An Arizona man who should never be allowed to own a gun walks into an event hosted by a Congresswoman and shoots her in the head. After shooting the elected official, he opens fire on a crowd of people, killing six of them, including a 9-year-old girl. Of course, when this kind of thing happens, all the politicians start loading up their vocal chords to see what they can get out of the massacre. That’s just how America seems to work.

After the shooting, the right wing immediately went on the defensive, attempting to argue that they have no control over what a nut job does when he hears politicians telling him to “reload.” Liberals used the tragedy to get the right wing to stop talking altogether. But in all the rhetoric, one debate ends up being muted, no matter how many people are slaughtered: The conversation on gun control.

Arizona is unique among the states when it comes to its gun laws. The state allows its citizens to carry concealed firearms without permits. There are also reports of a Giffords-Zimmerman Act (named after the Congresswoman and her murdered aid) that would require the state to offer weapons training to politicians and their staff members. They figure that if everyone in the event had brought in a gun, the shooter wouldn’t have been able to kill so many people. In other words, the solution to existing gun problems is to have more guns. Only capitalism can provide sufficient fuel for a group to be motivated by such ridiculous and illogical conclusions. It’s clearly all about the Benjamins.

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A case-in-point is that of Joe Zamudio, the man being hailed as a hero by gun advocates in the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords. Zamudio was at a corner store when he heard about a shooting in progress. He happened to be carrying a gun and ran to the scene. Upon arriving, Zamudio stated that he didn’t pull out his gun because he didn’t want to be confused with the gunman. He also said that he nearly shot the wrong person when he aimed his gun at a man who’d just wrestled the weapon away from the shooter. You can only imagine the chaos that would have ensued had someone thought Zamudio was a second killer or if he’d shot the person he initially believed to be the murderer.

Calls for more guns to counter the guns on the street are no different from someone saying that in order to kill the rodents in your house, you should release more aggressive rodents to fight them. When it’s all said and done, you simply have a house full of bugs. Guns that get into the wrong hands are the responsibility of the NRA, who fight to protect gun manufacturers from responsibility when their weapons end up where they aren’t supposed to be. Instead of working to get those guns off the street, gun advocates fight to sustain their violent business model by selling more guns as a solution to the original guns. They want to turn America into a war zone.

Who is most affected by the distorted debate over gun control? The African-American community. African-Americans are more than six times more likely to die from gun violence than white Americans. Guns plague black communities all across America, in large part due to those who make billions by allowing guns to hit the streets by any means necessary. Urban children have an easier time getting a weapon than getting an education, which has made homicide the leading cause of death for young black men. Places where children once played are regularly sprayed by gunfire and our communities are not safe because of the extensive lobbying of those who care nothing about the consequences of their behavior.

The African-American community should be first in line to fight the evil tactics of gun merchants. Our community, to date, is the easiest place for manufacturers to sell their guns, you don’t see very many gun shops in the suburbs. Like a third-world country in the middle of a civil war, African-Americans are consistently fed the ingredients for our own self-destruction. Time is of the essence when it comes to solving this problem, for a child somewhere will likely die today from a stray bullet.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the initiator of the National Conversation on Race. For more information, please visit>