In the wake of mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 moviegoers were killed and 70 injured; Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and 6 adult staff members were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School; and elsewhere, concerned citizens may question whether guns are neutral actors in the rage killings and rampage murders that have become increasingly familiar in U.S. society. Rather than revisit the well-worn aphorism “guns don’t kill people: people do,” this article considers a provocative counter thesis—that firearms may serve not only as mechanisms of violence in shooting rampages but also as catalysts. Can guns themselves cause violence, apart from the motivation and intent of those who wield them? What is the relationship of guns to the triumvirate of hate speech, hate groups, and hate crime? This paper seeks to explore these questions in depth to examine how guns and hate-fueled rhetoric may combine in American soci- ety with deadly effect.
How to Cite:
Strain, C.B., 2013. Evil Black Guns: Hate, Instrumentality, and the Neutrality of Firearms. Journal of Hate Studies, 11(1), pp.51–72. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33972/jhs.91