During an August 31 appearance on CNN’s New Day, former professional tennis player James Blake conceded that gangs are the real problem behind Chicago gun violence but said more gun control should be passed anyway.
Although the topic of Blake’s appearance was the U.S. Open, the anchor looked at him and said:
Policing, and the problem with policing, isn’t really the focus of why you have that problem in Chicago. If you look at it, it’s gangs, and it’s a cycle of opportunity that gangs have exploited in their favor to get people into their ranks instead of legitimate ranks of opportunity. What do you do about that? Because that goes bigger than guns [or] anything.
Blake responded by concurring that the cause of Chicago gun violence “is bigger than guns.” Then pivoted to a push for gun control—which included criticism of legal guns as well as illegal guns—saying:
[But] it could start with guns. You know, there’s too many out there, there’s too many that are available legally or illegally. So I think common sense—which ever side of the aisle you’re on—common sense gun laws makes sense to over 70 percent of the people in this country. So I think that’s something that just makes sense to get that done. Unfortunately the NRA seems to have so much power, even though they only have five million members, they have a voice because they are all very vocal.
Blake played an instrumental role in helping the Americans capture the Davis Cup in 2007 and briefly ranked tops among American tennis players. In a career that spanned more than a decade, he won seven titles but generally failed to advance far in grand-slam events.
Blake’s emphasis on the availability of guns in the U.S. and his subsequent claim that “70 percent of the people” support stronger controls on acquiring guns does not square with recent polling by Pew Research Center. On August 26 Breitbart News reported that Pew’s findings that Americans, by a margin of 56 to 46 percent, believe protecting gun rights is more important than passing more laws aimed at controlling who can own guns.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.