QOTD: How Do We Increase Diversity in the Gun Community?

Okay, I know that sounds like a horrendously lefty-type question, but at the barbecue strategy meeting Thursday evening, Robert brought up the question of how do we bring more minorities/”people of color” into the gun community and I was reminded of this wandering around the Con, seeing the almost complete lack of melanin in the crowd.

Ideas anyone?

comments

  1. avatar Buuurr says:

    Interbreed. I recommend it.

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      This. The blood is becoming too thick. In near-as-dammit single-race Japan (Mrs. Moonshine’s mother land), one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. We’ll have that here in a few generations unless we do something about it.

      1. avatar Buuurr says:

        Yeah. Me and the wife love it. Worked for us. Our kid is as strong and healthy as a genius horse. AND!!!! Unlike the standard pure blooded East Indian kid she is strong. Loves eating meat of things once living. And will love guns unlike the insane paranoia East Indian cultures have against them. …although they have that same paranoia against Whites in general so whatever… (I speak from experience with my wife’s family.)

        1. avatar Tom says:

          I married an Indian, but she is part Cherokee.

        2. avatar Buuurr says:

          lol.. no. My wife is East Indian (Asian). From India. Cherokee is cool too though.

  2. avatar Adam says:

    Offer a set of free gold teeth for every purchase,

    1. avatar Don says:

      Advice from a real rocket scientist.

    2. avatar twency says:

      We could try to stop making comments which crudely stereotype and have the obvious potential to insult people of another race.

      1. avatar Adam says:

        I don’t understand, twence, how would that be fun?

        1. avatar twency says:

          I don’t consider racist insults “fun”. I’m a real sourpuss that way.

    3. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Jackass.

      Hey, if you guys decide to moderate my flame, how about you just delete this whole line of conversation?

  3. avatar shazbot says:

    Getting rid of all the Nazi, Confederate, and skinhead bullshit I see at every gun show I’ve ever been to would be a good start.

    1. avatar Low Budget Dave says:

      I have to agree with Shaz on this. I don’t think it is the only thing keeping minorities away, but it certainly isn’t helping the argument that we are not racist.

      1. avatar Tarrou says:

        I don’t see it at every show, but yes, the confederate fanboydom does wear thin quickly, even for those of us whose ancestors weren’t victimized by that section of the country. I mean, how long can you cheer for a losing team (keep in mind, I’m from Michigan, we can do that forfuckingever)? And I’m certain that it does nothing to endear the gun community to minorities.

        1. avatar MadDawg J says:

          Then they should be educated about the fact that the confederate flag is not ment to be a racist symbol (and perhaps that the north also had slavery). I personally know, and have seen, people of every color and race flying that flag, the problem is the a-holes who have tried to attach a symbol of heritage to their propaganda of hate and intolerance. The small minority inappropriately using that symbol does not in anyway speak for “that section of the country” anymore than extremist Muslims speak for all Muslims.

          For the record, yes I am a proud Southerner, no being a Southerner does not automatically make one a racist or bigot, no I do not personally fly the flag but I know why people do and it is not (in most cases) about racism, and I do not care how much I get flamed for saying what I said. The problem is racist a-holes which come from all walks of life, races, sexes, regions of the US and countries of the world. I understand that some people misinterpreting it as a racist symbol, that is why I try to explain that it is not supposed to be.

        2. avatar Andre says:

          Please explain in detail what people who fly confederate flags are thinking. I don’t like judging people but I will say that when I am at the gun shows I never go near the vendors with confederate flags displayed or those with nazi arm bands and etc. I automatically assume that they are racist. If I am missing something I would like to know.

        3. avatar MadDawg J says:

          “those with nazi arm bands”
          Glad we don’t have those people at the shows I go to, they certainly wouldn’t be welcome. Are they really that prevalent at shows? It seems it with how many are saying they’ve seen them, but except for WW2 artifacts we don’t allow that.

          To most people (again there are those few) it represents Southern heritage, the way of life where you are polite to people (say sir and ma’am, hold the door open for others), you know your neihbors and you enjoy the simple pleasures of life. It is also used to express the displeasure of people in New York (Blaimburg), Cali and DC telling us how to live and what to drive, etc.

          It’s also used by Southerns outside of the South as a sign of defiance against the fact that just because we have a Southern drawl we are treated like we are mentally retarded no matter how well educated or intelligent we are and as a reminder of home.

          One of the main reasons I don’t own or display Confederate flags is because it is misunderstood and has been used by people’s whose ideas I cannot stand, besides my family wasn’t even in this country then so it’s not “my” flag. I’ve found that flying my GA State flag and my UGA gear says most of the same without as much of the negative connotation.

        4. avatar Tarrou says:

          There’s no “misunderstanding” flying the battle banner of the group that was willing to spill more American blood than the Nazis ever did, explicitly to continue their practice of race-based slavery. The Confederacy was a filthy institution which is rightly linked with the absolute worst in American history. My ancestors died by the dozens to put those 19th century scum down, and I couldn’t be prouder of my family. Also, William Tecumseh Sherman was a great man.

        5. avatar MadDawg J says:

          1) The South succeeded, the North decide to declare war on the South. The North then invaded the South.

          2) Slavery and racism was as much a part of the North as the South.

          3) People of color fought on both sides, because it was a war about State’s rights, not a war only about slavery.

          4) The stars and bars was not the battle flag, it was the national flag.

          5) Try studying history sometime and not just stereotyping people based on your severly limited knowledge of what you are talking about. I will not even dignify the stupidity of your comment about Sherman with a response.

    2. avatar TS says:

      +1 to that

    3. avatar Aaron says:

      I’m a Northerner and I simply see the Confederate flag as a symbol of overall defiance/independence. The rest, I could do without.

      1. avatar shazbot says:

        Your personal feelings about the symbol aside, that’s certainly not what it communicates to the segments of the population at issue here.

      2. avatar Totenglocke says:

        Agreed. I respect the Confederate flag far more than the American flag. At least the Confederates fought to defend the concepts of freedom and small government that the Constitution was based on.

        1. avatar shazbot says:

          Wait a second here. You think the Confederacy was formed to preserve *small government*?

          Do you really want to go out and support an extinct, racist-as-fuck secessionist government because of the principle of *small government*? I mean, I believe in small government too, but I hardly think that issue is important enough to also endorse a complete disregard for BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS.

    4. avatar Sanchanim says:

      +1

    5. avatar MadDawg J says:

      “No racial, ethnic, sexist or any hate mongering material of any type including material advocating the overthrow of the government or that which degrades the office of the Presidency or of the President is allowed. This also includes bumper stickers, t-shirts, magazines, videos or any material as deemed by the management of these shows as objectionable.”

      From the rules of one the main show organizer I go to. The rest have similar rules in place.

  4. avatar Sanchanim says:

    Start with the children.
    Start teaching kids about shooting as a sport, archery too. Teach safety, and they will come.
    There will be more diversity because kids are thrown together in schools and later in life as adults we have already segregated ourselves for the most part.
    Work with inner city kids and that is more weighted but if it is taught through the local PD, then it helps break the stereo type relationship between inner city kids and police.
    I have no idea how this would actually work or who would fund it etc, but when you ingrain a child with information early on like gun safety, it sticks forever. This is also true for relationships. If a child’s first relationship with a police officer is a good one then it sticks. If the first thing they remember is family being carted off by the police then that sticks.
    Just my two and a half cents. 🙂

    1. avatar C. Walther says:

      (Sorry, I know this is kind of off-topic, but it still has valid points).

      This. I just got done berating someone else for the liberal college brainwashing stereotype. One of the points I brought up is something I’ve observed. From where I’m sitting (finished undergraduate at a private university, currently working on a Master’s degree at a public university), a lot of the liberal mentality college students have was already there long before they stepped onto university property.

      Bottom line: people and their mindsets, generally speaking, are products of their environment. That’s not to say people don’t change (for better or worse), but generally speaking people keep the convictions their surroundings instilled in them growing up. There’s my $0.02

  5. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    Actively attempting to gain new members of a culture is like trying to push water. Sometimes it works, but it’s not very effective. The culture of Liberty requires an intellectual awakening that must be nurtured through fellowship, education, and example. It can’t be forced, it can only be encouraged.

  6. avatar JR says:

    I actually think it’s a misconception.

    I think there are plenty of minority gun owners, I just don’t think they are as vocal about it.

    I also don’t think that they are generally recreational shooters.

    If you look at youtube gun videos, there are a proportional number of minorities doing reviews relative to the overall population.

    I would also say that in my community, I see a proportional number of minority customers at my local gun range.

    I think the difference is in organized shooting activities. That is when I see a white majority. I think the reason for that is the underlying uneasiness of the general populace: white people are scared to see minorities with guns, and minorities are scared to go in a room full of armed white people.

    I know it sounds shitty, but I think it’s true.

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      IMHO JR introduced the hammer to the nail head on this one.

      I do not think that the issue is attracting more minorities to gun ownership, I I think it is making them comfortable about being public about it and that they feel welcome in the “group”. There are plenty of minority gun owners and there would be more if they knew that they where welcomed.

  7. avatar Levi B says:

    I’d start by not using terms like people of color.

    1. avatar ScottA says:

      This is the new PC term.

  8. avatar Mrcolionnoir says:

    Being young African American Male with a YouTube channel dedicated to firearms, I can say that most of my friends express concerns about me shooting idpa in the backwoods of texas surrounded by nothing but older white men and some women. They automatically assume gun owners are for ultra conservative hicks who would soon as shoot me as they would an idpa target. My experience has proven otherwise. Most everyone I meet in the gun community are as nice as can be.

    A lot of it also has to do with the media. With the shootings and violence which plague a number of black communities guns are automatically associated with the gang and thug life, so to distance themselves they vilanize and retreat from the gun.

    Sadly, my experience in the gun community had been great, but IDE be a liar if I said I had not encountered my fair share of blatant racism in the community as well. This makes the gun community seem unwelcoming and so many blacks don’t bother. To many in the blk community guns equal = republican NRA members who are racist. Sadly.

    1. avatar Sanchanim says:

      +10

    2. avatar MadDawg J says:

      I’ve come across some of your reviews while searching YouTube before, I like them. I didn’t know you shot IDPA, why don’t you have more IDPA vids?

      1. avatar Mrcolionnoir says:

        I just started shooting IDPA. I have shot two events so far. I just posted my most recent IDPA video.

        1. avatar MadDawg J says:

          Well then, that explains why you only have 2 IDPA videos, doesn’t it. 🙂

  9. avatar ST says:

    I’m a biracial black man,and I come bearing bad news.

    One,plenty of minorities are involved with firearms.Black men of color routinely get jailed on drug & gun charges.So worst case,those people of color will be involved in advancing gun useage …no matter who ends up in the White House.

    As far as legal gun ownership goes,sad as this is to say,but some very bad laws have to change first.Minorities as a matter of history are concentrated in cities,and populous ones at that.Given that black families move where the work is,and in the past that work was in the factories of America near urban centers like New York City,Chicago,Detroit,and other urban centers in America like New Orleans and Los Angeles,the people of color who we want to join the legal gun community are for the most part legally barred from doing so.There is no IDPA in Chicago,and you’d have a better chance to be hit by lightning then be granted a CPL in Los Angeles.

    This brings me to the worst part:there’s no nice way to say this,but minorities are can be the most hard core hoplophobes in America.My Bronx born Puerto Rican ex gf demanded I disarm in her presence,and my posession of a legal permit to carry caused quite the rift at my family home.Logical argument at the family table last year was greeted with “only punks and criminals carry guns.Upstanding citizens don’t need firarms.”

    I don’t blame or judge my family for their perspective.They’ve lived in a state which heavily regulates firearm ownership,and heard every day on the nightly news from anyone with authority that firearms are a ‘social problem’,from Al Sharpton and his ilk all the way up to the mayor,governor,and Obama The Anointed.Some of you folks have never lived in an anti-gun place,and thus know not what its like to see the anti-gun propaganda machine in person.

    Thanks to the anti gun laws,we have an anti gun culture in the Black community.The sooner we shut down the unconstitutional gun control rackets in Washington D.C.,Chicago,New Jersey,New York,and elsewhere ,the more freed Americans of Color will join the legal gun community.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      I will second that. Living in big cities where only the gangstas have guns is certain to give guns a negative connotation for the law abiding. I have met a lot African Americans from the rural and small town south and they are as gun friendly as any redneck. I have had many conversations about coon dogs and guns with several of my black friends and co-workers.

    2. avatar ScottA says:

      It’s not so much of an anti-gun culture is it is an anti-gun rhetoric. Those drive by shooters aren’t using slingshots.

      1. avatar Anon in CT says:

        No, they’re using bayonets.

        At least, I assume that’s why I can’t have a bayonet lug on my bang stick?

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    There’s no shortage of black and hispanic shooters at my range. Black persons constitute less than 7% of MA’s population, but a much higher percentage of newbies in the classes.

    I’m sure that all the percentages are different elsewhere. Still, I’m thinking that minority representation in the gun community is doing OK at the grassroots level, but not at the NRA executive level. The why of that I leave to conjecture, but I also note that there aren’t a whole bunch of women of any shade at the top of the NRA.

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      That is one of my biggest issues with the NRA. They seem rather intent on keeping the public image of the OFWG club despite the current trends in firearms ownership.

    2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      +1

  11. avatar Nathan says:

    A lot of it has to do with location as well. I’m from WA, and the first time I ever went to an informal range (gravel pit in the Olympic national forest) there was a proportional number of black people there. The indoor range I went to was run by an Native American. Relocating to Texas, it’s defintely different. Houston is equal parts white, black, and hispanic, but the number of minorities I have seen at ranges is nowhere near that ratio.

  12. avatar Tarrou says:

    To collate and make explicit what several people seem to be saying, we don’t need to do anything except be good people, good citizens, good neighbors and let our actions speak louder than any words. That does mean we can’t continue to tolerate the semi- or blatantly racist peccadilloes that the OFWG contingent (and their younger counterparts) can fall into. I’m a huge proponent of outreach on a personal level. But I think this problem has more to do with policing ourselves and the behavior around us. And quite frankly, it will take a lot of time before that has an effect on the perceptions we need to change. But there’s no shortcut for doing things right.

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      Motion is seconded

  13. avatar KC says:

    I have a friend of color I brought shooting and he really enjoyed it. From discussions I’ve had with him I think the barrier to him getting into it more (i.e. buying a gun) is his religion, and his whole family is very religious. He feels that God is watching out for him and his family so he doesn’t need one for protection – and I guess buying one for enjoyment at the range as the only reason just isn’t compelling enough for him. I’ve really tried to sell him on the fun/hobby/enjoyment/mechanical/social aspect of it to no avail. I haven’t come up with an argument to beat his religious belief. I don’t have to agree with him but I respect his beliefs too much to get into anything other than a ‘friendly argument’ over it and we agree to disagree (and crack open another brew and move onto friendlier topics.) I think his feeling is that if he ever wants to shoot with someone other than a gun owner then he’d just rent a gun at the range.

    Maybe when he’s older and his kids are grown I can convince him to buy one and get out of the house more and give his wife some peace and quiet. But I’m not holding my breath…

    1. avatar boomenshutzen says:

      He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”
      —Luke 22:36, NIV

  14. avatar Aaron says:

    Kenn Blanchard has been trying to do this for years. As far as I can tell, he’s an articulate, gentle, conciliatory person. He’s a minister, and despite all of those positive qualities, as soon as he mentions 2A rights to his congregation, they frequently turn their backs on him.

    1. avatar shazbot says:

      “articulate”?

      REALLY?

  15. avatar Aaron says:

    There is no substitute for taking your friends shooting. White, black, hispanic, asian, man, woman, straight, gay, conservative, liberal…..take them all to the range and teach them how to shoot.

    And preferably don’t rag on their race/orientation/religion/politics while you’re there. 😉

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      Aaron, it looks like there are two people named “Aaron” here. Perhaps it might be best if we mutually agreed on a way for TTAG admins and members to tell us easily apart?

      1. avatar C. Walther says:

        I ran into the same problem. There was another Chris (who showed up later), and I had just bought my Walther (incidentally, very close to my middle name), so I said “f**k it” and changed my handle.

      2. avatar MadDawg J says:

        A duel to the death?

        1. avatar Aaron says:

          Hmmm… I’m only “dueling” with Nerf guns… 10 paces, turn aim and Fire! 🙂

      3. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Just tell ’em where you’re from, or where you are. There’s a handful of Matts on here, but only one who posts as Matt in FL, and that’s the other guy. Or is it me? Now I’m confused.

  16. avatar Curzen says:

    Well, many vocal advocates go from 2A issues to evangelizing about other very unrelated political issues in the blink of an eye. How that can be off putting should be obvious.

    1. avatar RightYouAreKen says:

      +1, I notice this a lot. Witness all of the “gun owner and Democrat? WTF?” posts and comments here over the past year or two. Happens in forums, NRA propaganda, gun shops, gun shows, etc.

  17. avatar Skyler says:

    I fail to understand why we should care about this question.

    If you build it, they will come. If guns are fun and keep us safe, then people will buy them and use them and try to get better ones.

    The goal should be on improving guns, not on seeking some poorly conceived concept of “diversity.”

  18. avatar Mike S says:

    In my AO, a bastion of bluishness, the lack of public ranges (one State range open 6months of the year), combined with distinct clannishness at many of the clubs, really seems to discourage inclusion. Add the actual racists in our midst (anywhere you have people gathered, there will be a$$holes), and its not rocket surgery to figure out why the crowds seem so monochomatic. Access to ranges, where the shooting sports are encouraged, and one’s interests are not questioned, are the key IMHO.
    A freindly conversation about what you’re shooting while waiting for a lane is worth its weight in gold here.

  19. avatar Dale says:

    Perhaps you could dip your toe in the water at TTAG and ask Mrcolionnoir to be a regular contributor. A quick glance at the “About Us” page displays a, “…complete lack of melanin” as well. Just a thought…

    1. avatar twency says:

      Now that is a good suggestion.

    2. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Tell me about it.

      1. avatar Dale says:

        I did.

    3. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      Exactly – the writing here is excellent, but . . . . a little pasty. Just sayin. . . . .As a conservative Black, it appears par for the course.

  20. avatar MTYD05 says:

    It seems that to stem from preconceived notions of firearms that certain cultures carry with them. I know in my case I come from an asian family and they pretty much told me they think it’s paranoid for someone to want a conceal carry permit. Also, they were initially very unsupportive of my choice to go into a Marine Corps comissioning program because where they’re from those that voluntarily go into the military are typically trash. The only way to change that is to try and talk to people like them and try to show them that their preconceived notions are wrong.

  21. avatar Matt Gregg says:

    Outing and ostracizing racists/Neo-nazis/etc is what I try to do. It all started when I discovered that a friend of probably 8 years was a closet Neo-nazi. I outed him to everyone I knew and cut off all contact. Hopefully minorities will see that the majority of gun owners aren’t racist douchebags and tolerate or associate with the few that are racist douchbags.

  22. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

    I personally welcome all minorities (and women) to the shooting community.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Hot women with guns. That’s personally my favorite minority…

  23. avatar Andre says:

    First delete all of the comments that are written here by those without intellectual thought. The sell gold teeth and etc. are stupid. As a responsible gun owner and ccw firmer law enforcement and blackman and business owner. I think that instead of letting police host gun buy back campaigns in areas with high minority populations the NRA should be holding workshops to teach legal and responsible gin ownership. Make that a campaign. That will help reduce crime everywhere. Most of the criminals that gun owners seem to fear don’t start their crime lives in their neighborhoods they start in the neighborhoods they come from. They victimize there own communities first and the people who look like them. If there were more ccw folks in those areas then there would be lower crime after more self defense shootings.

    1. avatar Tom says:

      I would agree. I also think that minority youth should have access to a gun club or school range and offer actual shooting classes and teams. My school actually had a rifle range and team. I think targets which can be damaged, such as meat, fruit or vegetables should be shot so kids do understand that guns are not a play toy and are a passage into responsible adulthood.

    2. avatar koolaidguzzler says:

      Agree. I’d add this — delete over half the comments in all the Zimmerman/Martin florida incident, because so many of them were infested with racial stereotyping and racial undertones.

      1. avatar KYgunner says:

        And add in the TTAG guidelines that racism will not be tolerated. Then enforce it.

    3. avatar Chaz says:

      As I understand Orwell, constraining language constrains our ability to think. I’d rather read the raw stuff and rely on my own critical thinking than depend on some benevolent blog-mother to decide what is good for me.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Amen to that. Censorship is rarely helpful – if someone is a racist, I’d rather know that from the start and deal with them accordingly.

        The reality of the world is that racism cuts many ways, and it’s very much alive. Minorities are racist as well. I’ve been the straight, white, male “victim” of racism many times ranging from affirmative action in scholarships to overpriced cab fares in Morocco.

        Judge a man by the content of his heart, not the color of his skin.

      2. avatar shazbot says:

        The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is considered debunked by modern academia.

  24. avatar Mike Taylor says:

    I simply introduce new people to the sport by taking them out to the range. Matters not skin color or religion, most folks seem to take to it, and always come away with a greater understanding.

  25. avatar koolaidguzzler says:

    Oh boy, what a favorite subject of mine, for many reasons.
    First, basic background — i’m mixed race, but was raised middle class white, in the south, and I can pass as white and conservative. I’ve been shooting since jr high, and remember “whites only” water fountains. I lived in south, rocky states, tx, southwest, and almost every CA city over 300k, north to south, east to west. Also in both deep red and deep blue AOs. I’ve hunted, shot rifle, trap, done lots IDPA-style comps, instructed for two decades. I’ve experienced most aspects of gun life in america.
    My observations —
    Asians are deep into guns.
    Latinos have reasonable gun involvement in the southwest and west, but not equal in proportion to their population percentage.
    Blacks have little presence at ANY shooting venue I’ve seen ANYWHERE, and I’ve lived in black-majority AOs until very recently. Blacks are extremely under-represented at gun venues of any sort.

    Having said that, here’s my observations about the typical gun owner I see at gun stores, gun shows, and ranges of all types — white and conservative, either in speech, dress, demeanor. 80-90% of all social and professional encounters I’ve had with shooters is that they express politically AND socially conservative views, and when they feel safe around me, over half the time that talk includes racial references. Sometimes mildly racial, sometimes blatantly racial.

    That’s my real life experience over several decades.
    However, my online discussion board experiences with online shooters is that online shooters as a group are overwhelmingly extremely conservative, and many of them don’t even seem to realize it. Whenever shooters talk politics online, the discussion tone of the day always includes: libertarian views, small govt, anti-tax, anti-social services, anti-public health care, anti-tolerance of anything except gun rights, anti-welfare, anti-leniency of anything criminal, anti-reform of anything except gun rights, anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, anti-gay marriage, and often anti-feminist. Such commentary tends to be sexist or sexist-leaning, and race frequently comes up, especially re: racial stereotypes about rap, hip-hop culture, welfare, crime, ghettos, etc. I saw much of this in the recent zimmerman/martin discussions. Many shooters think that as long as they’re not using the n-word, they’re not being racist in their speech. Wrong.

    1. avatar g says:

      +1

      As a 4th generation American of Chinese descent, I’ve had similar experiences. Funny enough, for some reason, you have certain types of gun owners who feel free to make their racist, anti-Black / anti-Latino jokes to me, as if I’m part of the “club”. It’s pretty disappointing to hear, and when I hear any sort of racist, ignorant BS out of people’s mouths, I’m not inclined to connect with them, whether it’s a shared interest in firearms or anything else. Thankfully, not all gun owners fit this stereotype, but I can see how it can be a major turn-off to having an interest in firearms when you know that the person with bigoted opinions about your racial group is armed with a lethal tool…

      And LOL@ “Asians are deep into guns” is so true. Many Asian American small business owners buy and maintain firearms as a matter of security and protection. Plenty of Asian American veterans I know (active, reserve, and retired) also maintain an interest in the hobby.

      Historical example: It’s a well known fact that during the post-Rodney King riots in LA, many Korean American business owners barricaded their stores and formed armed citizens groups to protect themselves.

      http://www.liveleak.com/view?c=1&i=a05_1235367821

      Military service is still mandatory for all Korean men. A lot of first generation immigrants bring that experience and a few actually pass on that military training to their kids, at least in the case of firearms.

    2. avatar ErikO says:

      The range I shoot at is staffed by awesome folks that honestly are working very hard to grow the shooting community. I see all kinds of folks there and it makes me smile.

  26. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    You could start with a little more “diversity” in your reporting cast of characters.

  27. avatar koolaidguzzler says:

    to answer the question”what can we do to bring more people of color to shooting?”
    — IF you’re speaking in general nationwide, the most important thing is to do youth programs like PAL which include air rifle or 22 rifle training, like many of us saw as kids. Another way is for all of us who are in orgs like shooting groups, to donate and sponsor outreach classes or seminars to introduce groups to air guns or firearms, through churches and numerous youth groups attached to private schools, because they’re easier to work with re liability issues than public schools.

    On subtler but still important levels, somehow the tea party/ redneck/militia/biker/intolerant-white-man image of shooters has to change, because it’s as bad as I’ve ever seen it, probably in response to modern social climates of political polarization.

    Lastly, in response to other comments here, that Confederate flag is a recognized symbol of white resentment, defensiveness, intolerance, and resistance to the mainstream. I’ve read and heard all the other justifications, about southern pride, about plain-folk pride and identity, country-western identity, about cultural statements about rejecting political correctness, etc — People can just save their breath with those lame, self-deceiving, self-serving rationalizations. 99 times out of 100, when you see a confederate sticker or flag or image, it’s a white person using it, and most of that time, it’s blue collar or working class white, not privileged white. That’s not coincidence. Bottomline — if you want to bring more ethnic minorities to shooting sports, then stop flaunting that working-class white pride image. If no one is willing to do that, then shooting sports in america will die a slow death, because this nation is getting browner every day, and white people are becoming fewer in ratio, and that will never be reversed. The future of shooting sports lies with ethnic minority americans and women and urbanites. To all you people who want to “preserve their way of life” — if you want your great grandchildren to enjoy shooting sports in the future, you better do your part to get ethnic minorities interested in shooting today.

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      Feel free to tell all of these people that they hate themselves. http://www.southernheritage411.com/

      And tell this man that he is lying, and apparently also hates himself.
      http://www.vindicatingthefounders.com/library/walter-williams.html

      1. avatar jkp says:

        I do not know if the gentleman pictured in the first link ‘hates himself’. Anyone can dress in a silly costume and pose for a photo.

        Regarding Walter Williams: he is simply incorrect.

        The key issue in the Civil War was always about preserving a regime of slavery and white supremacy. The pro-slavery Southerners were quite willing to restrict speech, the right to keep and bear arms, and other rights in pursuit of that end. There was no principled stand for so-called “States Rights” — after all, they were quite willing to endorse federal government power as long as it advanced their own interests (see, e.g., the Fugitive Slave Act.)

        At the time their rebellion against the U.S. Constitution began, the Confederates were not shy about why they were taking up arms:

        “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

        -Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederate States of America, “Cornerstone Speech,” March 21, 1861.

        http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?documentprint=76

  28. avatar mikeb302000 says:

    Not a racist, xenophobe among ya. Fascinating. Yet, the gun world remains dominated by white, middle-aged, fat men.

    Do you suppose not a one of them reads and comments here. Or, is it that racism is so politically incorrect these days, that even the hard core practitioners keep it a dark secret? Yeah, I think that’s it.

    But, you guys keep on telling each other how open-minded and, can I say, liberal you are. I’m sure you’ll convince each other.

    1. avatar Matt Gregg says:

      Desperate gasps from a losing gun banner who just wishes we all wore white bed sheets so we could be so easily villainized.

    2. avatar Buuurr says:

      “mikeb302000 says:

      April 14, 2012 at 03:25

      Not a racist, xenophobe among ya.”

      Now if we had actually read anything on here comment-wise you would know that’s not true. Maybe we could read an entire thread before ignorantly posting? NAH! Ask me if I expect any less of you, Mike.

      “Fascinating. Yet, the gun world remains dominated by white, middle-aged, fat men.”

      As a young, strong, healthy and in shape white Irishmen who shoots with friends of the same demographic I have to disagree with you. There are a lot of fat asses out there but that is just America and the world in general. The NRA has done nothing but further your scanted (as always) image of shooters but those guys are as we all know on the decline. The youth of this country have picked up on shooting and they are the new trend. You wouldn’t know that (or want to) because it doesn’t jive with your ignorance.

      “Do you suppose not a one of them reads and comments here. Or, is it that racism is so politically incorrect these days, that even the hard core practitioners keep it a dark secret? Yeah, I think that’s it.”

      Of course there are those that keep it secret. They always have. Why do you think the KKK wore hoods? It seems you are continuing to master the obvious, Mike. A rather bland couple of shots into the gun world if you ask me. One liners you have done before in your useless trolling.

      It is politically incorrect to be racist. Always has been as far as I knew. That has never stopped folks from being subjected to it. Are you new to planet Earth, Mike?

      “But, you guys keep on telling each other how open-minded and, can I say, liberal you are. I’m sure you’ll convince each other.”

      Who is telling who how open minded we are? What exactly are we convincing each other of? There are a few commenters on here that have made slurs. They have been negatively received. No less so then your usual ignorant crap. The kind folks on here that run this site deem it okay that someone who doesn’t like the thinking in this country wants to comment and rag on how stupid we are and how sad our laws are. If that isn’t a lesson in tolerance and an example of tolerance in regards to the the specific nature of this site (guns) I don’t know what is. We can’t find it on your site. Nothing but hateful comments against those who don’t conform. Yours is filled with it. That’s where you ought have posted your last sentence.

      Never mind you are far away and have no feel for the temperature of this country in any sense. The slanted news is what you ingest and it is clear that is why so much feces (sweeping statements and ignorance) is excreted in your postings.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        “mikeb302000 says:

        April 14, 2012 at 03:25

        Not a racist, xenophobe among ya.”

        Now if we had actually read anything on here comment-wise you would know that’s not true. Maybe we could read an entire thread before ignorantly posting? NAH! Ask me if I expect any less of you, Mike.

        Buuurr, buddy, you got it wrong. Mike likely read everything on here comment-wise, and chose to cast his “racist, xenophobe” comments anyway, just to get a reaction. That’s what makes him a dirty troll who isn’t deserving of your time, and I’m disappointed that you (and others) rise to the bait.

      2. avatar mikeb302000 says:

        “They always have. Why do you think the KKK wore hoods? It seems you are continuing to master the obvious, Mike.”

        Does that mean you agree with me? Why can’t you just say that without all the insults?

        1. avatar Buuurr says:

          “mikeb302000 says:

          April 14, 2012 at 13:31

          “They always have. Why do you think the KKK wore hoods? It seems you are continuing to master the obvious, Mike.”

          Does that mean you agree with me? Why can’t you just say that without all the insults?”

          I can’t say it without all the insults because you are the one being insulting. You profess to have an open mind and that we do not all the while writing ignorant baseless comments. You have never came at it with numbers when requested and you most always make sweeping statements and imagined (feared) numbers when you do.

          You think all gun guys are fat, old KKK members. Newsflash! Not true. Quickly changing in fact.

          You’re an ass so you get treated like one. You haven’t addressed anything else I have written save one sentence. You know what that tells me? You have nothing – baseless.

        2. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          FLAME DELETED

          “You think all gun guys are fat, old KKK members.” When exactly did I say ALL?

        3. avatar Buuurr says:

          FLAME DELETED

        4. avatar Mark Smith says:

          Most of the people I see at the ranges here in Texas are OFWG’s, with maybe 1/20 being some other ethnicity besides caucasian. The male / female breakdown is a little better though, with maybe 1 out of 8 being women on the weekends.

          I think a positive gun culture doesn’t exist in most non-OFWG categories. If we could just get something going like ‘my dad went hunting all the time’ or ‘my brother goes to the range all the time’, things might start looking a little more respectable.

          As it is, I’m mildly embarrassed every time I go to the range and feel like I’ve stumbled into some ultra-conservative movie where they cast everyone from the same basic description – white, middle age or older, out of shape, male.

        5. avatar Buuurr says:

          That would make sense for you, Mark. Texas is trending to be more fat. The younger folk there are trending to be fat as well.

          Here in Ohio we have a rank a mere two states down from being as fat as Texas overall( because of the OFWGs and the rank of obesity) but the younger folk are trending away from that.

          Texas ranks 13 for overweight adults, 15 for obese adults and 6 for obese children and teens.

          Ohio ranks 21 for overweight, 17 for obese adults and 22 for obese children and teens.

          So… while what you are saying is true for you. It isn’t true for everyone as Mike would have everyone believe.

          Add that to the hick, gun toting, ignorant reputation Texas has (dated I think but that’s what a lot of folk think) and Mike has an argument even he can find information for.

          These are simple Google searches to reveal very easy to find data.

        6. avatar ErikO says:

          Hey, some of us need bigger lanes than others. 🙂

          Here in Missouri there are a lot of us that are larger than average. We’re also armed. LOL

        7. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          Mark, thanks for an honest description of how things are. FLAME DELETED

        8. avatar Buuurr says:

          “mikeb302000 says:

          April 15, 2012 at 02:48

          Mark, thanks for an honest description of how things are. I’m sure the Armed Intelligentsia will love you for it.”

          What?! No comment for Buuurr? Numbers scare you again, Mike? Or did I just make those up?

    3. avatar Philthegardener says:

      Mikey, just to let you know. I’m not white. A little overweight. And definitely not young. But not white. But FWIW, I thank you for occasionally posting here in this forum because it makes the members think more deeply in defense of their sport.

  29. avatar Mark says:

    From what I read in the news, there are plenty of minorities/”people of color” who shoot, they’re just not “into the gun community” because of cultural differences. I taught a young black man who is one of my wife’s coworkers how to choose and operate a personal defense firearm recently but he doesn’t have any interest in going to the range with us because we’re neither young, nor black like the people with whom he prefers to associate. My observation is that blacks, latinos and asians really don’t want to hang out with white folk because they have no interest in being assimilated into “white culture” which is unfamiliar and uncomfortable with their language and behavior.

    1. avatar Mark Smith says:

      Sounds about right. People in all groups are clannish and don’t like feeling out of their element, something which the ‘gun culture’ in America isn’t helping.

    2. avatar Philthegardener says:

      Mark, as an asian-american gun enthusiast, let me just tell you and the other members of the AI that a little kindness goes a long way to soothing the fears of those “clannish” folk. Yes we do tend to huddle together. And yes, we ain’t the friendliest folk sometimes. And for that I apologize. It’s in our culture to be wary of “white folk”.

      I was pretty content to mind my own business in the range until an OFWG came over and chatted me and my brother up. It’s been (relatively) smooth sailing, 40 years and xxx guns later.

      And to address koolaidguzzler: Since most every family in my extended asian community owns guns, I would wholeheartedly concur that YES WE ARE DEEP INTO GUNS.

  30. avatar LT says:

    First off – koolaidguzzler nailed it, as far as I’m concerned.

    Just for reference, I’m a young (early 20s), mixed-race (white and black, some Native American on both sides) male who’s just starting to get into guns (though I’ve always wanted some).

    I’ve been to quite a few gun stores in the past year or so and maybe it’s just a function of where I live (West Central FL) but there has only been ONE store I visited (actually in the county just north of me) where I wouldn’t have guessed the owner was one of the “good ol’ boys.” In my experience online, I can’t add anything to what koolaidguzzler said. I’ve got some pretty conservative views myself but much/most of what I read turns me off.

    Now, how to solve the minority problem? Here are my suggestions:

    1) Call out the racists when they’re spotted and blackball ’em. Everybody has a right to speech in this country but not to have their views supported by any group.

    2) Like with most other successful programs, you have to start when they’re young. Maybe have some summer camps where kids can enjoy character-building exercises and introduce them to firearm safety and use. For best results, target these opportunities and offer scholarships or whatnot.

    3) Get some young blood to serve as ambassadors. Minorities – particularly younger ones – aren’t going to be leaping at the chance to go shooting with the the average NRA member. Just get some younger guys to do outreach, and be savvy about it – you probably won’t win over too many folks with hunting trips but the chance to go shooting for the heck of it (the larger variety of guns and targets the better) should entice a lot of younger folks, if only for the chance to try it out for a bit. Add in some required safety instruction first and engage with discussion about gun rights and whatnot while the fun is happening and you might just have a pair of eyes opened at the end of the day. (Also, for young folks in general, getting to play with some of the toys they see in Call of Duty will be more than enough incentive.)

    4) Regarding the womenfolk, you’ll have to ask them. =)

    The Second Amendment is a tricky one because it’s the only major right based on something concrete – everything else is centered around actions you can take (or not take) but the 2nd pertains to something tangible. In addition, lots of folks exercise their other rights at least once in their lives, but many folks won’t ever exercise their 2nd Amendment rights if only for lack of a firearm or reason to own one. As such, those without guns/experience with ’em probably won’t care as much about these issues. This is a topic for another time but definitely something to think about.

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