Does race shape Americans' passion for guns?

Restrictive gun control laws often victimize black people more than any other group because they suffer disproportionately from violent crime, says John R. Lott Jr., author of “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws.”

A black person is 6.5 times more likely to become a murder victim than someone who is white; and 92% of black murder victims are killed by members of their own race, Lott says.

“Given the anger about police in many black communities, it might make more sense to let the law-abiding citizens in those communities have a greater chance to defend themselves,” says Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, a group that examines the links between gun control and crime.

There are some who say that gun laws actually discriminate against poor blacks by making it more difficult for them to buy guns for protection, he says. He says states do this by raising the costs of concealed gun permits, training and other fees that price out poor minorities.