“Whether the gun magazines figure it’s politically safer to make everyone the same color, or whether they’re simply catering to a monochromatic readership with a strong hankering for all-white cultural nostalgia — or both — is impossible to tell. There is, of course, a hardy strain of racial paranoia coursing through some corners of American gun culture. So it seems unlikely that the overwhelming whiteness is mere coincidence.” – Francis Wilkinson in Guns Are For White People [at bloomberg.com]

73 Responses to Quote of the Day: Racial Paranoia Edition

  1. people who say things like this are either insane ignorant or evil and intentionally trying to create a racial divide as a Latino gun owner I have found nothing but acceptance from the people of the gun

    • as a African-American, I agree – gun owners have been much more racially positive compared to my very liberal white friends who ALWAYS work race into a discussion . . . .

      • Dirk,

        I once had a very liberal vegan house mate in San Francisco. Every friggin conversation about everything he always worked vegan-ism into the discussion. Politics taken to an extreme is religious extremism.

      • You’re likely to find even more acceptance from the “white” gun side when you stop using that liberal, politically correct, separatist moniker. If you consider yourself African-American then you are not American like the rest of us.

        • The term “black” or “American of African decent” is far more accurate and logical. We are all Americans first and foremost.
          The whole gun grabbing thing is a libtard (democrat) deal, anyway. Evil, statist (Big Gov) monsters who sell victimhood and dependence.
          I hope they die.

        • I just attended a Philadelphia Phillies game when they were holding an “Italian Heritage Celebration “. I’m not Italian-American, so it wasn’t anything special for me, but that event and it’s ethnic identification certainly didn’t come across as a “liberal, politically correct, separatist moniker.”

      • Aw, shucks. Im white. It was really cool reading different people of different races identifying themselves as proud gun owners.

        Im technicaly a foreigner…. Does that count for a heartwarming moment?

    • Well, in the author’s defense, its entirely possible that all three people that read print gun magazines are white…

      • Recoil, a Yellow Gun RAG owned and run by uber progressives any men-of-color on the editorial staff?

    • I’ll go one step further. Asian-Americans are as rare as $10/box 9mm in the sticks where I live, but I have rarely experienced overt prejudice (wish I could say the same for my schoolkids). Prejudice is a lot worse in urban crucibles. When I lived in LA, whites were terrified of blacks and blacks were downright terrified of the police, and for good reason. Maybe it’s the size and density of metro areas, maybe it’s the crime or memory of riots and oppression. Whatever it is, major cities are where all these self-important journalists write their insulated opinions.

    • I’m part black, or whatever, and I too have never had any issue with any firearm owner (that I’ve met) over racism. I’ve had one get slightly uppity when he learned that I don’t believe that his god exists(but we still get along well). I’ve had heated debates over the morality of homosexuality (they think it’s a bad thing), but never once have I had anyone at the range call me a nigger, mutt, honky, cracker, or anything of the sort. Can’t say it will never happen, but I’ve been to the back bayous of Louisiana and country parts of Texas. I have experienced plenty of racism outside of gun culture however. Even within various shadings of black folk.

      Divide and conquer. One of the greatest injustices hoisted on people of color is the myth that by having weapons we are doing the white man’s dirty work. Is insulting to all involved. On one hand it’s implying that we colored folk are too wild and uncivilized to handle any sort of weapon responsibly, and on the other it implies that white people are immoral monsters who want us dead.

      • Ain’t no racism in the back bayous–everybody’s related. And about the only thing missing from the mix is Asian blood–but give it a few more decades, and that will change too.

        • O there is out there. But many people I’ve met are willing to put aside grudges for common interest. Many would be amazed at just how at ease many old racist men are eager to talk to you if you are polite and show interest in something they at least think they have extensive knowledge. That and despite what many people would like, people are learning that skin color only matters on three occasions

          1) police reports (criminal or missing persons)

          2) Search and rescue (contrasting colors)

          3) Race baiting the public to over hype issues.

          There are some places in bayou/back country you just don’t go. Remember alligators don’t leave much for forensic pathologist to use.

    • Agreed. My local range that borders a large Navy base is a virtual rainbow on busy days. One of the ROs is even a very obvious butch lady.

  2. From the Zimmerman file:

    It’s possible that my numbers are very slightly off. It’s not always easy to identify race. For example, there is a picture of a guy taking a nap on a sofa, comfortably armed with a handgun tucked in his pants. We only see him from behind, his hair is dark and I was tempted to count him as Hispanic; it’s very hard to tell. But after weighing the totality of the evidence, I figured there was really only one safe way to go: white.

  3. People still buy magazines (the printed variety, err…paper rather)? He picked the worst medium from which to gage his article. Also, working in that environment, he knows absolutely nothing of the people of the gun.

  4. to quote a recent TTAG article by a gun grabber… some people are just bat-sh*t crazy. I’m just going to get back to stereotyping all the usual suspects, since obviously its OK to hate people again.

    • Only if you stand up for your (non-racial anyway) rights to, you know, freedom of speach and RKBA… OH AND THE 10th!

  5. I read through the linked article and here is what I found in my admittedly unscientific review…..

    1 wanker.

    I am going to assume this ratio is the same for all the authors of Bloomberg and say that the entire enterprise is run by wankers.

  6. “There is, of course, a hardy strain of racial paranoia coursing
    through some corners of American gun culture.”

    I agree, those of the progressive tilt seem to be scared to death
    of anything firearm related that’s black be it firearm or
    worse owner.

  7. Yep. All gun owners are white. That’s why the rate of black-on-black knife violence is so high in our inner cities.

  8. I find that in our area, the racial makeup of gun owners reflects the makeup of the community. Meaning a multitude of colors, creeds, and beliefs. No one tends to point out these differences either. We just shoot, have fun, and go home to our loved ones. This is normal right?

    • This is perfectly normal.

      I find where I live, ranges (public or private) near a city are more mixed. Ranges out in the sticks are mostly (but not exclusively) white. People tend to go to whatever is close-by. I have never encountered a situation where people at a range have had any issue with any person unless that person was not being safe.

      • I concur. I live in north Georgia where we have a large African-American population. Sure enough, about half of the folks I run into at the range, including the guy who built and runs it, are black.

  9. Ah, and our $340 licensing fee here in NYC is to _encourage_ racial diversity in gun ownership. Yeah.

  10. All this racial hatred being pushed by the “progressives”? (More like intolerant, racist, bigots) is making me even more appreciative for the right to keep and bear arms.

    • Progressives need to stoke racial tension. Without it one of their go-to voting blocks might not…vote as a block. Gender is treated in the same manner: Any conceivable slight against women is talked up as a if it were an attitude universal among…Republicans. This, despite the fact that the porn industry is reputedly run mostly by Democrats. Pimps are Republicans? Not very likely. It’s a perception scam run by the callously ambitious on their least-informed target demographics.

    • It is called “guilt tripping.” People who own guns should be embarrassed that they are white racist pigs, you know.

  11. You know, I’ve never really studied the racial make-up of the folks at my range. They all look like Americans to me.

  12. After reading the article and the first page of comments it strikes me that we need a government program to provide legal firearms to financially challenged Americans.

    Even though it is not PC, I think it should be called Weapon Welfare.

    Please support firearm equality for all Americans.

    • Actually better would be a private program to donate firearms to the weak in the inner city. The little old granny trying to raise grandchildren etc. Call it “Protect the Children” Start it in Chicago. City/state gov’t FOAD.

  13. I think the comments here have hit the problem on the head: print magazines are dinosaurs, and dinosaurs edit them. The only one I get is “AR” and it is pretty white and upper-middle class (why do they run reviews of $45,000 trucks?).

    Not that pasting Chris Cheng or Colion Noir on the cover would make this writer happy.

  14. Racism? Really?

    The election of Barrack Obama, with support from about half of whites and near unanimous support from blacks shows that by and large, whites are not racist, but that blacks are.

    • I know it’s popular on the right to bag on blacks for overwhelmingly supporting Obama, saying they’re anti-white racists. But blacks overwhelmingly support Democrats in general, and have since LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act and all the racist Dixiecrats became Republicans. Republican hero and racist gun controller Ronald Reagan kicked off his presidential campaign in Philidelphia, Mississippi, talking about “states rights.” The message was crystal clear.

      So faced with a choice between John McCain or Mit Romney, and Barack Obama, why the Hell wouldn’t a black person vote for Obama?

      That said, Obama hasn’t done much for black folks, or anyone else.

      But seriously, painting black people in general as racist (ie, hating white people) because they voted for Obama is just stupid. If Mormons voted overwhelmingly for Romney (and I suspect they did), you wouldn’t say it was because they hate non-Mormons.

  15. The title of Mr. Francis Wilkinson’s article Guns Are For White People is sufficiently asinine that I don’t even have to rip into it.

    Guns are for everyone who cares about the well being of themselves, their families, their communities, and their nation.

  16. Being part Native American, knowing the community of gun owners, I am deeply offended by this Bloomberg article. I go to the range not just to train, but I go to socialize with some of the friendliest people I know. These people are of all races, religions, occupations, creeds, age groups, etc., who come together for an activity they love. I find that people who believe in guns for whatever reason -sports, protection, hunting, 2nd Amendment, etc. – are some of the best people society offers who would be there in a moments notice to help if help is needed. I consider everyone at the range a friend regardless of the skin color the democrats have labeled them. Sure, we may argue about things like 1911 versus Glock, but at the end of the day, we cannot wait to meet again for another day at the range.

  17. It’s not just a race thing, sometimes it’s a gender thing. Biggest change I have seen in my 62 years, is the attitude change. For years I’d rather set myself on fire than go into a gun shop or go to a gun range. I liked guns, wanted to be a better shooter, but felt like a fish out of the water. First gun I got was one inherited from my dad’s estate. A Colt Government Model IV .380 semiautomatic 7 round pistol. Didn’t really know how to rack the slide, load the magazine, line up the sights. Decided a revolver would be a better starter gun, so went to a local gun shop.No one waited on me or acknowledged my existence. Finally interrupted counter guy having a political discussion with one of the store rats (people who go into a gun store into just to visit, rarely buy anything)
    Ended up buying Ruger LCR .38 special, 5 round, 1.875″ barrel, Crimson Trace grip. Probably worse choice for a new shooter, with substantial muzzle flip, heavy recoil, ouch! Next gun Bersa .380 pistol. easy to rack the slide, 3.5″ barrel, 7 round magazine, use Butler Creek LULA Magazine Loader. It’s a favorite of mine, took & passed TX CHL range test with it. Have since added Ruger SR .22 and most recently a Ruger P95 9mm pistol with 3.40″ barrel. Gun culture has changed a lot in recent years. Women have have joined the men on gun ranges, hold their own in gun shops, can talk guns with anyone and most important, feel welcomed. I’ve noticed much younger guys and gals working gun stores and ranges. Notice more women in gun shops and at ranges, often with a child in tow, teaching safe gun handling. Love to shoot with my sister-in-law, but if she is not available, I’m comfortable going on my own, now. Becoming proficient shooters is the real womens liberation movement and it’s growing more each day.

  18. I don’t agree with his conclusion, but I can’t argue with his data. Gun magazines are mostly white, and mostly male. Other than the odd column from Ayoob or Rodriguez (now deceased) most of the writers are white and male. Sure, you get a column here and there from Heidi Smith, and one of the writers will sometimes mention a grand daughter getting into shooting, or covers a story about a female competitive shooter (almost always of the cute or sexy variety), but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a story about the typical females that you see showing up at an IDPA match or the range.

    Honestly, this hits a lot of niche publications, though. The bicycling magazines I read are mostly written by and about white males. Same thing for computer or other tech magazines.

    • It’s much the same with the diesel truck magazines (diesel power or diesel world). It has to do with interest that often goes back generations and cultural background, whites also tend to by more “reading material” on subjects that they are interested in, considering the percentage of black males that fail to complete school and don’t read well these magazines can be intimidating and are often technical and difficult to read and understand for the poorly educated. But besides that, these magazines are about information, who cares who writes it as long as the information is factual and useful.

    • I think you absolutely nailed it – this isn’t an issue with firearm magazines, but technical niche publications in general. In the paintball, RC aircraft, and aviation magazines I occasionally read, the same overwhelming white/male demographic is seen. Can we expect to see the same “X is racist” articles based on these publications as well? I won’t hold my breath.

    • Yep. How about Sail Magazine, Sky and Telescope, Flying Magazine, Home Shop Machinist, and dozens if not hundreds of other publications that target a niche, mostly white, audience.

  19. While the author’s statement really reflects his own racism very well, it may have also been true in the past. Guns HAVE been white guy territory because it seems by and large because other outside factors kept minorities from owning guns. However, this is rapidly changing. I myself am in my early thirties and I have taken black, Latino, and Asian friends shooting. They have subsequently all bought guns, and joined the gun owner club. What the author of this article is missing (or maybe purposefully ignoring) is that gun owners WANT to be more inclusive. We love it when we can get anyone and everyone into our tent, even the NRA realizes this. Therefore, the other side has to paint us as paranoid racists while THEY fan the flames of racial hatred using things like the Zimmerman trial.

    • I think you’re spot on crzapy. You very nearly wrote what I had in mind to say myself; Where I live the population is something upwards of 95% white and of course the range and gunshop scene reflects that. Even so non whites who do occasionally appear get the same treatment that some women have begun to complain about: We’re overly nice to them. That’s right, we’re so darn racist that we actually go out of our way to encourage inclusion. When it comes to adding people to our team I’m only choosy about their character, color isn’t even a factor. Then again when the chips are down I don’t look at my backup as being black or white or whatever, I see another person there to help.

      It seems to me that when one wants to witness racism one has to turn to the liberals to see it.

  20. Just because you have taken God out of schools and politics, doesn’t mean you have taken evil and the devil out of the world. God exists, the Devil’s goal is to get you to deny him at every turn. The battle rages on!

  21. There are now many liberals who are so extreme that their political and social beliefs and values can be defined as a collective religious belief system. IMO, liberals frequently “profile” and stereotype people more than do most moderates and many conservatives.

  22. I guess all of those people in Chicago are using nerf or squirt guns since they cant be all OWFG’s (im a YWSG younger white skinnier guy).

  23. At my private range, which boasts a very exclusive membership the demographic breaks down thus: 50% white, 50% male, 100% service related and 200% supporter of The US Constitution. Who better to hang with?

  24. guns are primarily white people toys, but that has nothing to do with white racism among gun owners. it is actually racism among black non gun owners. black people see guns as evil and a tool of white oppresion which is why they fight against them. and if youre wondering how i know this, its very simple: i ask black people. most of my friends and all of my fiances family are black (including her) and i often talk about gun politics with them. the overwhemly majority of black anti gunners state that they dont like guns because they cant trust the police and that the whites want guns in order to control them. logically of course i ask them why they want the police to be the only ones with guns if they cant be trusted, but they never give me a good answer. it just goes to show the massive amount of brainwashing happening in the black community.

    • I think what you say is largely true. I also think the reasons black folks have for these feelings are not a result of “brainwashing,” so much as a matter of history. White people are quick to dismiss the historical oppression (and systematic disarmament) of blacks. That was years ago! The memories of people on the short end of the stick tend to last a lot longer. Guns have, in fact, long been a tool of whites oppressing blacks. And we still live in a world where blacks are subject to a lot more police and prosecutorial scrutiny. Blacks are far more likely to lose their 2A rights for minor drug charges, etc., than whites are. And whether we like it or not, a lot of “gun culture” (especially the part portrayed in the media) does consist of Confederate Battle Flag waving redneck morons.

      Don’t judge, and keep spreading a positive message to your inlaws-to-be!

  25. The only magazines I get, other than the type that feeds cartridges into a firearm, are the American Rifleman and The Backwoodsman. The NRA sponsored American Rifleman is sadly enough out of touch with modern times.

  26. When I was in the army, I served with all races and I could count on everyone of them to have my six and they could always count on me. We were all brothers and no one cared about color. Unfortunately racism exists and probably always will, however, the gun crowd is the closest thing I have come across with that same mind set….a family mind set, and the least likely to really have a problem with someone’s color

  27. I strongly disagree with Wilkinson. Guns are simply tools that can be used by anyone physically capable of doing so. But I have noticed that gun-circles are overwhelmingly white, and some (not all) seem to have racial prejudices. But those people are the exception, not the rule.

  28. When I’m shooting I don’t give a damn about race, skin color, ethnicity, gender, or anything like that.

    I’m even willing to ignored the occasional Hi-Point pistol every now and then!
    🙂

    Now, that being said, if you point the muzzle of your weapon in my direction, that’ll get my attention!

  29. This is absolutely hysterical! Wilkinson is a member of the Bloomberg Editorial Board — check out the board’s membership and tell me how many people of color are on it. Wanna guess?

    I may never stop laughing.

  30. Maybe we should listen to the critic for once. If everyone’s experience in the range is multicultural, shouldn’t our magazines reflect that too? My church, contrary to everyone’s expectation, is very multicultural worldwide. So are our magazines (The same magazine, translated, is read in all continents). When I open an issue, I see lots of white American, african, asian, hispanic, polinesian, European faces and families represented.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I hate PCness for its own sake. But if we people of the gun are multicultural, what’s wrong with our magazines reflecting that?

    • It’s less to do with being PC and more to do with money / sheer numbers. Many gun manufacturers / accessory makers don’t believe non-whites buy their products, hence they don’t try to advertise to them. It’s also like that for a variety of other products as well. As an American of Chinese descent, I always notice when ad advertisement happens to feature an Asian family or Asian American man.

      The other genre of magazines that probably feature an over-representation of advertising / articles toward Asian Americans is the import car scene. But that makes sense since the scene originated in parts of California with huge populations of Asian Americans.

  31. Ideally the racial demographics of people in media will be close to that of its audience. I don’t think it’s because the publishers, editors or various audiences are racist. Gun culture, and specifically recreational gun culture is definitely predominantly white, even moreso than the general population and for various reasons. It doesn’t surprise me that the vast majority of people in gun magazines are white. It shouldn’t surprise anyone. I will say though, being black and southern, I have definitely experienced some…less than favorable treatment from fellow people of the gun. The pockets of ignorance and hatred are still there and in higher volume than they should be, but definitely not what they used to be, certainly not enough to stereotype the whole lot.

  32. I suspect this has more to do with the magazine industry than the gun-owning population. I bet you if you did the same survey for nearly every category of interest-focused magazines, from model railroads to knitting, you’d get similar results.

    A lot of this is the lingering fear that showing e.g. non-white faces on covers will result in stores and chains not carrying them out of the racism of a small number of influential people — which DID happen, but a long time ago now. The fear, I think, has persisted in the industry way after the behavior itself became unacceptable.

    So yeah — the publications suffer a bit from racism and insularity. This doesn’t mean that the firearms community does to any degree greater than the population in general.

  33. That print gun magazines (the really, really low capacity kind) are dominated by OFWGs is not news.

    I also think TTAG has gotten a lot more diverse over the years. Like most Americans, Gun People are perfectly accepting of black and brown folks on an individual basis, especially if there is broad agreement on politics, etc.

    That said, we still got issues. Middle and upper-middle class conservative white guys trying to cast themselves as some sort of victim class ain’t helpin’. You know who you are. Grow a pair and quit whining.

    Also, we need to be realistic about how our criminal “justice” system treats people. It’s nothing like equal. Cops and prosecutors have huge amounts of power and discretion, and they often abuse it. “Stop and Frisk,” anyone? Jenna, LA?

    As lovers of freedom, we should all decry racial injustice on the institutional level.

    Finally, call out the nudge-wink racists on TTAG. If someone wants to preach his White Power nonsense in the open, fair enough, but don’t let people be sissies about it and make cryptic little hints. I bet a lot of you know what I mean.

  34. I’m white, when the SHTF I’d much rather have an armed black guy from the hood watching my back than an unarmed pansy ass liberal white guy. American is falling due to weak men of all races who dare not get involved or speak out.

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