Saturday, February 26, 2011
Making Guns Uncool
In Guns are Cool, novelist Courttia Newland confronts the glamourization of guns through venues such as video games, movies and gangsta rap.
Clearly, Newland seems to think of himself as a black Michael Moore; Newland goes so far as to place an on-camera call to Nike to complain about 50 Cent's lyrics. But beyond that, Guns are Cool raises some important questions, while largely ignoring others.
Newland points out that, like in Canada and the United States, the black community in Britain is disproportionately affected by gun crime. Newland insists that this is because black communities are "socially deprived" (which seems to be a rather left-ish method of saying they're impoverished).
Newland suggests that the identification of "black on black" crime as black on black is, in itself, a form of soft racism. But the film declines to confront the question of why so many black Britons target one another as the victims of their crimes.
The idea of creating a nationwide stigma against gun crime, however, promises a method of gun control that would be more effective in the long term than some of the methods of gun control currently being used -- such as the handgun ban that deprives Britons who would use such weapons for self-defense rather than for crime.