COMMENTARY: The National Rifle Association is trying its hardest to make gun rights the new civil rights issue. How else do you explain them trotting out black gun enthusiast Colion Noir, who has joined NRA News as a contributor, in their latest ad aimed squarely at the black community? Let me add that Colion Noir is a YouTube sensation with over 88,000 subscribers to his page.
Colion Noir, self-described as an “urban gun enthusiast” talked for just under 90 seconds, encouraging Americans to arm themselves for protection, saying, “The only person responsible for your safety is you. Cops can’t always be there. Obama definitely can’t be there.” Yeah, the NRA is missing too.
I respect Colion Noir for what he has done on social media and I have no issue with the NRA using a black person to push their position. Nothing wrong with that, but we all know the NRA has an ulterior motive for this. NRA supporter Ted Nugent compared gun owners to Rosa Parks; former NRA president Marion Hammer likened a proposal banning assault weapons to racial discrimination and now Colion Noir is interjecting civil rights into the mix, slamming the government that “hosed us down with water, attacked us with dogs.” I am pretty sure civil rights leaders like Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, as well as Rep. John Lewis and many others will find this racial undertone offensive.
Conservative ‘pundit’ Ann Coulter deserves a paragraph all to herself. You see, she tried to paint a picture that the NRA fought the Ku Klux Klan, in a column entitled Negroes with Guns. Coulter stated the NRA has gone to bat for blacks since the end of the Civil War, even taking a stand when civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was denied a gun permit because of his race:
Gun control laws were originally promulgated by Democrats to keep guns out of the hands of blacks. This allowed the Democratic policy of slavery to proceed with fewer bumps and, after the Civil War, allowed the Democratic Ku Klux Klan to menace and murder black Americans with little resistance.
Following the firebombing of his house in 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, who was, among other things, a Christian minister, applied for a gun permit, but the Alabama authorities found him unsuitable. A decade later, he won a Nobel Peace Prize.
So, Colion Noir fits in nicely with the right wing discourse on gun control. It is disingenuous, disgraceful at best, to watch Colion Noir champion the sale and distribution of guns, when Hadiya Pendleton was gunned down in a Chicago park while sheltering from the rain. Or the thousands of faceless victims of the gun violence epidemic that continues to rage across this country in cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angeles and so on. The mass shootings that have occurred — Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Aurora movie theater, even an elected official, Gabby Giffords, getting shot in a supermarket parking lot, former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner’s shooting rampage in California, for example, haven’t moved the NRA one iota to proposing common-sense solutions to stem the gun violence that has permeated our culture at an alarming rate.
Let’s also be mindful of the blatant hypocrisy of the NRA and its position on gun control. We can’t ignore the “Black Panther” element to this shameful push by the NRA. In May 1967, 20 Black Panther members decided to dramatize their opposition to a gun control proposal in California, by walking into the state capitol in Sacramento carrying rifles. Then-governor Ronald Reagan and the NRA objected vociferously, declaring, “There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” So, you see, the National Rifle Association is blatantly hypocritical and now they want to start a new love-affair of convenience with the black community. The same community that has been mired by inner city gun violence, using a “black poster child,” Colion Noir, to “hustle their wares.” Of course, this is how it seems through their eyes.