The Weekly Reload Podcast

The Atlantic's Adam Serwer on Guns and Race in America

October 11th, 2021

This week, I talk to The Atlantic's Adam Sewer about how guns and race interact in America both historically and in the modern-day.

He talked about his recent back and forth with Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito over Texas's new abortion law. We disagreed over whether the same tactic of deferring enforcement to civil suits brought by regular citizens rather than government actors will be tried out by gun-control advocates in some parts of the country. He thinks it won't because activists fear review by the court, but I'm not so sure.

From there, we discuss the court's upcoming gun-carry case and the racist history of various gun-permitting laws in America. He explains why a majority of Black Americans support gun-control measures despite a widespread acknowledgment those laws will be disproportionately used against members of their community.

Then we talked about Beto O'Rourke's plans to run for governor in Adam's adopted home of Texas. We discuss the political practicality of Beto's famous pledge to take everyone's AR-15s and AK-47s. 

We also discuss the rise in minority gun ownership and what it means for the future of gun politics in America.

Plus, I give on-the-ground insight into the re-election of Wayne LaPierre to run the NRA. I was the only reporter sitting outside the board meeting where LaPierre faced his first challenge in years, and I give the details of what went down. And I share the latest gun sales numbers for 2021 now that they've passed 2019's full-year total.