Gun Control Advocates Seek Alliance With Black Lives Matter


Gun control advocates, frustrated by failures to pass even moderate restrictions on gun ownership, are trying to forge an alliance with Black Lives Matter and the criminal justice reform movement in a strategy shift aimed at overcoming the lobbying power of the National Rifle Association, reports Politic. The move marks a recognition that gun control backers, often galvanized by mass shootings that claim mostly white lives, mostly neglected gun violence that ravages minority and urban neighborhoods. In addition, advocates usually ally with law enforcement even as they signal to white, suburban gun owners that the government isn't after their hunting rifles — a tactic that indirectly identifies urban minorities as the problem.

“The movement is too white, said Marc Morial, head of the National Urban League. “There's no input from communities of color.” In recent months, gun control advocates have started looking for ways to better align their goals with those of Black Lives Matter and the criminal justice reform movement, which is politically ascendant as Republicans and Democrats alike look for ways to reduce swollen prison populations. Groups aligned with Black Lives Matter have started taking part in weekly conference calls with Washington's top gun control advocates. A group related to the Center for American Progress has been distributing new talking points to get away from language that they say alienates black communities. Today, the Joyce Foundation will hold community meetings in Richmond, Va., to discuss the intersection of gun violence, policing and mass incarceration, with sessions planned for Milwaukee and Stockton, Ca., in coming months.

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