Shamefully, the Rev. Jesse Jackson has revved up the blame game against law-abiding, federally-licensed firearms retailers in the suburbs of troubled cities like Detroit, where he somehow hopes to convince people that the legal sale of firearms is the cause of urban violence.
At protests he encouraged last Saturday at firearms retail stores and with characteristic rhetoric, Jackson and leaders of the Rainbow PUSH coalition did nothing less than pillory law-abiding firearms retailers—those same retailers who want as much as anyone to see violence curbed in their regions.
This scapegoating was called out by Action Impact Gun Shop owner William Kucyk, of Southfield, Michigan, whose store was the site of one protest and who was quoted in a Detroit Free Press article, saying “I guess I’m disappointed because if you come in my store, I have wonderful customers. I have families in my store. I have serious good, sound functional customers in my store. I have students in my store to learn gun safety. So why you would think this would be a symbol for that protest is unwarranted.”
The lawful sale of firearms does not cause crime. This is demonstrated by the continuing rise in lawful firearm sales coinciding with a continued drop in violent crime nationwide. At the same time, this increase in firearms sales has supported at 30.6 percent increase in jobs between 2008 and 2011, keeping thousands of workers off unemployment lines and homeowners off foreclosure lists and making the firearms industry a bright spot in the U.S. economy.
We sympathize with the citizens of Detroit on the issues of urban unemployment, poverty and criminal misuse of firearms, but persecuting lawful, taxpaying business will do nothing to solve the difficult problems that so vex that community.