On Wednesday's episode of The View, co-host Joy Behar suggested that America's gun laws would only become more strict "once black people get guns."
What she failed to consider is that 1 in 4 black Americans already own firearms.
The issue of gun control took center stage on Wednesday's episode of The View, as the panel offered their take on the subject following Matthew McConaughey's passionate speech at the White House the day before.
"He said, you have to find common ground right now," co-host Sara Haines said referencing McConaughey's speech. "We have to find a way to rise above this political back and forth and counterpunching because it's that urgent, what's going on right now."
"It’s all about the guns, all right?" Behar retorted, suggesting that Republicans would not budge on the idea of banning AR-15s and similar firearms.
Co-host Lindsey Granger pushed back on Behar's comments, pointing out that most AR-15 owners are former military, 35-plus and married."
Behar then appeared to suggest that black Americans did not own guns.
"Let me say one more thing, okay?" she said. "Here’s the thing. Once black people get guns in this country, the gun laws will change, trust me."
Granger, puzzled by Behar's comment, pointed out that "black people have been buying guns," adding that, "the numbers went up in 2020."
Behar's statements were criticized by many on social media. "How condescendingly racist!" wrote conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza.
Granger's claim, however, is supported by Pew Research data on gun ownership, which shows that twenty-four percent of black Americans owned firearms. Additionally, black gun ownership went up fifty-six percent in 2020, the highest jump of any demographic.
As The Hill reported, evidence suggests the high profile killing of a number of black Americans by police helped spur the rise in gun ownership among people of colour.
The desire to own firearms is not limited to any particular side of the political spectrum, either. Left-wing pro-gun groups such as the "Not F***ing Around Coalition" consist of mostly "armed social justice advocates."
"In times of uncertainty people want to be able to have the means to defend themselves," said Robert Cottrol, law professor at George Washington University. "People are worried that they're not being protected and they'll have to do it themselves."