I started my experience with guns at the age of five, mostly in hunting and target shooting. I can thank my father for that and at such a young age he had taught me to be respectful of guns and how to use them safely. He taught me to never aim it at something unless I intended to kill it, treat every gun as if it were loaded, and only kill what I would eat. Which reflecting back on those now seems pretty good as we have never had any firearms related accidents . . .
While I have been shooting for the majority of my 26 years on this earth, I find it difficult to find my place in the world of firearms. I fully support the 2nd Amendment and opposed the most recent attempt at ‘gun control’ (and any future attempts for that matter). But yet past experiences have led me to believe that I will never truly fit into any gun community.
Most people will never know what it is like to be judged solely on the color of their skin. The fact that my darker hue affords me the pleasure of being followed around stores for no good reason. It seems that my darker hue automatically makes me a thief or some kind of thug. It’s an unescapable “blackness” that follows wherever I go. Mind you I am neither a thief nor a thug. I am an educated black man who is gainfully employed with nothing so much on my record as even a speeding ticket. My color of my skin and not the content of my character can paint me as suspect.
When things happen like the Martin or McBride shootings you see many people putting the victim on trial or throwing out “what-if” scenarios to justify the gun owner, which in my experience I have to battle with both sides internally.
As in the Martin case, I can see a parallel with my life. The aspect that I have and can be followed just because I am black and that some people equate blackness with being suspicious. On that note I believe they both made bad decisions. Zimmerman decided to follow a young black man because he looked “suspicious” and at some point Martin attacked him. Those two bad decisions cost both men dearly.
So in my personal experience I know where the outcry came from. It came from a dark place when blacks were killed for flirting with a white woman or any other ridiculous excuse. By all standards the media made it sound like Martin was just walking and was shot and that the police just took Zimmerman’s word as truth and let him go. It makes one wonder if I were involved in a DGU that was justifiable would I be let go or would my blackness make things more difficult?