The NRA has launched a new advertising campaign that targets urban black men.
The ads feature a guy named “Mr. Colion Noir.” We know little about Noir except that he is an “urban gun enthusiast” and “budding attorney” from Houston, Texas who has carved out quite a niche for himself in the YouTube gun enthusiast world.
The NRA teased the campaign with a “coming soon” video last Friday. View the video here.
“No one wants to fight for protection, they want the government to do it,” Noir says in the clip. “The same government who at one point hosed us down with water, attacked us with dogs and wouldn’t allow us to eat at their restaurants and told us we couldn’t own guns when bumbling fools with sheets on their heads were riding around burning crosses on our lawns and murdering us.”
The NRA officially welcomed Noir to the team yesterday. From NRAblog:
Noir burst on the internet scene thirteen months ago with a video on his Every Day Carry (EDC) inventory. A wallet, an iPod, car keys, and a GLOCK 36. Over time, they morphed into an engaging collection of commentaries on gun related issues of the day.
“I think at the end of the day, when we start thinking about the policies and the things we want to implement in this society to make us safer, we need to look at the hard core facts, not manipulating people’s emotions,” says Noir in one of his YouTube videos. “That gets us no where. Especially when the things that you’re trying to implement aren’t going to do anything but make it worse for the law abiding citizens of this country.”
Noting that he already had “haters” since the video dropped, Noir attempted to clear the air regarding who he is and just what’s what on his Facebook page yesterday: “It amuses me how after the NRA video dropped I am all of a sudden a puppet, token black guy, 15 min of fame seeker, etc etc. They fail to realize every clip in that teaser was a video I already did months ago on my channel before ever being in contact with the NRA. #SMH get it together people. Every single thing I say is my own words, every single thing you will hear me say will be my own words. To all my supporters I thank you. This issue is sooooooo much bigger than me. Let’s stay focused and continue the course.”
As David Cole, professor of Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice at the Georgetown University Law Center recently noted in the New York Times, it’s impossible to examine the history of American gun laws without discussing issues of race:
“The history of gun regulation is inextricably interwoven with race. Some of the nation’s most stringent gun laws emerged in the South after the Civil War, as Southern whites feared what newly freed slaves might do if armed. At the same time, Northerners saw the freed slaves’ right to bear arms as critical to protecting them from the Ku Klux Klan.
In the 1960s, Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party made the gun a central symbol of black power, claiming that “the gun is the only thing that will free us.” On May 2, 1967, taking advantage of California’s lax gun laws, several Panthers marched through the State Capitol in Sacramento carrying raised and loaded weapons, generating widespread news coverage.”
While the NRA strives to make a young urban black male the new face of gun rights, that demographic is already the face of gun violence — the vast majority of victims being young black men. In 2008 and 2009, gun homicide was the leading cause of death among black teens, according to a report issued last year by the Children’s Defense Fund.
In Philadelphia, 84 percent of murder victims last year were killed by gunfire. Of those, 72 percent of those victims are black and 46 percent were 25 years old or younger.