Latino USA

LATINOS AND GUNS / by Maria Hinojosa | March 1, 2013

LATINOS AND GUNS

As the debate on gun control marches on, both supporters and critics of regulation have raised their voices. But where do Latinos stand on the right to bear arms? New York City attorney and independent columnist Raul Reyes and Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs Dr. Stephen Nuño bring you two different perspectives on the topic.


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RaulReyes Raul A. Reyes is an attorney and columnist in New York City. A third-generation Mexican-American, he writes frequently on issues affecting the Latino community. Reyes is a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today as well as a contributor to The TODAY Show, CNN, MSNBC, NBC Latino, Current TV, NPR, BBC World Service, and FOX News Radio. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia School of Law.

StephenNuno Stephen A Nuño is an Assistant Professor studying Political Behavior, Race and Ethnic Politics, Latino Politics, Mobilization, and Partisanship at Northern Arizona University. He is also a Research Associate at the Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. He grew up on the outskirts of East L.A., in a multicultural neighborhood called Alhambra.

We honor civility here at Latino USA. Keep your comments constructive and respectful of everyone's opinions.
Thank you.

Bill Durston, MD says:

I was surprised and disappointed by the comments of Professor Stephen Nuno on the March 1 segment of Latino USA concerning Latino’s and guns. Mr. Nuno seemed to be implying that the fact that there is a lower rate of gun ownership among Latinos than among blacks or caucasions is a sign of discrimination, and that Latinos should arm themselves for protection. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I am not a Latino, but I am an emergency physician who has been treating gunshot victims for the past 30 years. Whenever we get a paramedic call notifying us that there is a gunshot victim en route, we know there is a high probability that the victim will be either a young black or Latino man. The rate of firearm related deaths is much higher in young black and Latino men than in the rest of the population. FBI data shows that most gunshot victims are shot by someone of their own race. There is also overwhelming evidence from law enforcement data and the medical literature that guns in our homes and in our communities are much more likely to be used to kill or injure innocent civilians than to protect them.

I was also disappointed by the failure of either Mr. Nuno or the other guest, Raul Reyes, to accurately portray the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court clearly ruled in 1939 and again in 1980 that the 2nd Amendment, which begins with the phrase, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…” confers a collective right of “the people” of the states to maintain armed state militias, such as the current day national guard, not an individual right of each and every citizen to own guns. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger called the individual right interpretation of the 2nd Amendment “one of the greatest pieces of fraud on the American people” that he had seen in his lifetime. Sadly, five of the nine current Supreme Court Justices became a party to that fraud in 2008 and again in 2010 when they reversed seven decades of legal precedent in ruling that the 2nd Amendment did confer an individual right to own handguns. Mr. Nuno and Mr. Reyes should have pointed out, though, that Latina Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotamayor did not partake in that fraud. She sided with the dissenting four justices in 2010 in upholding the original collective right interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

Latinos should be congratulated on having lower rates of gun ownership than the rest of the population. They would be safer still if they owned fewer guns.

We would all be safer arming ourselves with factual information, not guns. In this regard, the March 1 Latio USA program did a great disservice to all its listeners.

Ricardo M. says:

Bill you are full of the same crap they fed you at the white liberal conference. Quit spreading the same lies all you white people tell each other. More likely to be harmed by having a firearm? Prove it! Show me the study!
You are either a traitor or a racist or both. I love this country and won’t be disarmed or fed a line of S#@$ by the likes of you.

richard says:

exactly Angel….we need gun control for blacks and latinos.. and No one is talking about this…how about 10 years no parole for possessing an illegal gun, and 20 years plus what a jury adds, for using one in a crime of course people would call me a racist…but that’s where the problem is.

Don’t worry guys, this Latino is a part of the debate. I support gun rights. I believe that the direction that these politicians are taking the laws are unreasonable and misdirected.

The majority of crimes that are committed in the streets are not with legal guns. My guns are locked up, safe and inaccessible by anyone that is not authorized.

This topic is too broad, but I think what needs to happen is real punishment for real crimes.

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