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.