Killing Black Teens - Literally
George E. Curry | 2/13/2013, 2:23 p.m.
While those are laudable goals, some police chiefs have pointed out that handguns kill far more people than assault weapons.
In its latest report titled, "Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2010 Homicide Data," the Violence Policy Center reported: "For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 83 percent of black victims (5,073 out of 6,149) were shot and killed with guns. Of these, 72 percent (3,658 victims) were killed with handguns. There were 617 victims killed with knives or other cutting instruments, 219 victims killed by bodily force, and 162 victims killed by a blunt object."
Overall, Blacks are more than six times more likely to be homicide victims than Whites.
Citing FBI crime reports, the Violence Policy Center observed, "...In 2010 there were 6,469 black homicide victims in the United States. The homicide rate among black victims in the United States was 16.32 per 100,000. For that year, the overall national homicide rate was 4.42 per 100,000. For whites, the national homicide rate was 2.66 per 100,000."
In addition to the need to address handgun violence, President Obama, Congress and law enforcement officials should acknowledge that violence is a serious problem and more often than not, the victim knew or had a relationship with the person who killed them.
"For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 70 percent of black victims (2,146 out of 3,058) were murdered by someone they knew. Nine hundred twelve victims were killed by strangers," the Violence Policy Center report stated.
If this country is serious about curbing murders, it must focus on tragic deaths, such as the murder of Hadiya Pendleton and 20 young kids in Newtown, Conn. But it must also deal with handguns and the murder of people who have or have had a relationship with their killer. Otherwise, all the tough talk on reducing violence is empty rhetoric.
George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge.