Just after 1 a.m. on July 22, 2019, Tyler Wingate, a 24-year-old white male, was driving on Livernois in Detroit when Lawrence Davis, a 24-year-old black male, bumped into him. The two pulled into a gas station to resolve the minor fender bender. Both got out of their cars. Wingate took one step when Davis allegedly charged at him, knocked him to the ground with a hard punch, and kicked him in the head repeatedly until the 24-year-old white kid from the suburbs was dead. Davis's trial is ongoing. Before his death, Wingate had worked hard and saved up his money for his plan to buy a house in Detroit and become a part of Detroit’s big comeback.
There are many such instances across the country which illustrate the importance of owning a firearm for self-defense. However, the idea of a white person defending himself by even brandishing a gun in such a situation is detestable to polite opinion. If Wingate had drawn a gun in reaction to threatening behavior by Davis, he may have been destroyed afterwards by the legal system. In the current, racially charged political environment, whites have only two bad options when faced with violence: submit to their aggressors or risk jail after defending themselves.
Consider just two among many recent episodes: the McCloskey’s and the Wuestenberg’s.
On June 28, a large group of Black Lives Matter protestors, some carrying guns, entered a gated St. Louis neighborhood and marched up to the front of Mark and Patricia McCloskey’s home. The McCloskey’s, fearing for their lives, grabbed their firearms, went outside, and stood in front of the house. Never discharging their weapons or harming anyone, they managed to deter the crowd by brandishing their weapons on their property.
Three days later, Jillian and Eric Wuestenberg, a white couple from metro Detroit, found themselves in a similar predicament. While exiting a Chipotle in Orion Township with two large bags of food for her four children, a pregnant Mrs. Wuestenberg bumped elbows with a 15-year-old African American girl. The teen and her mother promptly hurled accusations of racism while filming with their cellphones. The Wuestenbergs got in their car and began to back out but members of the African American family began hitting the back of the car which triggered a safety feature and caused the car to lock up. The Wuestenbergs were surrounded. Mrs. Wuestenberg got out the car and was confronted by the yelling, cellphone wielding black mother. At this point, Jillian Wuestenberg took out her handgun and pointed it at the black mother, telling her to get away from their car—a terrifying, out-of-context image that quickly went viral.
Subsequently, the Oakland County prosecutor charged Mrs. Wuestenberg with felonious assault. Both she and her husband have lost their jobs. Likewise, the St. Louis District Attorney has charged each of the McCloskey’s with unlawful use of a weapon, and confiscated their firearms. Of course, the most crippling charge that both couples face in the court of public opinion is racism.
Legal jeopardy is the new gun control. The left is making the consequences of defending oneself with a firearm so dire for white people that none will even want to own a gun. The mainstream right is letting them get away with it by accepting the left’s narrative, that in any confrontation between a white male and a non-white male, the former is always at fault.
Consider if the roles had been reversed in these two recent stories. Suppose a middle-aged black couple is harangued by white teenagers and their parents. The black couple gets in their car to leave, but the whites surround them, hitting the back of the car and yelling names at the terrified black couple. At this point, the black woman gets out of the car and draws her firearm on the white agitators, to scare them away without shooting. The white people, seeing the gun, back off.
Had such an incident been caught on video, the mainstream right would be falling in love with the gun-toting black woman. The National Rifle Association would use her in ads. She would be invited to speak at Conservative Political Action Conference. All summer long, establishment Republicans would be citing the incident as evidence that American blacks need guns to protect themselves from bigoted, suburban, white Democrats—Democrats are “the real racists” being the favored Republican talking point.
Now imagine how the left would respond to such a turn of events. They would point to the video of white teens harassing the black couple as evidence of systemic racism. They’d be outraged that whites surrounded the vehicle of a peaceful black couple and tried to prevent them from leaving the scene, all over a minor elbow grazing. Terms like white privilege and white fragility would be used to describe the white family. The whites who surrounded the car would be compared to racist cops who harass black drivers for no reason. The video would be yet more evidence that “driving while black” is becoming harder due to white racism.
The same exercise can be done with the McCloskey’s in St. Louis. Imagine if some group of people, chanting "white lives matter" marched up to the home of a black couple and the black couple fended them off by brandishing their firearms. They would be considered heroes by the establishment right. And the left would condemn the mob as racists.
The left tends to win these arguments because their narrative is unchallenged by the right. The establishment right is reluctant to defend anyone who points a gun unless that person has more diversity points than those at whom they point it.
This is the genius of the new gun-control: it doesn’t have to work its way through the legislative process. A law that explicitly limits one group’s access to gun ownership would never pass Congress, much less be upheld by the Supreme Court. But the modern left knows they do not need such a law. They just need to make life a living hell for any white person who defends themselves with a gun against anyone with more diversity points, knowing full well that mainstream conservatives will stay silent.
John M. Howting III handles customer service and circulation for Intellectual Takeout and Chronicles magazine.