The NRA Trolls Kim Kardashian for Robbery in Victim-Blaming Tweets

October 3rd 2016

Lucy Tiven

The National Rifle Association weighed in on Kim Kardashian West's early morning robbery in Paris on Monday in a series of tweets seemingly mocking the star for her position on gun control.


The NRA's comments use Kardashian West — a crime victim, who described the incident to police as "the worst moment in my life," according to TMZ — as a political prop.

These remarks seem to use Kardashian's highly publicized robbery to say that "gun control doesn't work" while also using the moment to take a dig at her past support for gun control.

As the Huffington Post points out, various studies have illustrated that background checks can reduce gun violence significantly. One high-profile robbery doesn't disprove the vast body of research on gun regulations.

French law requires that people acquire hunting or shooting licenses, undergo background checks, and receive psychological evaluations in order to own guns, as the University of Sydney's Gun Policy website explains.


But the NRA's argument against these regulations doesn't necessarily hold up. While France does have a gun violence problem, it's significantly smaller that ours. The country has about 1,800 firearms deaths each year, while the U.S. has over 33,000, the Washington Post reports.

Even taking the two countries' populations into account, France's gun violence problem remains smaller than ours. According to 2010 data reported by CBS News, only 2.8 percent of 100,000 deaths in France involved firearms, while 10.2 percent of those in the United States did. Firearm related homicides made up .2 percent of the sample of 100,000 deaths in France, and 3.6 percent of 100,000 deaths in America.

The NRA's comments also invoke remarks made by some conservative American politicians including Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the aftermath of the Paris attacks in 2015.

These politicians argued that less restrictive gun laws would have allowed Parisians to protect themselves against assailants. But Europeans don't tend to feel this way, and typically consider gun violence in France in terms of border control and how illegal weapons get into the country, according to the Post and the Guardian.

Framing what happened to Kardashian in an anti-gun control narrative ignores the research showing that background checks can reduce gun violence and misunderstands France's gun problem.

It also reinforces the notion that we should fight violent crimes by arming their potential victims.

In actuality, arming women isn't a form of empowerment. It is simply one of many ways to suggest that crime victims — especially female ones — need to do more to protect themselves. Crimes are committed because of criminals — not because victims don't carry guns or pepper spray, or due to their political positions on gun control.

[h/t Mother Jones]