African American Gun Rights Surge
African American Gun Rights Surge
Unlike many, I am lucky enough to have an incredible job that keeps me busy for sometimes 12 or more hours per day, so between constant work and the ‘rona, it’s unsurprising that I haven’t been to the range to exercise my gun rights in a while.
I remedied this sad development yesterday by taking a friend and running off to one of the local ranges with a couple of pistols, a whole load of ammo, and a determined attitude.
I have to say, what I saw at the range yesterday blew my mind in the best way possible!
Before heading out, I contacted two local ranges to see if there was any special requirement – any kind of precautions we had to take – before heading out. The local outdoor range said their wait was interminably long – sometimes three hours – so it was best to try another day. They recommended a weekday, or getting over there super early on a Saturday, which just wasn’t happening. I like my sleep.
The second range had a wait of about 45 minutes, and they were strictly enforcing a one-hour per lane rule, whereas in the past, they allowed us to plink as much as we wanted (within reason). They did request that masks be worn inside the store, and I will certainly acquiesce. These are a good bunch of folks, and it’s their property, so…
My friend and I got there around 1500 hrs and waited about 45 minutes to be called inside when a lane opened up. We went through several boxes of ammo, I confirmed that I like firing my M1911 A1 pistol much more than I like shooting my G23, and we sweated our genitals off, because it was interminably hot in there. After an hour, we headed home sweaty and happy.
So what blew my mind at the range?
The fact that my friend and I were pretty much the only white (or in my case, sort of light) people there.
It was incredible to see.
African-American families, older folks, young people, and even children were in every lane on that range, taking lessons, watching intently, firing, following proper safety rules, asserting their gun rights and having a great time doing it! Outside there were more people of color, sitting on the grass or at some tables, smiling, waiting their turn to go inside.
I mean, the range was FILLED with African Americans exercising their rights!
I bet the smile on my face was stupid.
In 1993, African Americans overwhelmingly supported gun control – 74 percent, according to Pew research data. In 2015, that number had fallen by 14 percent, although still significant, and interestingly, the number of black Americans who prioritized gun rights over stricter gun controls nearly doubled from 18 percent in 1993 to 34 percent in December 2015.
“If anyone should have the right or need to carry a gun, it should be the African-American community,” said Philip Smith, who earlier this year founded the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA), which he says now has a couple of hundred members.
He cited slavery and the Jim Crow-era South as reasons that blacks should arm themselves, noting that “all those things happened to us because we weren’t able to defend ourselves.”
Gee, didn’t a historian named Clayton Cramer write a paper based on his research about the racist roots of gun control back in 1993? He wrote in his opening paragraph:
The historical record provides compelling evidence that racism underlies gun control laws — and not in any subtle way. Throughout much of American history, gun control was openly stated as a method for keeping blacks and Hispanics “in their place,” and to quiet the racial fears of whites. This paper is intended to provide a brief summary of this unholy alliance of gun control and racism, and to suggest that gun control laws should be regarded as “suspect ideas,” analogous to the “suspect classifications” theory of discrimination already part of the American legal system.
People like Colion Noir (real name: Collins Idehen) – an African American attorney from Texas, who has become the black voice of the NRA – have helped bring gun rights to the forefront of the minds of the black community.
The Daily Beast reported a few weeks ago that more and more African Americans are purchasing firearms to defend themselves. In 2014, only 19 percent of black households in America had a gun owner, according to a Pew Research Center study. By 2017, that number grew to 24 percent, Pew says. And NAAGA estimates that number may have grown even higher this year. NAAGA, which started with one chapter in Atlanta in 2015, now has more than 100 chapters nationwide with 40,000 members, more than 10,000 of them having joined this year.
These are impressive numbers.
Now, the Daily Beast is an unabashedly leftist publication that will never miss an opportunity to bash Donald Trump, so of course, it’s all Trump’s fault that African Americans are “terrified,” according to the site. He’s given rise to racism. He has overseen a massive rise in white nationalism. ORANGEMANBAD.
Pardon me while I extract my eyeballs from the back of my head.
But regardless of the Beast’s partisan, deranged squawking, one thing is very clear: African Americans are finding their inner free people. They are understanding en masse that taking personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their loved ones is paramount at a volatile time in our history. The number of armed African Americans is growing, and I couldn’t be more excited for them and for our nation.
It always struck me as odd that African Americans, who tend to be frequent victims of police brutality and even worse, were always the ones who wanted the police to have a monopoly on force. Were the deaths of Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and others not enough to convince them that being personally responsible for their safety is the best way to go? Were they not convinced that they are more likely to be murdered by other African Americans, and even the ultra liberal Baltimore Sun admits this.
The reality is that homicides in major cities including Baltimore are not race neutral. Of the more than three hundred people killed in the streets of Baltimore last year, just about all of them were African Americans. The shooters (killers) were most likely black as well. This is a devastating plague acutely affecting black communities across the country.
Maybe finally, African Americans have had enough, and I cannot blame them.
I couldn’t have been happier to see their determined, smiling faces at the range yesterday, learning to use their tools of self defense, and acknowledging others who were there to exercise their gun rights with warmth and brotherhood.
Featured photo courtesy of Pxfuel; free for commercial use.