The fight to end gun violence must include the fight for racial justice
Our goal at the Alliance is to end the crisis of gun violence in our communities. In order to achieve that goal, we must acknowledge that the history of gun violence and gun laws in the United States is completely intertwined with white supremacy and structural racism. In fighting to dismantle those, we are also fighting against gun violence.
The Second Amendment has a history of being used as a tool of White Supremacy. Today’s police structure dates back to slave patrols in colonial America and has evolved into the institution that disproportionately stops, arrests, harasses, and wields violence against Black people. Structural racism locks entire neighborhoods out of economic opportunity and into cycles of poverty, allowing violence to take root. And attempts to oppress and control people of color created the modern gun lobby, which regularly traffics in white supremacist messaging and stokes fear about people of color in an attempt to drive gun sales.
It is our responsibility to fight alongside others to root out the racism and injustice that is knit into the fabric of our country. We cannot end the gun violence epidemic without doing so.
We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and those protesting and marching for justice.
To our Black community members: We see you. We support you. We are listening.
To our non-Black community members, especially to our White community: This is our responsibility. It’s time to get to work. It is time to examine anti-Black racism in ourselves and our communities. It is time to make being anti-racist a part of our daily lives. It is time to listen to Black voices and to amplify their message. It is time to use our position to give our attention, our respect, our time, and our money to those who have been doing this work for years.
At the Alliance, it is our commitment to examine our own biases and practices in order to become meaningful accomplices in the fight to dismantle white supremacy. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of resources—including books, articles, podcasts, films, and action items—that we have found helpful in understanding this work. We hope you will find them useful too.
We know this is far from an exhaustive list. Our hope is to continue updating it as we find more information and continue this conversation.