Memo to African Americans: Carry a Gun

 

I am not a racist. I believe everyone should be treated equally regardless of their race, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, able bodiedness, love of action figures and any other category you can name. In this I am not alone. Setting aside affirmative action, equality under the law is the law of the land in the United States of America. All Americans are free to exercise all the rights protected by the United States constitution. Here’s a relevant subset: African-Americans have the right to keep and bear arms. So why don’t they? If Reverend Sharpton and other African-American leaders believe racists are cruising the streets looking for black men to confront and/or assassinate, why don’t black men and women tool up?

Since TTAG first posted, we’ve been highlighting the fact that American minorities have more incentive to carry a concealed weapon than mainstream America. [Note: not right. Incentive.] They suffer from more violent crime than any other part of American society. Law enforcement agencies and their compadres in the court system aren’t getting it done. African-Americans need to combat crime at the sharp end. [Note: not vigilantism. Self-defense and deterrence.]

At the same time TTAG’s “exposed” the simple truth that U.S. gun control laws are intentionally, inherently, profoundly, unforgivably racist. By design. From the long sad history of disarming freed slaves, to [then] California Ronald Reagan’s unconscionable anti-Black Panther firearms restrictions, to Rahm Emanuel’s middle finger salute to the U.S. Supreme Court’s McDonald decision, gun control advocates have discriminated against minority Americans.

Not to put too fine a point on it, gun control is racism.

Sadly, the National Rifle Association has failed to grasp the firearms-shaped nettle. Since first contact with the NRA, this website has asked the nation’s largest firearms lobbying group why they haven’t reached out to America’s minority community. Whether their silence is down to political or financial expediency, the NRA has singularly failed to promote their training regimens to people of color. Their silence on the subject of minority gun ownership is deafening.

That said, the NRA IS the black man’s friend. The NRA is pro-gun and anti-gun control; anyone who makes it easier for black men and women to buy, keep and bear arms is working in their best interest. Law-abiding African-Americans need guns.

I’m not talking about a Trayvon Martin style need. The days of armed white men killing blacks as an expression of racial hatred are past. That said, again, if some racist bastard IS trying to murder or maim or rape a black man or woman, if a black man or woman is in fear of a racist “hate crime,” they’re best advised to buy a gun, carry a gun, stand their ground and defend their life or the life of their loved ones with deadly force (if the attack is credible and imminent).

Why the hell not?

African American gun ownership would also address the more pressing problem of so-called “black-on-black” crime (a.k.a., “crime”). More guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens = less crime. Less guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens = more crime. Is that common sense concept really that hard to grasp for someone living in a crime-ridden community?

Ask the Mexican people, whose government has implemented a de facto ban on their citizens’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Better yet ask African-American leaders. Who benefits when law-abiding black men and women are permanently disarmed?

African-Americans have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (although the constitution left out that last bit). Guns are the key to that equality. Just as we’ve asserted (time and time again) that any politician who doesn’t trust any law-abiding American with a gun shouldn’t be trusted with power, any white man who doesn’t trust any law-abiding black man with a gun is racist.

And here’s the thing: equality cuts all ways. Any black man who doesn’t trust a law-abiding black man with a gun shouldn’t be trusted with power. And however well meaning they may be, a pro-gun control policy stance also makes them guilty of racism.

Here’s an excerpt from the writing that’s inspired this morning’s rant: African American columnist Otis L. Sanford’s column discussing the struggle to give Tennessee citizens a legal right to store their legal firearm in their cars on private property, so that they may travel to and from work with their gun.

[NRA] Lobbyist Darren LaSorte made the case that Memphis’ out-of-control crime problem means no citizen in the Bluff City is safe merely traveling to and from work. He then spouted dubious statistics about crime in Memphis, and said opposition to the bill by FedEx is unconscionable.

“FedEx has 15,000 employees in Memphis, the second-most-violent city in America, according to the FBI violent crime stats,” LaSorte said. “(It has) the No. 1 rape rate in the country, large cities over 500,000.

“FedEx disarms their employees. … That is unconscionable. They are the reason this bill needs to pass, not the reason it needs to be killed.”

LaSorte was aided by Sam Cooper, a FedEx worker at Memphis International Airport who told lawmakers he needs his gun when he goes to work to make sure he makes it home alive.

Oh, the drama.

It’s hard to imagine a man with a moral center being so sarcastic about someone’s desire to remain alive and unmolested. And what’s dubious about those FBI stats, exactly? Mr. Otis should spend a couple of seconds Googling “crime stats in Memphis.” He might find this map of recent crimes [image above], an affront to anyone who believes in a peaceable society.

Or maybe Otis should type in “FBI crime stats Tennessee,” which yields the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s record of sexual crimes in 2011. That would be 2029 forcible rapes, 490 cases of forcible sodomy, 260 cases of sexual assault with an object and 2322 forcible fondlings. That’s reported. Not to mention 94,697 cases of simple assault.

Meanwhile, how about a little thought experiment: Mr. Otis walking through these areas at night, well-dressed and unarmed? More to the point why would a black man NOT want to make it easier for African-Americans to arm themselves? Here’s Otis’ solution to the vexing problem of gun rights vs. property rights:

People with handgun carry permits can have their weapons in their vehicle when traveling to work. But if their employer won’t allow the gun on its property, they must park elsewhere — on a side street, in a back alley or under the nearest shade tree.

And if the vehicle is stolen, which is quite likely in crime-riddled Memphis, LaSorte will have something else to tell his friends in the legislature.

But what will Mr. Otis say to the woman who’s raped on the way to her car parked in a back alley? Or the man robbed—or worse—on a side street? There’s no question: African-Americans need to think for themselves on the issue of gun control, and then vote and speak accordingly. Guns aren’t the problem. They’re the solution.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

82 Responses to Memo to African Americans: Carry a Gun

  1. avatarjkp says:

    Very well-said, Mr. Farago.

    Here’s the question:

    I think we all know that a certain percentage of white gun owners bigoted against blacks. Probably no more than the average white American, but they tend to be more highly visible (e.g., http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/04/tim-mcnabb/how-not-to-win-and-argument/ ). You want to know why minorities don’t flock to the NRA? Perhaps it’s because they’re not interested in associating with people like that, or people who love to plaster Confederate flags and neo-Confederate propaganda all over the place.

    What can be done to overcome this? Sure, even bigots and the ignorant have a right to keep and bear arms, but by allowing these people to be a visible part of us, we are limiting the ability of our movement to attract new members — specifically, the people whose rights are more threatened (not to mention physical safety.)

    Two other pedantic points:

    (1) I disagree with your closing sentence — guns are NOT “the” answer, they are simply a tool. A useful one in some self-defense situations, and one of the answers, but not the only one, or even the best one in all cases. (Mindset, awareness, etc., always come first anyway.) That doesn’t invalidate the rest of your article, of course.

    (2) I think you meant to say “training regimen” not “regiment”.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Regiments. D’oh! Text amended.

      I do believe that guns are the answer to the issue of equality, between individuals, groups of people and between the people and their government. But I would say that wouldn’t I?

      • avatarjkp says:

        Oh – I thought you were purely focusing mainly on the self-defense angle. From a larger perspective, you have a point.

  2. I definitely agree with you that blacks would be much safer from private crime if more were to carry. However, I think you are missing a major issue: blacks are in much more danger from the police if they carry. As you have very aptly said, gun control is racism. Racism from the government. It is primarily the government which poses the threat to blacks who are carrying. While I personally have never been mugged, I have been approached by a very aggressive police officer. I do not think my being armed would have made that situation turn out better for me.

    Also, in many of the areas where blacks live, carrying is already illegal. Sometimes, it is a very serious felony. Having the state essentially promote a culture of “only bad people carry guns” (since they are felons) is one of the effects of the various gun control laws which have been enacted in largely black areas.

    That being said, I have noticed that blacks in the south, where many are moving, have been deciding to arm themselves with greater frequency, which is good. Hopefully, the political winds will not shift in favor of gun control there as well.

    • avatarg says:

      Agreed.

      While Blacks and other minority groups have the legal right to possess guns, the treatment we receive (I’m a 4th generation American of Chinese descent) from police and authorities is often different from our white counter parts. The immediate assumption by some police officers is if you’re a minority + gun owner, you own a firearm for some sort of nefarious reason.

      A real life case illustrating this point is the case of Marissa Alexander, an African American woman with a legal CCW permit who used a gun for self-defense against an abusive husband. She fired a single “warning shot” and now she’s been prosecuted by the police:

      http://newsone.com/2003797/marissa-alexander-stand-your-ground/

      Racism from authorities = your average minority is wary of gun ownership.

      • avatarJames says:

        I would argue that anybody who fires a warning shot gets arrested and prosecuted, though the case of Dennis Fleming might show that the winds of change are blowing with regards to that fact.

        I know in Michigan, firing a warning shot is a one-way ticket to the hoosegow and will cost you your weapon.

    • avatarAnon in CT says:

      That’s a good point. In the North, blacks tend to be concentrated in large metro areas, where gun control tends to be the stiffest. In the South, especially rural areas, pretty much everyone has at least a shotgun in the house – white, black, whatever. That’s just the culture.

    • avatarSomeone says:

      We are all in more danger from police if we carry. Fortunately for carriers and unfortunately for victims, police are generally very far away from crimes actually being committed.

      Unfortunately we have empowered our police to the point where it’s OK to shoot first and ask questions later.

      I wish people would drop this black / white BS. It’s old and doesn’t make sense anymore. We need to stop self-segregating and reach out beyond our comfort zone. That’s the only way the stupidity of racism will end.

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      I agree with the article but also Robert’s keen analysis.
      I think also religion, and personal beliefs may also play a role. It makes me frustrated to hear about innocent kids, and people being killed from stupid drive by’s or robbery’s in neighborhood streets.
      I guess more would carry if they didn’t think it would put them in direct danger from the people sworn to protect them.

  3. avatarBLAMMO says:

    Coincidentally, Ann Coulter did an essay on this same subject just a few days ago:

    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2012-04-18.html

    While her point is that the NRA has actually been a friend of 2A rights in the black community, it meshes well with your point that the NRA has done such a lousy job of letting people know it.

    I personally find Ann Coulter a rather creepy specimen of the female variety but this essay is an informative historical perspective. Aside from the title (Negroes With Guns) also being the title of the book by Robert F. Williams, she invokes the anachronism as a device to draw attention to a different time when things weren’t quite what most of us were taught they were.

    • avatarLT says:

      Justice Clarence Thomas had a pretty good article about gun ownership for black folks too – check out his opinion in McDonald v. Chicago.

    • avatarjkp says:

      {Note: This was posted earlier by me in a different forum.}

      Ms. Coulter’s article has two things I have to take issue with:

      (1) The GOP helped impose gun control in California in the late 1960s (and the law — the Mulford Act — was signed by Ronald Reagan no less!) because members of the Black Panthers — inspired by Robert Williams! — were (peacefully) demonstrating carrying rifles. So to pretend that somehow the GOP is simon-pure on the issue is either because she’s ignorant of that fact, or because she’s just acting as a propagandist for the GOP and is simply lying.

      (2) I guess technically the NRA qualifies as the country’s oldest “civil rights organization,” but considering that it didn’t seriously dedicate itself to the task of protecting the right to keep and bear arms until the ’70s, I think she might be giving it a little too much credit. (No disrespect intended.)

      The story of Robert Williams and the NRA connection is accurate from what I’ve seen on teh interwebz. I’m not sure what ‘filing for an NRA charter’ did, exactly, since it’s not like he couldn’t have formed a militia himself (perhaps training? I’d be interested in learning.)

      Apparently, Williams fled to Cuba and later China after Southern segregationists and bigots framed him for kidnapping before returning to the USA in ’69. I guess they were worried that their friends in the Klan might get hurt, eh?

      http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/negroeswithguns/negroeswguns_discussion.pdf

      http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/negroeswithguns/rob.html

      Whether or not Ms. Coulter is actually reaching out to anyone to help bring people to our cause, or just attempting to make people who already agree with us feel better about themselves (which I believe she has a habit of doing) is, to me, an open question. But I think we need to get more stories out like these, to counteract the narrative that the only people concerned about gun rights are the usual bigoted/Confederate flag crowd.

  4. avatarLT says:

    I agree that we need more folks owning guns, especially in the African-American community. However, there are a few snags in the way:

    1) Like I mentioned before – where I live at least – guns seem to be an entirely white thing. Not just white, but good ol’ boy white. I’ve been to three different Walmarts in the area recently and just about every time I was in the gun/ammo area of the store there were some stereotypical “gun folks” – white, over 30/40, etc. – straight out of central casting there (most often to buy .45 ammo). Also, the whole gun store owner thing is a problem – I’ve felt comfortable in ONE store out of the handful I’ve visited (and even that store had some jacked up prices), and those stores were always full of the central casting guys as well (aside from the one time I saw a father with his young son at one place). Might just be where I’m at, though.

    2) Money. Guns aren’t particularly cheap, for the most part, and those guns that are seem to be held in contempt by the gun community at large – I’ve even had numerous gun store owners tell me they won’t stock particular brands. Thus, the average price of a “respectable” weapon isn’t cheap at all, and unfortunately that prices plenty of folks out of the market.

    3) The ruling class. Black politicians are almost all aligned with the gun grabbers and I can only think of one who isn’t in favor of incredibly strict gun control. Sadly, the same seems to apply to other prominent members as well. When community leaders are all dead set against something – gun ownership in this case – going against the prevailing norm gets to be a little difficult.

    That’s ’bout all I’ve got off the top of my head.

    • avatarLT says:

      Forgot to mention this earlier, but it goes along with the money issue – licensing.

      When I saw the cost to get a CWFL here in Florida (the only way to legally carry a gun aside from the very limited OC opportunities), I was kinda shocked – $117! ($75 license fee, $42 fingerprint processing fee. Fingerprint fee can be up to $7 less if you get your fingerprints taken at a sheriff’s office, provided they don’t charge for the service, but that’s an extra trip and nuisance.) Add the cost of statutorily-mandated training ($60 is the lowest I’ve seen it around here), a passport photo (if you don’t go to one of the regional offices to get your application done; runs around $10), and the hassle involved – either driving to the closest regional office (was more than an hour for me) or going through the patchwork rigmarole of passport photo + fingerprint card mailing/sheriff’s office fingerprint processing + actual application mailing – and you’re looking at a process many folks won’t even consider.

      After all, what’s the most rigorous licensing process the average citizen goes through? Getting a driver’s license?

      The issue’s exacerbated with those who might have had some “unsatisfactory,” to say the least, experiences with government/the police.

      I’m sure other states have more onerous procedures than Florida does, so you can probably add to the aggravation above.

      • avatargirlswithguns says:

        It varies by county in CA, but here it’s $198 ($103 for processing, $93 for fingerprints, $2 for DMV record), plus whatever the training costs. The only training I’ve priced is $100. So roughly $300 for a conceal carry permit.

        • avatarAnon in CT says:

          $300 is about right for CT too – mandatory course, plus various licensing and background check fees. Though I will say that my local police force was very helpful and polite throughout the whole process. I was on the lookout for any sort of “anti-armed citizenry” vibe, and never got it. But they did turn me down when I asked if I could join them at their new indoor pistol range.

      • avatarcarl Lewis says:

        I find your statement to be kind of one sided.I don’t live in Florida but have family there,I do however know that the state of Florida has a very lenient stance in regards to firearm ownership,that extends to non residents as well.I bare and sympathize with the painstaking process of gaining the right to posses the a firearm believe me NY,NJ I’ve heard gun store employee recently call jersey a communist state period just yesterday.But believe it or not it is one of the most fairly easiest places to carry in,own,acquire a firearm legally.Its simple no felony,have documents proving you are competent in safe handling of firearms and you’re approved.Its expensive,my opinion solely anything worth having is worth fighting,being patient for,again my opinion solely.Thank you for the platform.

    • avatarDee Plair says:

      You’ve summed up all my concerns. I’m not giving the NRA a dime of my money, nor any of the gun owners in my area. I suppose you can buy a gun over the internet but I don’t know what my options are for training.

  5. avatarracer88 says:

    Ah Memphis. I spent four years there going to school (’84 – ’88). It was bad then… worse now, I guess. The only redeeming quality of Memphis is the availability of OUTSTANDING BBQ! I do miss that. Can’t get it anywhere else…. certainly not where I am now (Florida).

    • avatarLT says:

      We can get just about any food down here in Florida because somebody who’s been making it a while will move down here eventually… sadly it’s rarely quite as good as the original stuff.

      • avatarracer88 says:

        Not in my experience. Everything here is “blanded-down.” My brother has a funny joke: “You know you’re in Massachusetts, when you hear someone say, ‘Oh my, that ketchup is spicy!’” The same is true here in Florida. They wouldn’t know good BBQ here if it smacked’em in the face. :(

        But, our 2nd Amendment freedoms are largely intact here! For now.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          racer88: If you’re ever in Orlando, check out 4Rivers on Fairbanks. They’re building a new place a couple blocks from the current one because it’s tiny, and more than half the time they have an off-duty sheriff out there to help with traffic control. It’s a rare lunch time they’ve got fewer than 25-30 people in line. Saturdays are worse. They’re closed Sunday.

  6. avatarMikeS says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments in this post.
    That said, we, as the gun community, need to do something about the racist a$$holes in our midst. I’m not saying it’s a majority, by any stretch. But I’ve heard comments at clubs and gun stores that literally had me asking “Did you really think I’d be okay with you saying that?” It’s a small, but too tolerated a minority, and they aren’t helping.

  7. avatarsquarebob says:

    “Ask the Mexican people, whose government has implemented a de facto ban on their citizens’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

    I think this is a GOD given right.

  8. avatargirlswithguns says:

    Just in case anyone cares (and so I didn’t waste my time :P), the “related posts” at the end of this article led me to “Is This Why the African American Community Doesn’t Carry Guns?” from March 2010, regarding a case of alleged excessive force by police against a black gun owner with a concealed carry license. I didn’t find any follow up to that story, so I looked it up.

    In short, the case is still working its way through the courts. Summary judgment for the officer was denied, he appealed and lost (mostly, part of the judgment was reversed), and has asked for a rehearing. Until that appeals case is final, the original case is stalled.

    The denial of the officer’s claim of qualified immunity re search and seizure was reversed; the denial of the officer’s claim of qualified immunity re excessive force and denial of summary judgment were affirmed.

    The appellate case is 11-10020 in the USCOA 5th District; the civil case is 3:10-CV-00342 in the USDC, Northern District of Texas.

  9. avatarTom says:

    Oh well, the various peoples of many Inner Cities and Urban Areas have traded essential liberties for what they thought to be a temporary safety and have been stripped of both essential liberty and safety.
    I am sorry, but a vigilant watch is needed to keep your republic.
    I will say that with living in hick towns with trucks sometimes sporting rebel flags, those people seem at least a little interested in some of their essential rights.
    Now all we have to do is to get said people from hick towns and some with rebel flags to have an interest in the rights of people from other backgrounds.
    Having said that, the biggest help would be of urban dwellers being interested in their essential liberties, versus wanting people like Mayor Bloomberg to fix everything through the cascading waterfalls of totalitarian government.

  10. avatarST says:

    I am of the experience that the ‘racist a$$hole’ problem in the gun community is very overstated.

    I’ve NEVER seen blatant racism from any Anglo gun owners I’ve interacted with.What I’m seeing in these comments is people perpetrating the same ‘blame the other guy’ ethos that’s also destroying the Black community.

    When I go to the range I don’t just pack my gear and jet.Ill socialize with the OFWGs in the building about politics and whatnot before leaving.I’ve yet to meet one man or woman that was genuinely racist.If anything,the gun community here is one open and united bunch.The range is the only place I’ve ever regularly been to where a black guy,a single white female,and an ipad toting hippie can stand with a big bellied White guy in complete equality.Laugh if you want to ,but gun ownership has a way of uniting people.If one is smart enough to properly handle a firearm,they’re smart enough to know that Sarah Brady & Obama doesn’t care what skin color or gender you are:they’ll leave all us latinos,blacks,feminists,OFWGs,armed liberals,and the like equally defenseless if we let them.

    • avatarMark Smith says:

      Open your eyes or hang out with more people. Or just ask something the brings up the topic ‘black people’ into the conversation and see how quickly the racist overtones pop up.

      It’s possible that you’ve never seen a single racist gun owner, but it’s also fairly unlikely. Maybe you just happen to only know well-educated, reasonable types that think everyone, regardless of race, color or creed deserves a fair shake.

      I’ve hung out with everyone from literally the dregs of society to those that own (not lease or co-own) Learjets, and there’s a few racists among all of those classes, but especially among gun owners. Second and third place seem to be taken by the poor who have extremely unpleasant views about people who are fit to hang out with their daughter and well-off assholes at the country club who seem to think that golf is a social arena where one can say anything.

      Racism and people that think their views are unquestionably right tend to go hand in hand as well, it seems.

      People in the South seem to be more open about their racist views, where in most of the northern states, they don’t talk about it out loud until they think you’re a friendly ear to talk to most of the time.

      • avatarSilver says:

        “Racism and people that think their views are unquestionably right tend to go hand in hand as well, it seems.”

        You’re certainly exemplifying that.

        Remember everyone, if the people you hang out with aren’t bigots, you’re just not looking wide or hard enough!

        We’ve got some massive projection here.

        • avatarMark Smith says:

          “It’s possible that you’ve never seen a single racist gun owner, but it’s also fairly unlikely.”

          Perhaps you simply hang out with only the best of people. If so, my hat goes off to you with no sarcasm.

          When I’m around people I’m not familiar with, I don’t tend to say a lot, but wherever I go, people always talk to me about anything and everything, and often enough, some of it isn’t fit for polite society.

          People seem to mistake me being friendly for me sharing their views, and talk as if I did.

          Often I don’t much care that they’re hardcore Democrat or the staunchest Republican, or that they ‘hate people with kids’, or they have five kids and ‘want more’, or that ‘we should plant trees everywhere we go and ban cars’, or ‘chop down all the trees and pave it all over’, or that ‘the poor are scum’, or ‘the poor are the best people on earth, if they only knew it’ or ‘anyone that makes less than 500k a year is a fool’ or ‘anyone that makes more than 100k a year is scum’, or that they think ‘no one should have sex outside of marriage’ or ‘people should screw whoever they want any time, no conditions’. Or ‘white people will always tread on the black man’ or ‘black people are [insert X depressing thing here]‘.

          I’ve heard all of those things and more, so I’m surprised you’ve never heard anything remotely racist from a gun owner.

    • avatarRokurota says:

      Sorry, but my experience is the more insulated OFWGs (not all O, F or Gs) have a fear of black folk, or ass they code it, “thug types,” “homeys” or “gangbangers.” They make it clear who they’re talking about, and that’s probably the reason the NRA doesn’t jump to the defense of black gun owners.

      • avatarMark Smith says:

        A lot of it seems to be due to people conflating the person who would rob you with everyone that has anything remotely in common with that person. Like skin color.

      • avatarLT says:

        Another thing I just thought of – I’m not sure how many black folks (or women, for that matter) would buy a 1911 or any of the other overpriced collector pieces/tacticool toys/safe queens/etc.

        When they do buy, whatever they buy they’re much less likely to be repeat customers, I’d wager.

        In other words, not nearly as lucrative a market. I can kinda see why the Gun Manufacturer’s Lobby of America – err, the NRA – wouldn’t have so much interest in ‘em. When they flex their muscle for the folks at their shows, they’re flexing their muscle for their loyal (most loyal, in fact) customers.

  11. avatarBlinky Pete says:

    Here’s an excellent story on the subject of racism and gun ownership among black people in this country, as well as the abject failure of the NRA and NAACP to help this potential DGUOTD award recipient stay out of jail.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/11/when_stand_your_ground_fails/

    • avatarjkp says:

      What a terrible story.

      What was the old saying? Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere?

      • avatarBlinky Pete says:

        Agreed…. I’m kinda hoping one of our fair writers at TTAG researches the issue and does a piece.

    • avatarRokurota says:

      Yes. Excellent article. As a conservative, I’ve always operated under the assumption that institutional racism is rare or doesn’t exist. Now I’m not so sure.

  12. avatarSteve says:

    “I believe everyone should be treated equally regardless of their race, religion, national origin…….”

    You don’t understand Mr Farago. It is precisely that statement that makes you a bigot in the eyes of the classes you mentioned.

    You see, those classes don’t want equality. They want deference. Preference. Special status. Pandering. Government largesse and overreach. They are aggrieved over their status regardless, and inconsolable. It is impossible to mollify these classes by any means. To be sure, there are many individuals in those classes that get the concept of freedom, and are fully on board. But those remaining constitute the majority in their self-segregating world, and they will never be swayed to stop making excuses and blaming others. They are much too invested in their victimhood to give up now. It’s easy money.

    • avatarjkp says:

      “they will never be swayed to stop making excuses and blaming others”

      Physician, heal thyself.

    • avatarSilver says:

      +1 Steve

    • avatarMark Smith says:

      No, I’d say what you’re saying is the more racist of the two sets of talking points.

      *Human beings* desire power, special treatment and power over others, the only question is, how many people do they view as being expendable in achieving those things?

      Those desires are not unique to human beings of any color or race or national origin or religion.

      Society and civilization play a big part in sublimating those impulses. It’s only with the breakdown of civility that it’s considered ok to take what you want at the expense of others. And there’s always a few that will never listen to their peers no matter how many tell them they shouldn’t.

      Trust me. If you were a member of a disadvantaged class and ‘playing the victim’ was a ploy that would get you something, you’d be doing it, no matter what the color of your skin was. Because you’re a human being.

      • avatarSilver says:

        Funny, Steve distinctly said “classes,” which is exactly what you confirmed when you accused, “If you were a member of a disadvantaged class and ‘playing the victim’ was a ploy…etc etc.” You’re the only one who brought up race here.

        Guess we know who the real race-baiter/hate-monger is.

        • avatarMark Smith says:

          Ahah!

          *swirls villain cape* *twirls mustache*

          You’ve seen through my dastardly plot! If it hadn’t been for you and those darn kids!

          No, but seriously, it’s like you’re unable to read what I’ve written and are focusing on single words that jump out at you that support your idea.

          If I say “Those desires are not unique to human beings of any color or race or national origin or religion.”

          And you say I’m a hate monger?

          I’m not going to say anything. I’ll just let everyone else read that and form an opinion. I don’t even need to say anything.

        • avatarSilver says:

          You brought up race when no race was present in the original post because it’s something you focus on and are over-sensitive about. It’s not a dastardly plot, it’s simple psychology. You’re on a wild goose hunt for racists because you’re, for some reason, deeply invested in it. One need only read your posts to see that.

          And your false “I’m not going to say anything” doesn’t fly either. If you really felt comfortable letting my post in response to your post stay as it is, and for others to form an opinion, you wouldn’t have said anything at all. But you felt the need to anyway.

          As for me, I’m going to stick to a promise I made myself some time ago to avoid long, pointless, time-wasting internet debates and stop at two responses. Feel free to have the last word.

  13. avatarRalph says:

    The thought of a black man with a gun is the only reason why we don’t have “shall issue” laws everywhere.

    When the sheep and lemmings rail against guns, the image in the forefront of their minds is a large, scary black man staring down at them, gun in hand. When the Chicken Little’s prattle on about their cities becoming the Wild West, they’re not worried about armed women, balding accountants or cerebral actuaries running through the streets, blazing away. No, they’re afraid of black men. That’s why the center of gravity for gungrabbers are cities where black people have a large presence.

    Taking MA as an example, Boston and surrounding areas have the highest black populations and the most draconian gun laws. In towns where the black population is small, most police chiefs (head LEOs are the issuing authorities in MA) have no problems issuing permits — and that includes permits to black men.

    Is this racism? Maybe. There’s certainly plenty of that around. But if it is, why are present-day Republicans generally in favor of gun rights, and Democrats — who own the black vote and who depend on it to maintain political power — generally in favor of restricting guns?

    • avatarParthenon says:

      From what I’ve seen the Democratic party is opposed to anything that might result in people taking responsibly for their own well being. Carrying a weapon for the purpose of self defense is the pinnacle of personal responsibly.
      Therefore it is natural for them to be opposed to it.

    • avatarJake says:

      “The thought of a black man with a gun is the only reason why we don’t have “shall issue” laws everywhere.”

      There’s probably a lot of truth to this, which makes it hilarious that the people/locations that oppose it usually come from a platform of supposed acceptance, tolerance, love, and open-mindedness.

      I was once told that gun owners are “motivated by fear and hate” yet apparently the effort to keep guns out of people’s hands, especially minorities, is not motivated by either of those. Strange. Clearly MY thinking must be wrong then.

  14. avatarsdog says:

    this is a very important topic to discuss as more people are coming home from overseas and integrating back into life state side. Many of these enlisted personnel are Black/Latino, and along with civilian 2A advocates who are of the aforementioned categories, must represent in the wider 2A community as a permanent category. This is how i view myself, as a life time member of this group.

    look at the “original” Black panthers. the 761st tank battalion as one example along with the mentioned of Mr. Robert F. Williams. Military service has historically had a large influence on Black/Brown service members after the fact. Look at Tank commander Sergeant Warren G. H. Crecy’s actions on 10 Nov, 1944. he manned two different machine guns to keep the enemy at bay after his tank as destroyed, taking out German forward observers, antitank positions and multiple MG42 positions. he was in the zone in such a way that it has hard to get the machine gun away from him after the fight. The incredible bravery shown by Black military men in this county are just a few examples of the long history of Black individuals and firearms being intrinsically linked.

  15. avatarAdrian says:

    It’s not often that you read something that starts with “I am not a racist” and the article that follows actually isn’t racist!

    I’m white but I’d agree that the presence of the occasional bigot at shooting ranges is a problem. I’d say maybe one out of 5 times that I’ve been to a range (between Virginia and Western NY), I’ve heard some sort of comment of that nature that makes me pretty uncomfortable.

    • avatarjkp says:

      Adrian,

      How do you usually handle a situation where someone says something bigoted and it makes you feel uncomfortable? Do you address it with the person?

      • avatarAdrian says:

        Nope. I haven’t been a member at any shooting range I’ve been to, I’ve always been a guest of someone else. So as a guest I’ve never felt it my place to challenge someone on something like that, when for all I know they’re the club owner or something. The one time I went to a members/guest of members only place, my friend just rolled his eyes. The other times (a public Virginia gun range) none of us were members. I like to think that I’d say something if it was a place where I was a member…

  16. avatarSilver says:

    I think saying “I’m not a racist” and then stating how you believe everyone is equal, etc etc, is the exact wrong way to start any article or opinion. That’s playing into their hands. By stating it, you immediately give off the vibe of needing to defend your opinion from some imagined phantom accusation.

    State your opinion. Present your article. If someone finds it racist, that’s his own issue and surfacing of his own leftist brainwashing.

    On that note, good article.

    • avatarjkp says:

      “That’s playing into their hands”

      Who’s “they”?

      • avatarMark Smith says:

        The Enemy. Obviously.

      • avatarSilver says:

        The type who would call one a racist over an article like this. Politically-correct, hyper-sensitive race-baiters, of which this country has no short supply. The type who would post on his blog an outdated childhood picture of Martin and a scary mugshot of Zimmerman in order to stoke hate and promote an agenda (ahem). Thought that was pretty obvious.

        • avatarjkp says:

          Thanks. If you re-read your previous post without bringing any baggage or assumptions to it, I think you will see that the group/people you were referring to was not at all clear.

  17. avatarJoseph says:

    FLAME DELETED Racism has become a cliched non-issue.

    • avatarMark Smith says:

      You cannot say that all human beings, regardless of age, gender, color, creed or nationality are treated equally by all.

      So it’s certainly not ‘a non-issue’. Do something about it or don’t, whatever floats your boat, but don’t lie about it.

  18. avatarlukeNC says:

    Maybe what is needed is a new gun organization that caters more to minorities. Have their own gun shows and lobbyists who try to overturn licensing laws and push for 2nd amendment rights.

  19. avatarRokurota says:

    TTAG, please keep shining the light where it belongs. The NRA needs people of color and people of color belong in the NRA. We need to decide if we’re going to be a cultural tribe or doers of justice.

    “I see displays in gun stores urging the customer to protect his five-bedroom cul-de-sac house, but I never see marketing aimed at city dwellers or people of color.”

    http://liberalgunowner.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/gunning-while-black/

  20. avatarRokurota says:

    Another good one:
    “… I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence.” — Malcolm X

  21. avatarirock350 says:

    “…why don’t black men and women tool up?”

    Probably for the same reason the Jewish community at large doesn’t tool up. May be it is all of that peaceful resistance, turn-the-other-cheek, thou shall not kill mumbjo jumbo.

    • avatarMatt G. says:

      “peaceful resistance” didn’t work on hitler and it won’t work on criminals.

      • It might be the legacy of the civil rights movement (as well as cultural norms developed during Jim Crow). I think a lot of blacks have the perception that violent resistance yields bad results. Think Nat Turner, whereas being deliberately disarmed, such is MLK, yields better ones. Certainly, there has long been the perception among blacks that men who actually carry a gun around are asking for trouble. Typically, when blacks think of the most admirable, successful black people, they do not think of someone who carried a weapon.

        • avatarDavidT says:

          Except that MLK applied for, and was denied, a concealed carry permit, due in no small part to the laws in place in the south at the time. Laws which dated back to, you guessed it, the reconstruction era, post Civil War.

        • The case of MLK you cite also highlights another factor on gun culture. Blacks have pretty much always had to ask for permission to carry a gun. There was never the development of a gun culture which preceded the state. That’s another barrier to developing being armed as a cultural norm.

        • avatarSteven says:

          I think Robert Wicks is correct about left over mentality of earlier times. However, gang violence and popular culture also contribute to a stereotype. That stereotype can work both ways. Because of discrimination, many law abiding blacks are not willing to put themselves into a position to be questioned. Hence having a firearm on them in what is known to be a racist world. We are in some changing times though. Lots of people have been brainwashed into thinking that where there are guns, there is trouble. Safety and training and normalization of firearms in law abiding American homes is how we change that.

          Another factor to consider, is that in poorer (lower than middle class) black communities, there is a mentality created by the lack of resources and pop-culture. Those people, kids, do not see the opportunity to just go to college or try new sports or anything like that. Most of us probably had access to cable TV and friends with boats and summer rental properties. My point is that if you grow up in middle-class white America (black or not) you may have had positive exposure to firearms that others do not.

          The best thing we can do is support these younger kids by working with our ranges and local YMCAs and schools to design programs for them to learn. Eagle Eddie goes a long way.

  22. avatarRichard Blaine says:

    “Trayvon Martin style”? Point-of-fact: Damn near everything originally reported about Martin & Zimmerman was false. Still awaiting jury trial for Zimmerman, but MSM looks guilty as all hell.

  23. avatarQ. Omowale says:

    Thank you Mr. Farago for both this article & the work you are doing to encourage African Americans towards self defense/responsible firearms ownership (btw, NRA worked w/the late Robert F. Williams & African Americans in Monroe, NC to get both an NRA chapter & legal firearms to defend themselves against Klan/local law enforcement attacks during the 1960′s)! Regarding the comment concerning the Martin/Zimmerman case, there are 2 important FACTS: 1) Zimmerman followed Martin & 2) Zimmerman killed Martin! African Americans & all other law abiding people need to defend themselves from all enemies (including foreign/domestic/government/religious). Criminals of all stripes will victimize innocent people until they are stopped & “We the people” have to stop them; WE alone are responsible for OUR safety!

  24. avatarParthenon says:

    I dont think you will be seeing a large influx of black permit holders any time soon.
    They seem to get enough trouble just for being black.

  25. avatarbruce says:

    As an African American living in the suburbs of Detroit, I would like to commend you on this article. I haven’t finished reading it but what I’ve read thus far, I agree with, and it needed to be said. I recently read a statisic (locally) that in Detroit so far this year, there have been over 100 justified homicides. We are indeed tooling up, and hardly a week has gone by without news reports of home invaders, car jackers, and other targets of opportunity being dropped in their tracks by CCW holders. That being said, hardly a week goes by without innocent civilians still being dying at the hands of thugs. Most recently, a woman walking her infant in a stroller was approached by a man who tried to rape her in broad daylight, and when she ran, he shot her in the back. The last report I heard she was in the hospital in critical condition. I myself have mixed feelings about the NRA. While I support their support of my right to bear arms, I have a problem with a majority of the rest of their politics, and I too notice the cold shoulder given to African Americans. I have to laugh as I went to their website, or responded to some mailing a few years ago, and every year since, they send me a NRA sticker!….

    • avatarspeedracer5050 says:

      LOL!!! Yea I get NRA stickers too, and although I am now a member of the NRA I really agree that they need todo something positive to bring more of the Black community into the NRA and into the voting polls and gunships.
      The only way the Black Community will really ever get rid of a lot of the stigmata that surrounds their culture(ie: thugs/gang bangers, etc) is to be vocal, be public, show the world you are not a threat or problem just because you are Black and legally own an carry a gun.
      That being said I grew up on Littl Rick Arkansas from 1962 to 1972 in the neighborhood of 9th street and around North Rose. For awhile was the only White kids( my sister and I) that I remember beig around.
      We grew up and played with black kids and didn’t see or even think about color of skin.
      Now the few times I have been back to Little Rock I see some of the very same black guys I grew up with, and a couple that I served in the Army with, running around wearing gang colors, teaching their kids and grand kids, just how oppressed and down trodden they are because the White Man keeps them that way.
      It aggravates me to no end that these same people had ample opportunity to be very successful and were either too lazy or too useless to do so.
      Anyone can be a success or a failure!!! It is their choice to make it happen!!!

  26. avatarLeon says:

    Wonderful. It is nice to read someone so clearly stating what I have believed for a long time. It is the reason I got trained and got my LTC. I hope the NRA reaches out to more of us African Americans. However, it is not their job to get us trained and legal. That job is ours. What we don’t need are our Black “leaders” telling us guns are bad. I will tell you what is bad. When only the bad people on your block have guns!
    That is very bad.

  27. avatarE. Lee Rice says:

    As a black man who carries permits from two different states, I see the racism you speak about in this letter and let me tell you, many more Blacks carry than you will ever know, Men and women, With God’s help I am ready to do what is necessary to whomever threatens me, I have only pulled my weapon twice, and both ended personal attacks. One was by a group of skin heads with knives and the other was from some very roudy college students who didn’t think an older Black guy would stick a gun in their face when they assaulted my car. Blacks know what to do and they are not going to waste their time getting permission from stupid blog writers and semi racists dudes who think they are tough because they carry. A gun does not make you dangerous, the scarriest thing in this nation is a Black man who uses his brain, believe me many are whether you know it or not. Preferably you don’t or ever know it.

  28. avatarVictor Vonzell says:

    Ok first of all as a 53 year old black male I have seen the KKK ride up to my house at night in the 60′s and rape my stepmother while my father was in Germany serving his country not just once but many a weekend at the age of 3-6 in the mid 60′s. Some things you just don’t forgetnor do you forgive.

    Next as I was growing up I have been raised in upper middle class white towns for most of my life while beening taught that I make my world go around and not others.

    That being said I lived a closed life for the most part of but turning into a adult that all changed I’ve seen that the world that we live in is a mean place when it comes to people of color at certain times in their lifes and for some it is a everyday thing.

    I own 14 firearms. And let me tell you I will not give them up not because of gun conrtol but because my faith in my fellow man be he white black brown or yellow does not exist anymore.

    We live in a time of if I don’t have it then I’m going to have to take it from someone who does have it. It’s not just a color thing it;s a people thing people don’t feel safe anymore.

    But I do understand this though the laws that are on the books concerning gun control was written for people of color to keep us from saving ourselfs and love ones because someone felt that we did not have common sence in handling firearms and that frame of thought is still here today.

    Walk up and ask a police officer and ask about you if you should go out a buy a firearm and the first thing he will say is (why do you need to get a firearm we the police is here to protect you) a lot of good that will do when you are laying bleeding in your own house and the bad guy is no where to be seen. Yes people of color need to own a firearm but we also need to understand that owning a firearm is a great responceablity fisrt and for most.

    Next we as older adults need to teach these youngsters about the history that we went though and that their grandfather and grandmother went though the hell they had to put up with and that killing each other of something so damm dumb that this is playing into the hands of the people whom have power and that at some time and date they will use the records that are being kept to use agaisnt them at some later date in order to make more laws that will take away thier rights and their childrens rights at some later date in time.

    To many people have died in order to get these rights and and to lose them at some later dates because a racist can say I told you so they should not be able to own a firearm is not and will not happen not on my watch! NEVER AGAIN HISTORY HAS A HABIT OF REPEATING IT’S SELF IF YOU FORGET.

    There are people whom have the power in goverment that believe that the way to control the masses is to disarm the masses but first lets start with people of color.

    Look at history look at what Hitler did by disarming the Germany people as soon as he came to power no guns no problem lets have everyone fill out these IBM Computer cards and at a later date go from house to house get the guns get the Jews and make a Greater Germany and we all know how that worked out.

    Gun Control only works for those whom want more power and to enslave their own people. And I will fight with every breath in my body to make sure no such thing will happen again here in the United States.

    • avatarMark Smith says:

      Hi Victor,

      It’s rare that you get a glimpse into other’s lives and the world they find themselves in. To me, all of these things are the stuff of history books. You hear about it, but it’s hard to imagine the reality of it. You find yourself thinking “Surely nothing like that could ever happen again.” I used to give firearm ownership little importance, until the day that I realized that it was the firearm that made all human beings equal in the end.

      There are those that think that firearms are evil, pure and simple, only made to kill and destroy. Most of them, I think, never have experienced anything where a firearm would have helped. It’s a blessing to live a life that does not require a firearm, but without words like yours, I fear we’ll all fall into the trap of thinking that this is the way it will always be.

  29. avatarCarl says:

    I agree that African Americans need to tool up, but I think that the reason is not only to protect themselves from criminals, even though that is one reason, but also because, American society is deliberately structured in a way that will ensure that Black men in particular will find themselves on the wrong side of the law. The culture in Black communities is not a culture, but a sub-culture that is a construct of a hip hop/rap, gangster rap culture that has been largely financed by people other than African Americans. The drug culture in the African American community is also a deliberate design of powers outside the African American community. The ridiculously bad educational system in the African American community for children in grades k-12 is terrible at best and doesn’t prepare them to compete on a level playing field for entering college. Historically, the welfare system that made it easier for Black women be financially better off if there wasn’t a man in the house fractured the Black family. There is simply no realistic way for a single Black female to properly raise a Black male to be a man. She can teach him to be a decent person, but she cannot teach him how to be a man. Boys need a man in their life to learn the things a man needs to know. Black women have not made the best choices for choosing mates and roll models for their sons. Too many Black women, especially young Black women, choose pimps, hustlers, players, drug dealer and the like to help her pay the bills, but these young thugs are really bad roll models for young impressionable Black boys. All these things and more than I can mention here are all contributing factors in the prison recidivism rate among young Black males. All this will lead to felonies and the loss of your right to legally purchase and carry a gun. Like I said, none of this is by accident, but rather by design. Black people with a record or not, should never, never allow themselves to be disarmed. White America wants a scenario where they are the only ones walking around armed; just like they want to be the only country with nuclear weapons. They would love it if they could exercise their freedom of speech and openly call you a nigger and you better not do anything about it, because they are armed and you aren’t and they could stand their ground and blow you away and claim self defense. You should never allow this to be the case. African Americans need to stop listening to these Black preachers and ministers who keep telling Black people to be passive. Prison is just modern slavery, or a legal version of slavery. Speaking of Black clergy; have you noticed how many of the so-called Black leaders have been clergy? Minister, Farrakhan, Reverend Al sharpton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Martin Luther King, etc.
    While these people have played their roll in our history, their message is outdated and these people have out lived their usefulness. They simply do not know what the next stage should be in our political, economic and social evolution should be. That is our problem, we are not evolving in these areas. It is time for Black Americans to take control of their destiny as a people, because no matter how successful you become as an individual African American, you will always be viewed as a member of a failed race of people by all the other races of the World. No matter how much money you make, how rich you become or how famous you become, society will always look upon you as belonging to an inferior race, because you cannot and have not done anything collectively in recent history that you can point to as a people. Basketball, football and rap don’t count. We need to accomplish something together and get away from this ideology of individualism. We need some big collective accomplishments. We need for the World to take notice of us as a people who can get powerful things done together. We must get over the self hatred, mistrust and the desire to disassociate ourselves from one another. We have to stop the gang killings, we have to stop killing our children in abortion clinics, we need to stop turning to the Government for help. We need to start spending our money to buy up stock in big companies globally, so we can have ownership in the real wealth of America and the World and get away from small business ventures like barbershops, hair salons and rib joints. We need to think bigger. We need to buy up arable farmland, we need to build and own factories, we need to home school our children, we need to stop abandoning our communities when one of us “makes it.” There is a lot of work to be done, but we need a paradigm shift and our present Black leaders are still “preaching” the same messages in the same styles that they were teaching 50 years ago. Either we will make our mark on World history collectively or we will go the way of the Native American Indians, which were almost completely wiped out. It is happening to us and we are the ones bringing it about with our self destructive behaviors and willing ignorance. We have to stop glamorizing ignorance and niggardly behavior and start building strong, closely nit communities where we protect each other and our communities. I could go on and on with a blueprint for us, but I don’t know who will hear me, or who will take head and lead the way.

    Peace!

  30. avatarWill says:

    Stand up and strap up. The more law abiding gun owners there are in the community, the less you have to fear from anyone. Is there perfect equality before the law? No. Why? Because the number of minority gun owners has not reached critical mass. Whites don’t get respect because they are White. They get respect because people do not want to be on the wrong end of a gun.

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