White Supremacy, Black Liberation, and the Power Dynamics of Gun Violence

This article is part of a special series on the intersection of guns and games. For more, click here.

“The easiest, simplest thing we do is give up,” says Charles Laveau, host of a pirate radio station in Mafia 3’s New Bordeaux, a fictionalized, 1968 New Orleans “Let everything go and do exactly what we told: be good obedient niggers. But what kinda life we leadin’ then? The violence goes away, but along with it goes dignity, our pride.”

Laveau’s concern is clear, and though the game is set in the late 60s, it is resonant even today--just ask the folks who clapped when a character in last month’s Black Panther told us that “death was better than bondage.” But Laveau isn’t simply advocating for death, he’s joining a tradition of black radicalism that argues for armed resistance against racial and colonial oppression, and between his words and the actions of protagonist Lincoln Clay, Mafia 3 urges us to consider an aspect of the raging gun debate that is often left by the sideline.

Much of the recurring debate about guns in America centers on the creaking unwieldiness of the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right of citizens to keep and bear arms, and was originally intended to protect D.I.Y. militias during the colonial period. Gun-control advocates tend to talk about how the founders never foresaw high-powered rifles being invented, or how background checks should be required for gun purchases. The ignored downsides of background checks, such as the vilification of mental illness, and Muslims, reveal tellingly narrow perspectives among its proponents.

The narrowness doesn’t end there: Not only is after-the-fact gun-control a panacea of questionable effectiveness, it ignores the political history of guns in America. And it ignores the perspectives of the poor, the colonized and the people of color in this country, who continue to experience the realities of that history, and for whom relinquishing guns to a lethal state is an unappealing prospect at best. Getting to the root of this perspective means understanding the role the Second Amendment has played in shoring up white supremacist and colonialist violence in this country.


In “Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment,” Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes that “...when firearms were no longer needed to appropriate Indigenous Peoples’ lands, the firearm became a representation of ongoing racist domination--a kind of war trophy--not just of Native Peoples and their territories, but of African Americans and the world.” Introduced while (soon to be ex) English colonists ravaged Indigenous communities in order to capture and speculate on their stolen land, the Second Amendment’s purpose was to help support their right to efficiently do so with the most effective tools at their disposal. These constitutionally protected militias then evolved into slave patrols, assembled to enforce slavery and limit free movement of black people before and after the civil war.

In 1966, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale decided to test the unspoken racist boundaries of the Second Amendment, which have always assumed the whiteness and maleness of the American gun owner, and started The Black Panther Party For Self-Defense. Despite the legislative changes brought about by the southern civil rights movement, Newton and Seale, in recognition of the country’s bloody roots, the legacy of slavery, and the daily violence visited upon them by the state, decided that armed self-defense would make a more powerful statement both to the state and to the black communities they hoped to organize. As Frantz Fanon, a major inspiration to the Panthers put it: “The mobilization of the masses, when it rises out of the war of liberation, introduces into each man’s consciousness the ideas of a common cause, of a national destiny and of a collective history.”

The Panthers emerged from an unstable and oppressive situation, based out of a depressed and deindustrialized Oakland, California. At the time, Oakland’s police force was no more than 4 percent black (Phil McArdle, “Oakland Police Department History 1955-1993”), and would regularly frisk, harass, beat and shoot Oakland’s poor black residents. The Watts riots of Los Angeles had happened only a few years earlier, the ‘67 Detroit riots a year later. Into this mix came the Black Panthers, heavily armed with pistols, shotguns, and rifles, walking tall and facing up to cops with a swagger and a sense of dignity that shocked everyone, the state most of all.

In effect, the Panthers were taking the same exhibited force and weaponry that had historically been used to oppress poor people of color and turning them into symbols of defiance, icons of resistance. As Newton wrote: “There is a world of difference between 30 million unarmed, submissive black people and 30 million black people armed with freedom and defense guns and the strategic methods of liberation.”

Mafia 3 employs this same energy in the fantasy it empowers, tapping into the militant and pro-gun spirit of groups like the Panthers with its choice of hero (a militant, black Vietnam war-vet) and its setting (a southern town boiling over with racism in 1968). While it sits comfortably within an extensive stable of games where shooting people is the primary method of interaction, Mafia 3, through its black power-inspired hero and roiling 60’s setting, surfaces a different, rebellious vision of what guns ought to be used for, and who ought to wield them.

Guns are usually employed as tools of enforcement in games. Military shooters lead the pack, but plenty of shooters involve performing as a stand-in for the state. Ubisoft’s The Division, an infamous example, features smartly decked out fascist paramilitary soldiers, sent to murder looters and escaped prisoners in a lawless New York, making it the ultimate far-right fantasy. Even games where your character lives on the other side of the law, like the Grand Theft Auto series feature transgression willingly made in the service of the same capitalist goals that motivate the rest of society.

But in Mafia 3’s New Bordeaux, the proper and lawful state of things is untenable for Lincoln Clay and those in his community. Whether it’s Klan members in the surrounding suburbs, or hyper-vigilant racist cops in the streets, Clay is in permanent peril, a stranger under siege in unfriendly turf. He begins the game on a normal GTA-style track to criminal success, but is abruptly shoved off of it with a bullet and an epithet. The world wants him to disappear, and his course through the game involves carving space violently back.

Crashing Klan rallies and shooting up cop cars feels liberating and transgressive even as it is safely enclosed within the narrow escapist limits of a videogame. It remains transgressive, however, for the same reasons the Black Panthers regally posing for photos with rifles and African spears was: it challenges the unspoken understanding that the Second Amendment is only for white people, that a “well-regulated militia” could also define a band of black brothers and sisters from the ‘hood, including veterans, students and ex-convicts.

The modern gun-control debate fails to consider the experience of poor black men and women in dealing with the police, even today. With cops in many American cities willing to open fire at the slightest provocation, and who view black people as displaying naturally “violent tendencies,” is it so outlandish to worry about giving up your own guns to an enforcing body that is more than happy enough to use them on you?

Part of Mafia 3’s appeal is its ability to represent the daily indignities and frustrations that might lead someone to feel this way. Pass by an officer on the street and he will snap his head in your direction, warn you to watch your step, and end with a diminutive put-down like “boy” even as Clay towers feet above him. Wander into the wrong store and have the cops quickly called on you for daring to trespass as a black man in a whites-only establishment. And when the cops do arrive, it is with guns drawn and blazing.

This fits neatly into the paradigm many violent games like to employ: Forcing the player to engage in self-defense by tossing their character into a hostile environment, be it literal hell, future dystopia or foreign military exercise. This serves as an ethical cover for all the killing you’re about to do.

Where Mafia 3 departs from this is in its empowering, fantastical elements, and the sense of restored dignity this fantasy restores. After all, is there anything more satisfying than being able to punch the lights out of a store clerk who says your kind doesn’t belong here, who is threatening to bring the police down on your head? Is there any form of escapism more apt, in this current stage of American politics, than being able to dance on the hood of a cop car as the writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn does in this tweet about Watch Dogs 2 (a game with its own promise of escapism and empowerment that nevertheless commits some irredeemable trope-laden missteps along the way):

It is telling, and dispiriting, to see how the efforts of the Black Panthers to transform their own fantasy into reality ultimately turned out. In “The Revolution Has Come,” Robyn Spencer laments that for the Panthers, “[the] gun turned out to be a weapon turned on them more than they ever turned it on others.” The Panthers were one of the main targets of the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO operation, which sought to undermine and dismantle black activist organizations (the clear precedent behind Session’s call to surveille Black identity extremists). Several of the Panthers’ members, like Bobby Hutton in Oakland, and Fred Hampton in Chicago were shot by police. Many more were charged with crimes and incarcerated, including both of the Panther’s founders, Newton and Seale, at various points. The speed and efficacy with which the Mulford Act prohibited carrying loaded weapons, despite severely limiting the gun rights of all California citizens, points to the state’s frantic response to the perceived threat of black men and women arming themselves as thoroughly white folks freely did in the rest of the country. To this day 61% of gun owners are white men.


Most media reinforces the image of guns as tools belonging solely to state actors: the government, police and the military. This includes games, which despite their reckless veneer and faux punk-rock attitudes are as conservative about who gets valorized in their violent narratives as any other mainstream, well-funded art form. Mafia 3, even as it sidesteps many of the political motivations of the era, still allows me to exist outside of the normal boundaries of heroism, still allows me to hold my head high as a black man and take revenge when slighted, instead of turning the other cheek as black people have always been expected to.

Distrust of the state and its enforcing arms, like the police, comes from a very real place. This distrust comes from squad cars rolling up and asking questions while you’re walking home alone, shining their spotlight in your direction or just driving slowly and menacingly by. It also comes from seeing cops walk free, after every shooting; suspended with pay and then quietly reinstated a few months later. The weight of this reality is heavy, and playing games that position you as some version of an unaccountable super cop doesn’t lighten it much.

Total disarmament may be as much a fantasy as militant black revolution, steeped as this country is in the legacy of settler-colonialism, genocide and slavery. The gun has played its role in every step of this process, and threatening its availability to white Americans only leads to boosted sales. But the Panthers showed, and Mafia 3 reflects, that it is possible to wrest the fantasy of empowerment and the righteous myths away from the colonizers who captured this land. The organizing potential of this fantasy to build movements and to help one another should never be discounted.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/kzxevx/white-supremacy-black-liberation-and-the-power-dynamics-of-gun-violence

As someone who didn’t grow up inside of US imperialism and that might-equals-right worldview (which seems to desperately twist until the “our troops” become police of the world, attempting to obscure the basic truth about deployment of power on the global stage), it does seem somewhat strange to view civilian disarmament as a fantasy. Elsewhere, civilian disarmament is a constant struggle (along with other fights for social justice) but the body of the conversation (at that goal has been mainly achieved) seems to point towards discussing disarmament of the military and the end of the nuclear apocalypse we are currently on the edge of.

Maybe it’s the (US) Lefty circles I intersect with (including the Waypoint community) but I have never heard anything but a constant refrain that actually an arms race (as self-defence or preparation for revolution) is essential and so disarmament isn’t possible. Far from being sidelined, it is always the first response to any talk of demilitarisation of all civilians (even before the note that a Liberal partial or incremental demilitarisation has the obvious flaws noted in the article about uneven enforcement). Because let’s be clear: the US police are civilians and any talk of demilitarisation must focus on how many many (corrupt, racist, should-be-abolished) police forces around the world operate without guns - there is nothing fantastic about the idea of unarmed police (or, at most, armed with less lethal equipment and a significant burden to justify why they reach for them). It’s not that this will solve institutional racism (just ask Scotland Yard) but guns (due to their range, speed, damage potential, etc) are an extremely poor match for any scenario where you want everyone to be alive at the end of it. They have no place in anyone’s hands during a normal day and the problems with police being armed goes well beyond wider discussion of the police needing to be abolished (eg if you’re used to some people carrying weapons then that uniform becomes a disguise with which to easily travel towards a target of terrorism).

To me, the setting of Mafia 3 played as a complete fantasy of empowerment, very similar to the old cowboy trope of the one good guy with a gun and how actually that will make a huge positive change in the world. As noted with how things actually went, when guns are pointed at state actors then rarely does this go well (and in the cases it does, the commonality is easy to see in the Whiteness of those doing the pointing). Not to subtract from that very real distrust and burning passion for change/revolution. Ideally those who see militarisation as the path to a better world would blow up all the factories making guns and attempt to subvert any arms race by reducing the availability of weapons rather than bolstering them. While threatening the availability of guns to White Americans may boost sales, so do most things (including terrorist attacks abroad so I suspect the emergence of a new BP movement to prominence would similarly create soaring gun sales for White USians even without any obvious signs of threatened availability/a new round of Mulford Acts).

I appreciate the discussion of where Lincoln Clay subverts the standard heroic script (and provides necessary escapism) but I don’t entirely see it as walking away from a standard of showing guns as primarily the tools of state actors. We’ve played through a lot of reckless veneer and faux-punk mainstream games all about GTA protagonists and various other non-state actors which rejects the idea of the state monopoly on violence. While military shooters are a sub-genre (or sub-genres), I would not say they are the standard or that any game where you play a non-state actor is unusual (even if who they normally valorise is usually a more conservative-friendly choice).


I do agree with the aversion to leaving the state as the only ones armed, but I have trouble rectifying that with the belief that we need to do something about gun violence in America, and the solution that has worked in other nations has been to restrict access to guns. I don’t know the best solution. (Maybe overthrow the state and then get rid of the guns, haha)

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I can certainly understand why marginalized groups can see the utility in owning weapons, the power in organized groups fighting against oppression arming themselves. And I fully support the idea that tools used by the oppressed are inherently distinct from tools used by oppressors because of that context.

But I don’t think that firearms alone are a meaningful break in the monopoly of violence owned by the state. Even a fully armed uprising would not be able to leverage their violence to the same degree as the state, and the state’s tool are far more extensive and far more devastating.

This is more true for the bogeymen of white supremacists, though. They fear the federal government and the federal military, and a small militia of angry and scared white men with assault rifles will not be able to offer meaningful resistance against the military. For oppressed groups, on the other, the state forces that they are opposed to are both far more real threats and less likely to be as heavily armed. That second part is changing though, as police forces continue to pick up military hardware.

In the end, I don’t think there are any easy answers, but I can appreciate the value in media that allows for the exploration of liberation from oppression, even if that media indulges in the fantasy of the efficacy of the gun against the state.

I understand the viewpoint the author is trying to convey, but I’m not sure I really understand the thesis, beyond “this is a viewpoint you probably haven’t considered.” (Not that that’s a problem, it is certainly a compelling read.)

And while I do think this viewpoint is more legitimate than the typical prepper fantasy, I am not sure it is any less of a fantasy. The idea that a small group of people are going to spark a successful armed revolution, or successfully hold out against a concerted put down, is absurd. The article itself admits that the initial implementation of this philosophy by the Black Panthers didn’t work, and the gap between government and civilian weaponry has only widened since then.

The only reason the government didn’t kill every person in the Oregon Wildlife Refuge is because they didn’t want to. Hell, they didn’t want to kill everyone at Waco, but they still managed to somehow. Guys who think their stockpile of AR15s is going to make them some hero are delusional. At best, they’re making themselves a target. (Even the French Revolution, the poster child for bloody civil uprising, saw most of its violence committed between warring revolutionary factions, after the Estates-General convinced the king to basically legislate himself out of power.)

“Better to die on your feet than live as a slave” is a commendable sentiment. But it still begs the same question that people are forcing on the NRA now: how many kids are too many? How many people have to die before you decide it’s time to look for another way?

[On a side note: when I took social studies as a kid, we were taught that one of the defining characteristics of a legitimate government was a monopoly on the use of force. It seems like this thinking has changed in the last 30 years? Was that just some Magna Carta bullshit they kept teaching without ever thinking about it?]


I think it’s always been somewhat of a contested assertion [brief history] and that goes doubly for how it is regarded interacting with various Leftist revolutionary ideas. It’s certainly one way of defining a modern state (as Max Weber does) but I personally think the legitimacy it claims exists may act more as an excuse for the crimes of modern states (which are very much linked to the crimes of feudal systems enacted upon the people to enforce order and obedience - part of a progression of military leadership into modern military democratic capitalist states).


In regards to your side note: I think that anarchism has become a more dominant political theory amongst the left, and with it has come an uncertainty about how the state is able to enforce its will upon the populace. While most still think that the state serves an important function, its ability to maintain its power indefinitely and without challenge is problematic.

Having a hard time wrestling with what exactly I want to say here, so sorry in advance if this seems unfinished.

First off, I enjoyed the article, it adds another dimension to an already complicated debate Overall, I have conflicting thoughts on this. I can understand the desire for the oppressed to harness or reclaim tools used to oppress them, but at the same time, I’m someone who generally wants to avoid conflict when I can, so that leads me to favor gun control efforts. Stockpiling weapons (or at least opposing gun control efforts) reminds me of a game of chicken, and gives me an uneasiness that things will eventually come to a dangerous head.

Again, my thoughts on this complex issue are still not very organized and far from settled, but I appreciate the author and Waypoint (and all of you here) for fostering this very necessary discussion.

I think a lot of people are missing the point of the state not having a monopoly on guns. The purpose of it isn’t to facilitate an armed insurrection, but to make sure the fascists aren’t the only ones with access to firearms. Look at Israel, where strict gun control means that outside the armed forces, only Jewish settlers can have guns - and the results of that for Palestinians and leftists.

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Do we really believe that the solution to violence is more violence? Furthermore we talk about how police shouldn’t be getting military grade firearms yet this sort of suggestion is what scared old white men in power can point to as a justification for why they need it.

Plenty of countries have strict gun control and do not suffer this problem though. Just because one country has abused it’s power does not mean it should be written off.

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Well, it kinda depends on what solution to violence you have in mind. The only long-term solution to violence is to create a society where the class conflicts, and the resultant dynamics of oppression, do not exist. That’s a very long-term prospect, though, and is no solution for people who currently face violence from fascists. What we need to think of right now isn’t a grand solution, but immediate defense. I also don’t think oppressed groups having arms determines whether or not the state arms itself to the teeth.

I give Israel as an example because it’s the one I know best. I also believes that, given the dynamics between Jewish settlers and Palestinians, it resembles the US dynamics of whites and natives / PoC more closely than other European countries. However, we should keep in mind that liberals are likely to view gun control only in terms of the benefits it provides white people and not in terms of the hardships it puts on the oppressed. There’s much we don’t know, and much that is not focused on when we are given this idealized image of peaceful European societies (police brutality in France, the fascist massacre in Norway, etc.).

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It seems that what even the UN is happy to declare a territory with an occupying power (as in a modern invasion) would seem to be a rather exceptional (and explicitly military controlled) situation in comparison to something like the US where domestic deployment of troops is strictly limited. Yes, a path to Palestinian self-determination and the end of the invasion/apartheid is probably not a short one (and civilian universal disarmament is not a conversation for when under military occupation) but it is not true that only through the complete end of class conflict and dynamics of oppression can a society get to the place where complete demilitarisation (absolutely no one here is proposing gun control that only applies to some people in a society - no one is saying that the Occupied Territories are a model for what gun control looks like) is possible.

The civilians who hoard the weapons, the ones who actually benefit from guns being everywhere rather than nowhere: they’re predominantly White - they are the fascists (as clearly seen in footage of fascist rallies in the US recently). That 3% of USians who own half of all the guns in circulation do not skew towards the oppressed. If you’re looking for an arms race: it’s already lost. Guns are a terrible solution to a tense situation (including self-defence). Two groups with guns is bad news. One group with guns is bad news. There is only one situation where loss of life becomes relatively rare: no groups with guns.

European societies are not peaceful, but in those places where almost no one has a gun, far less people are dying from use of weapons because the range of weapons that are still available (and in the case of things like knives, these are tools for cooking etc that do have genuine other uses - they’re not machines designed only for killing) lack the range, speed, and deadliness of a bullet.


I agree that no one having guns is the ideal situation. But in a situation where the state is made the sole arbiter of who can own a gun, it inevitably decides to give guns to those who defend its interests - namely, the army, the police and the fascists. That the arms race is not currently in our favor is not a good reason to make this situation even worse.

You say that complete demilitarization is possible without an end to class society. I see no evidence of that. All I see is that time and time again, violent fascists who want to kill people of color, Jews, LGBTQIA folks and other oppressed groups get their hands on guns. We will not disarm them by relying on the state. We can only choose whether to disarm the oppressed.


It’s a straw-position that any gun control only means removing guns from the oppressed. Sure, if you’re an anarchist, the state is always bad and… actually we might as well end the conversation there because if you’re against the existence of states (in this case: as the expression of our collective desire to live in a society without guns, to reject the idea that might equals right and that two people pointing murder machines at each other is something that should ever happen) then why even talk about the minutia of gun control. [Edit: speaking of broad definition state as in a nation-scale society, not just a modern capitalist state.]

To be clear, gun control is primarily the control of gun sales (which is why the NRA, a lobby group for gun manufacturers, are so against actual universal gun control: it ends their domestic sales overnight) - no one is talking about sending round people to go into houses and try and remove guns; that’s just creating tense situations with, by definition, guns involved. You end sales (turning off the tap), accept guns to be destroyed (increasing the sink), and slowly allow society to step away from the expectation of guns being a thing that you see. If I’m not in an international airport, I will never see a gun domestically. They’re just not a thing (and why would they be a thing? If you’re not planning to kill something at distance then they’re useless).

If you see no evidence of the absence of guns (their absence from the hands of fascists, their absence in the hands of police) in our current unequal societies then I’m just not sure what to say. No one is saying we’re in anything like perfect societies but at least one thing we don’t have to worry about is someone deciding to use a gun that just happens to be around - we literally did this, when we clash with the police and fascists in the streets then no one has guns (see link above, this is our experience of what our society is actually like). Yes, we constantly have to push to maintain that (and reject police militarisation) but it does give us the space for discussing the potential for a world without war.

Again, of course the absence of guns from the hands of fascists and police would be good, but the whole point is that you’re not going to have that. Gun control will not take guns away from the state’s armed forces and as a result, not from fascists either. You’re trying to convince me to embrace this ideal of a society without guns and therefore without violence, and I’m right there with you. But it’s not something that gun control, in our current situation, will bring about. Fascists in the US, Israel, and yes, Europe as well, are going to keep having access to guns as long as the current imperialist regimes exist.

(As an aside, I’m not an anarchist - I’m a Marxist - but I don’t see why opposition to states, or the rejection of capitalist states, makes one’s ideas on gun control irrelevant or unimportant. Don’t we all have to contend with states as they currently exists, regardless of what we think about them?)

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Speaking as someone raised in a poor rural area deeply entrenched in US gun culture, I don’t think people realize how easy it is to get, make, hide, and ghost guns. How easy it is to drive outside of Illinois or California, buy a gun with no registration that would be impossible to get into any database by that point, that may have even just been made in somebody’s garage. For instance, you can make a functional AR-15 (which is just one of the most popular of many kinds of rifles that fire 5.56x45mm Nato,) with several hundred dollars of equipment, time, and know-how. And how do you stop that? Just check pointing highways would be useless.

And this brings me to my next point, American gun culture (and how it differs from anywhere else in the world,) racism, and the police. American gun culture is deeply deeply ingrained. That manifests in a ton of ways, but for the purposes of this conversation, what it says to me is that cops are gonna be super lax about enforcing gun control measures on white people and very aggressive about enforcing them on black people. I can think about my hometown and tell you with 100% certainty they will only enforce those laws on black people. It’d be one more excuse for them to get away with murder, tear through people’s houses, throw people in prison for 8+ years, to function as an additional arm of banks and real estate developers pursuing barely-disguised mass eviction. Now it’s important to note this all happens anyway, nothing would change on that front, it’s just that in this scenario we’ve now got even more racist liberals cheerleading for the police.

The way to alleviate this would be, for one, to not talk about disarmament of the populace without talking about total disarmament of the police in the same conversation. Now that’s not realistic, they’re not gonna vote that sorta thing through, ever. But if people believe strongly enough that that can and should happen, and there is a base of organizing and political power somewhere, it can be made to happen. For two, disarmament should be out of the hands of the police, they should have zero power to enforce it. Gun violence in poor neighborhoods needs to be treated as a public health issue, and the police are not good for the public’s health. I think this ends up looking like funding and legal support given to the gun control advocate’s already present in those neighborhoods who have been doing this work for a long time, who do it out of concern for their communities.


That’s not what I’m seeing from this conversation, as a reader, based on quotes like those below:

Something that’s important to address going forward is the character of enforcement.

I would not trust a police force that has historically used prohibitive laws to justify massive escalation in harassment against minority populations (i.e. the War on Drugs) to justly and fairly enforce gun control laws.

Any push for reasonable gun control regulations should, at the very least, also demand the disarmament and demilitarization of the police force. I’m for abolition in favor of community policing programs myself, but it’ll take a lot more work to create the conditions where that’s plausible.


Speaking to how good gun control might look where I’m from: It’s well know SW Virginia, Southern West Virginia, East Kentucky and East Tennessee together make up one of the poorest areas in the country, with some of the worst health, worst health care, and worst rates of addiction and mental illness. Living in small towns you hear way too often about young people who have killed themselves with their or their parent’s guns. I know plenty of people who previously enjoyed hunting, going to the range, who were just as stubborn as anyone else in the area about keeping their guns. And they lost a family member to suicide, to another family member with severe mental health issues often directly linked to addiction, and they can’t stand to think about guns anymore. If this was focused on, in addition to alleviating all of these main issues obviously, I think a community disarmament effort could be positive.

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I was responding to this part

Which was a response to me saying that I see no evidence that we can completely demilitarize society without doing away with class conflict. My point is that there’s a huge difference between saying “a society without guns would be good” and saying “gun control would solve the problem of gun violence”.

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