US radio show “The Connection”:http://www.theconnection.org/ had an hour-long “show recently”:http://www.theconnection.org/shows/2004/05/20040517_b_main.asp about gun violence in the US which kills more Americans than the war in Iraq. The main guest was a middle-class black guy who chose to remain in the wrong neighborhood and whose son (who wasn’t involved with gangs) was senselessly killed by one. An LA Times reporter who covered the incident was also on the programme – the story she wrote about it is here.
She revealed some interesting facts on the programme (though without references it is difficult to vouch for their accuracy).
* The homicide rate for white women across the US is 2-3/100,000 but for young black men in LA it is 275/100,000.
* For all the concern about gun violence generally in the US, white people there are as safe as Europeans – it’s predominantly black people in poor neighborhoods who are dying.
* It isn’t just about teens killing teens either – black men in their 40s have a higher homicide rate than under-18s.
* Deaths due to gang violence are predominantly a problem for blacks – not nearly so much of a problem for whites or latinos even when they are in gangs.