason in todays culture?
 

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Who would of thought that guys like Bill Burr and Dave Chapelle would wind up being the voice of reason in todays culture?
They are the only ones telling the truth. Everybody else is wildly skewed.
 

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Of the bill, Reagan said later that it'd "work no hardship on the honest citizen." (This citizen, we can assume, was white.)
This line says all you need to about the article.
 
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