Black Voters Now Demanding that Presidential Candidates Discuss Growing Gun Violence
People of color around the country are starting to stand up, speak out and demand that the two leading candidates for President of the United States start to speak about gun violence that is continuing to plague the nation. Observers are noting that President Barack Obama appeared in Chicago for the wedding of the daughter of his senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett. During the president’s visit, he failed to mention the violence taking place just blocks away from his home, while in the same week, the president went to Colorado to console the victims of the Aurora Batman Shooting.
Residents around the country are growing confused and frustrated by both candidates’ lack of willingness to address the gun issue.
“People are being gunned down. Nobody’s talking about it. But both parties want our votes,” said the Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church in Chicago.
In Acree’s neighborhood, seven-year old Heaven Sutton was killed by stray bullets while selling snow cones in front of her house. In Chicago, scores of children are dying every year from gun violence and homicides continue to rise.
“It’s a state of emergency here in Chicago,” Acree said. “We want all hands on deck. That includes the president.”
But Acree is having trouble getting President Obama’s attention on the matter and is certainly not going to hear from Mitt Romney. Politicians are discussing jobs and the economy, with death from gun violence not even appearing ahead of gay marriage on the Democratic national platform.
The spokesman for President Barack Obama has claimed that the president is seeking to re-establish a ban on military-style assault weapons. The ban lapsed in 2004, but the president isn’t pushing the issue. Also, there is no evidence that gun control is going to be mentioned during the Democratic National Convention this Tuesday.
Many African Americans are frustrated that while the stories of mass shootings of whites get a great deal of national media coverage, the deaths of young black males and children are effectively ignored.
“It’s sad. You can’t walk to the corner store,” Kisha Walker of Philadelphia told the Washington Post. “You limit your kids to the things they can do because of the violence.”
For some reason, there is not as much public support for stricter gun laws as some might think. According to a Gallup poll taken last year, just 43 percent of Americans favored stricter gun laws. Also, many Americans don’t put gun laws high on the list of Democratic and political priorities.
Acree, the pastor in Chicago, told the Washington Post that this is not a time for Obama and other politicians to simply think about votes and money. It is also a time that they show courage. He is working with a coalition of clergy that is calling for President Obama to end the ban on assault weapons.
“This is the civil rights issue of our day and time,” said Acree. “We cannot ignore our urban violence crisis, in Chicago and in New York and in Detroit.”
Powered by Facebook Comments