Martin Bashir | March 08, 2013
>>> hip-hop legend russell simmons has responded to the nra al zarqawi latest attempt to reach out to a new dem grsk and sell more guns to african- americans . a new video campaign visiting a gentleman is the nra 's chosen vehicle to stoke fear and increase gun sales. after watching that, russell simmons wrote the following. our community is not interested in a corporate sponsored gun group telling us what to do when their real mission is to make more money for the corporations that line their dirty pockets with rolls of cash and silver bullets . julian epstein is a democratic strategist and former chief minority counsel to the house judiciary committee . julian , russell simmons also says that black on black crime will not be solved by arming more people with guns. can i ask you, julian , does the nra have any other reaction to any challenge in this country aside from get more guns? i guess their answer to the recessi recession, sell more crimes. to crime, buy more guns.
>> it's the argument that everyone in this country should be terrorized into having to buy a gun. and nowhere is that claim going to ring more hollow than in the african-american community. african- american males are 15 times nor likely to be killed with a gun than their white counterparts. 40% of all african- americans will tell you that according to surveys that gun violence has affected their lives. according to the pew research about 80% -- 79% to 80% of african- americans support the kind of gun legislation we have been talking about. you know, i think the nra and their front people would be taken a little more seriously if they didn't have people on their board, and there are at least two people on the nra board who have said things like inner city gun deaths do not represent a net loss to society. there was another nra board member who said that inner city gun deaths actually represent a net gain to society because of the kind of people that they were taking out. if the nra didn't go after the president's daughter, if the nra didn't associate with people like ted nugent who has rationized apartheid, this is a really, really -- this has gone from bad to the absurd and russell simmons has put the nra quite in its place and i think exposed the absurdity of these kind of front men and how hollow their arguments ring.
>> in his " huffington post " column, simmons goes on to say fear is the greatest weapon used against the defenseless. it is a tactic that confuses the blurred minds of those who are in struggle, and right now it is the best ammunition that the national rifle association can muster with smoke screens and a barrage of bullet. the nra is intentionally playing into the fears of very few people, very, very few. julian , is that you wiall -- that all the nra has left, fear?
>> it is all that's left and russell simmons is extraordinarily eloquent and i think this campaign won't go very far. it ignores all of the data. if you look, all of the data shows that the presence of a gun, and this is especially so in the african-american community, the presence of a gun is more likely to result in your death or in the death of one of our loved ones than it is to protect you. that's true about the international data. that's true about the state by state comparisons, and it's true about if you have a gun inside your home. russell simmons i think very, very eloquently put that fact out there. again, african- americans are 15 times more likely to be killed by a gun than are their white counterparts. so this is a desperate and pathetic attempt by the nra to put up some front men to make an argument in a community that is ravaged --
>> it is exhausted.
>> and it is exhausted by gun violence and it's highly offensive as it was having gun appreciation day occur on martin luther king 's holiday. these guys go beyond tone deaf . this is highly, highly offensive stuff. i guarantee you if you ask 11 out of 100 african- americans , they will tell you that.