P320 Entry: Living Life ‘In the Closet’

By ST

That’s a phrase typically associated with people of the  homosexual lifestyle, although as we’ll soon see, that’s a phrase which applies to many things in life. In short, it means a person is undertaking a lifestyle which is sure to bring down scorn if even their closest family members ever knew the truth. I used to think the term “being in the closet” had no personal meaning for me until I acquired my CCW permit and returned to Chicago for holiday leave. At the dinner table three Thanksgivings ago, after another vapid tirade about gun control from Channel 7, I let loose that I had a concealed weapons permit . . .

 

The tension at the table could be cut with a knife. Conversation between my mom and aunt instantly died as if a cable was cut. My uncle stared at my forehead like I was a national traitor. Then the fun began. Every member of my family save my own mother lit into me as if I’d declared war on equality itself. Why? Because I’m a young black man.

“WHY DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU NEED A GUN!!!”

“You know the white man sends guns into the ghetto so that young men like yourself kill each other!”

“Look, after this we need to TALK” said uncle. Literally.

Given that my appetite suddenly went downhill with the mood, I excused myself from the table and began the mental task of wondering how I could impart the truth of self-determination and the US Constitution to my uncle, a man I respected but lived his whole life in Illinois convinced that anything to do with firearms was a mark of personal evil.

I needn’t have worried. I never had the chance to even open my mouth.

“Just sit there and listen. You’re young and you think guns are cool and all that. But I’ve been there. I’ve seen people act a fool around them. I went to college too, man. I’ve seen what people are capable of when they’re pissed and have a weapon. Just promise me you’ll consider selling whatever gun you have. A real man doesn’t need a gun to stand on his own two feet.”

Why should you care about this searing personal anecdote? Because in minority cultures all over America, that’s the community attitude. Firearms are not tools of defense, instruments of sport or even devices of family enjoyment as they are in the country. Guns represent two things to minority families: abuse of power by the the police, who have a nasty record in every major urban area of America of using weapons to gun down people under legally and ethically questionable circumstances, and criminals doing the same thing and shooting innocent people in the process.

So, we have this “death spiral” in major urban areas where ethnic residents, used to seeing guns used by criminals and cops to  break the law, associate weapons with evil. Being ignorant of the truth, they vote for politicians who vow to restrict firearm use which results in anti-gun laws being passed, which creates a larger knowledge vacuum about firearms, which triggers more fear when bad things do happen involving weapons, and so on and so forth.

Unless we in the firearms community do our best to break the cultural and political knowledge vacuum in minority America, we will at best become a nation of Two Americas. One where the Constitution only applies so long as you’re 50 miles away from a major population center. Or, worse, the day comes when the city men and women amass enough political power to utterly crush the rural folk who disagree with gun control. We already see that dynamic in Illinois where Chicago’s concentration of people forever condemns rural Illinois to their lead, whether they like Chicago or not.

We cannot afford to leave the future minority members of America to the antis. Mr. Colion Noir is not a one-man act. There are thousands like him who are into guns and gun rights, but cannot “come out of the closet” knowing it will cost them their families’ and their community standing. These are folks we need to make an effort to welcome, and to do our best to change the culture in the cities to one friendly to firearms instead of the opposite.

Our rights literally depend on it. If we don’t take steps now as consumers, shooters, competitors, industry leaders, FFLs, marketers, producers, designers, and promoters to bring the light of the Constitution to the urban minorities of America, we will reap the dreadful consequences.

 

comments

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Maybe they should use a bigger sign.

      1. avatar Cotter says:

        Ha!!!

    2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      In bold print and a larger font. I, for one, have serious opinions about Arial Black. That’ll learn ’em.

    3. avatar BDub says:

      1st though after that….Mmmmm, sweet potato fries!

      2nd thought…..OMG!, who let those children have access to those guns? They should be found and prosecuted for tempting these youths with a life of crime!

    4. avatar Bob10 says:

      I am for requiring a sign with bold letters that says “Danger!!! No Permit Carry and No Armed Security. Enter at your own risk.”

    5. avatar YellowDevil says:

      Obviously the robbers couldn’t read or understand signage, duh!

  1. avatar Rainhaven says:

    The best thing anyone can do is get the person to the range. Spend the money, commit the time and go educate the person on the range. Youtube videos, articles, blogs, etc. all have their place but they can only do so much.

    Rather than hateful rhetoric if the NRA, large ranges, gun shops, etc. would just have open range days and invite people to come down and encourage people of the gun to bring friends, family, neighbors etc. to the event if they are willing then I can guarantee you cultural perceptions would shift.

    I live in a semi-rural area. I’ll never forget that when I was in high school, and this was not in ancient days, that our new superintendent was from NYC. His daughter was in my grade and she quipped on her first day that she was glad that we had electricity and had cars. She was dead serious. She said that in NYC everyone thought that “out west” we still rode horses and it was all wild west outside the cities.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Hateful rhetoric of the NRA?

      Here’s your Kool Aid.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        “Rather than hateful rhetoric if the NRA,”

        IF, not OF.

        1. avatar Anon in CT says:

          So whose “hateful rhetoric” was it? It must belong to someone.

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          If you haven’t seen hateful rhetoric on every side you must not be paying attention.

        3. avatar Rainhaven says:

          Rather than hateful rhetoric, if –

          Sorry, my apologies to all grammarians out there.

          I was not implying that the NRA was saying anything hateful, per se, but that rather than building a we/they siege mentality we should be doing whatever we can to educate and show people that guns aren’t inherently bad or scary.

          It doesn’t help though, when the NRA starts saying that violent video games are the problem or try to pin the tail on another scapegoat. Sometimes they start using the same verbal kung fu as their opponents and that’s sad.

        4. avatar John in Ohio says:

          +1 on the above comment, Rainhaven.

    2. avatar General Zod says:

      Please link to examples of the NRA’s “hateful rhetoric” that you’ve seen.

      1. avatar whatever says:

        I dunno, every other time Ted Nugent opens his piehole? He seems increasingly obsessed with the idea of a race war.

        1. avatar TheBear says:

          ^ Truth.

          Ol Ted should be kicked out of the NRA and banned from all functions for life.

    3. avatar JasonM says:

      I think the spelling is correct, but the punctuation and grammar are wrong:

      Rather than [project] hateful rhetoric[,] if the NRA, large ranges, gun shops, etc. would…

      I wouldn’t classify it as “hateful”, but the NRA does sometimes make statements that some minorities could find offensive (e.g. Wayne’s illegal immigration speeches). If the NRA could remember that the R stands for Rifle, not Republican, it would help.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        If the Democrats would take gun control and the AWB out of their official platform, that would help too.

        1. avatar Gregory Williams says:

          Get the AWB out of their platform? What’s wrong with the Average White Band? C’mom, cut the cake!

      2. avatar Ben says:

        A speech against illegal immigration is only construed as hateful by the ignorant. It’s only by nature of geography that most illegal immigrants in the US are from Mexico and Central America, but illegal immigrants can come from any country. Speaking out against them is not speaking out against Mexican/Latin people, unless his speech was along the lines of “I don’t want no dirty Mexicans takin’ mah jerb.”

        1. avatar JeffR says:

          Actually, most illegal immigration comes from people overstaying their visas, so even assuming the vast majority of illegals are Latino is a bit much.

      3. avatar Rainhaven says:

        Thank you for cleaning up my sentence.

        And my point was not to say that the NRA is saying anything hateful per se, but they do contribute to the overall we/they siege mentality that is prevalent at times.

        It was not helpful at all in the wake of the Aurora and Newtown shootings to start pointing the finger at videogames or better background checks for mental health.

        It should have simply been: the people used guns for unlawful purposes. Period. There are already laws on the books to deal with people who use guns to commit felonies.

        It would also be more helpful if more questions were formed to bounce back to the culture at large, such as why are more and more people choosing to shoot places up and then commit suicide? What about our culture causes that? It’s not about the gun but the ideas that have the consequences.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Yep and their “solution” to school shootings (the task force thingy) was gawd-awful. I pulled out about 13 sentences from the NRA press release that turned my stomach. To me they often come across as… Meeet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

      4. avatar YellowDevil says:

        Who cares what his stance on illegal immigration is. If you are not here legally, I cannot think of any states where you can legally own a firearm.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          ‘Tis true as current law stands but the supreme law of the land says shall not be infringed so there’s no reason they couldn’t keep and bear arms if our government followed the Constitution.

    4. avatar WV Cycling says:

      I love taking newbies to the range. As a teacher, I have a three page guide they must read before they handle my guns though. One is the four rules of gun handling on a single page, printed as large as possible. The second are basic laws for West Virginia. The third page are the ten rules of gun handling. If they get less than 4 of 4 of the first set, or 8/10 of the second set of rules wrong, I make them go over it one more time.

      Start nearly everyone with my Ruger 22/45. Such a fun and easy little gun!

      1. avatar TheBear says:

        I start everyone with a bb gun. Then they don’t have to read stuff and take tests that will make them even more nervous.

        But hey, whatever floats your boat.

  2. avatar I_Like_Pie says:

    Thank you for writing this…There is nothing in this article that I disagree with. I am with you 100% in your thinking and wish I could spread the message as well as you just did.

    1. avatar Mike B says:

      +1

      1. avatar Matt in TX says:

        +1

        1. avatar TheBear says:

          +1

  3. avatar JR says:

    Well written, ST. Thanks for posting this.

  4. avatar General Zod says:

    So I have to know if you had a response for your uncle’s tirade.

    1. avatar Dan A says:

      Was wondering this too

    2. avatar TheBear says:

      Based on the article I don’t think the author got a chance to say much of anything. There are times when saying anything can just make matters worse; especially with family.

  5. avatar Tim McNabb says:

    Good stuff. In an interview a few years back (see Occupy St. Louis and The 2nd Amendment) it occurred to me that the black man I spoke with had lived in a culture where only cops and thugs had guns. Perhaps he had never known or met a responsible gun owner who was not a cop.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Perhaps he had never known or met a responsible gun owner who was a cop.

    2. avatar anonymous says:

      see Occupy St. Louis and The 2nd Amendment

      That reminds me of when I was at one of the “Occupy” rallies in my city — not as a participant, but as an observer during my lunch hour. One of the guys I was talking to said that he was tying to teach his fellow “Occupiers” about the importance of the Second Amendment.

      I’m sure he was as successful in his efforts as I have been at trying to warn my fellow gun owners about the dangers of unlimited income inequality, corporate power, the oligarchy, population growth, etc.

      But after anti-gun frenzy of last year, I haven’t the time nor energy, nor honestly the interest, to worry about unlimited income inequality, corporate power, the oligarchy, population growth, etc.. Let the Republicans continue their war on the middle class for the time being, because I’m too busy trying to get my lost rights back. Thanks to Bloomberg & Co., I am tangibly less free than I was 18 months ago.

      As to the title of this post, “Living Life In The Closet” — the same week that the anti-gun owner bills in Colorado passed, I received the following e-mail from the same Democrat party that had just s**t all over my rights:

      From: Senator Michael Bennet
      Date: Tue, Mar 12, 2013
      Subject: Historic

      Colorado just made history. Both the state Senate and House have passed civil unions and now the bill is on its way to Governor Hickenlooper’s desk for his signature!

      This is a great day for equality and anyone who believes that, gay or straight, all couples want to be together for the same reasons. They want to make lifetime commitments to love and care for each other. The civil unions bill will give all Colorado families the legal and economic protections needed to care for one another and it will help build stronger communities.

      If the civil unions (or even gay marriage) had become law in 2012, my reaction would have been, “Cool, it’s about time.” But now? Colorado’s gun-owner control bills were signed on March 20 2013, and the civil unions bill was signed a day later.

      How are gun owners supposed to react, being told that “this is a great day”, when they had just been marginalized and disenfranchised, after being demonized for the previous three months? When our intelligence was (and still is) repeatedly insulted by claims of “We’re not trying to take your guns away”? When it was obvious that the Democrats arrogantly acted out of bigotry and hatred and hypocrisy and ignorant and stupidity because they could, and not out of any concern for public safety?

      Claire Levy (Democrat-Boulder): “I don’t know how on Earth they can draw a causal relationship. I make no assertion that this bill either increase or reduce violent crime. That is not the premise of the bill.”

      The Democrats alienated a lot of people who may have supported gay rights, or at least adopted a tolerant “live and let live” attitude. Right or wrong, gay rights and gun-owner control will now be associated together in the minds of a lot of Colorado gun owners for a long, long time. And if that association exists in my mind, imagine what’s going on in the heads of a lot of people who, let’s be honest, weren’t very tolerant to start with. And there’s a lot more gun owners than there are gays.

      It was one thing to strip us of our rights. It was quite another to rub our noses in it.

      1. avatar juliesa says:

        Au contraire, the middle class is ding much better in states like Texas than in large blue states, and this is due to our policies. Dem policies are making income inequality grow in the large blue states. Dem policies are encouraging the oligarchy too. I don’t want to get into a political fight with you, since we are the same side on the 2A, but middle and working class folks are fleeing NY, IL, and CA for red states where they can find jobs or open a small business. Always remember that big business loves big government, because with big government they can compete by rent seeking and lobbying for regs and subsidies that shut out their smaller competitors.

        1. avatar ThomasR says:

          So true Juliesa; It’s government regulation, certification, minimum wage requirements, required business supplied health care, red tape and on and on that crush the small business where the new money is made and leaves the big corporations in control with virtual monopolies.

          I had a small business repairing major appliances; it was because of all the government requirements that kept me from hiring employees that would have made those employees good money.

  6. avatar TT says:

    Best P320 so far.

  7. avatar JeffR says:

    I think ST deserves a P320. Very well done.

  8. avatar T.G. says:

    Wow…this is right up there with the Hi-power story from a few days ago. Very well written.

  9. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Thank you for this perspective.
    Excellent article!

  10. avatar crzapy says:

    Best article so far.

    While I am not a minority I can sympathize with the in the closet feeling. Why?

    My day job is teaching in a high school. I never let my interest in firearms slip lest I be branded a social pariah. In fact, in the past I almost lost a job because I posted on Facebook a picture of me in Vegas with a rented machine gun shooting at an indoor range. A coworker saw the picture, flipped out, and reported me to HR. After that day I shut down my FB page and began a double life.

    At work I keep my interests quite. At home I shoot often, take friends, and even have a side business as a licensed CHL instructor.

    It is a sad day when you lose your first and second amendment rights to PC BS.

    Give this man the Sig and enough ammo to take his entire extended family shooting.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      Wow. That’s really sad. You should type up that story and submit it.

    2. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Yeah man I agree, that is a good (or bad) story.

  11. avatar Kaleb says:

    Wow. I would hate to be a judge in this article contest. There have been a lot of good articles (definitely including this one).

  12. avatar Rankler says:

    Great post. I’m not young or black but this one merits the P320 I think.

  13. avatar tdiinva says:

    I am from the other Chicago, The one where the Party leaders come from who keep black people down. This is the message I would send if I were in ST’s world. The powers that be want to keep minorities, poor defenseless and dependent. I would tell them that City Hall wants young black men to join gangs and create chaos that ,keeps people down. It is up to the minorities, particularly African-Americans, who have to take back their neighborhoods from the gangs. City Hall will never do it because it isn’t in their interests do so.

    1. avatar Sock Monkey says:

      This is something I’d like to hear more about. If you haven’t yet posted an article to TTAG on this subject, please do!

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        That article has already been written:

        http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2012/Gangs-and-Politicians-An-Unholy-Alliance/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0#artanc

        I would estimate that 90% of the readership voted for Obama. The Chicago Magazine is not a hotbead of conservatism.

      2. avatar DaveL says:

        I’d also recommend the work of Sudhir Venkatesh, an unorthodox sociologist who did much of his grad school work embedded in poor minority communities in Chicago. He does a great job documenting the actual networks of power in those communities, from gangs to politically connected “community leaders” to influential clergy. He also documents how gangs, in their own way, share the same attitude towards guns as the larger political machine: as badges of authority and a privilege of rank, to be kept out of the hands of the masses who need to be kept in line by their betters.

  14. avatar Chris says:

    Good luck breaking the cycle. I suspect that it would be hard for people like you, who have family members like them, to work backwards through time. Your older generations are set in their ways. Just show them that you are responsible. But the real victory will be with your children. Teach them safety and responsibility, and don’t let them suffer from the same mass media and education system brainwashing that created your family’s mindset. I know you probably already realized this, and have a similar plan. Good luck. Move to Texas! We want you here now! Give this man a P320.

  15. avatar former water walker says:

    Interesting read. It sure makes me HAPPY to be married to my beautiful black wife (25 years). She grew up on the westside of Chicago. She was raised by a strong black woman( a minister too) who always had a gun for protection. Legal or not. She does NOT buy into the idea that only cops & thugs have guns. It’s a shame the so-called black leaders really want black folks on the plantation. Defenseless, unarmed & powerless.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    I went to a party in Boston a couple of years ago, and I was armed as always. The hostess knew because I had taken her to the range and she liked it. When she told the other people at the party that I was carrying, guess what? Everyone there was curious, nobody was hostile and they all wanted to see and handle my gun (which I did not let them do because it was the wrong venue for show and tell).

    When it comes to hoplophobia, you have to be carefully taught. That’s what they’re doing to the school children and that’s what they’ve done to black people. And once done, it’s difficult to have it undone.

    7% of the NRA directors are black. I’m guessing that black people are actually over-represented at the Board level and that black NRA membership is less than 7%. Because of ST, we now know why.

    Thank you, ST.

  17. avatar steve clark says:

    Great article ST. Very well said, very well written. I spent my formative years enthralled with firearms while my parents, who’d seen friends die in Vietnam, hated guns and were absolutely hellbent on changing my opinion. Not too dissimilar from your situation although I suspect the pressure on you was much more intense. My arguments must have had SOME logic to them because several years later my dad took me skeet shooting with some friends and actually enjoyed it. In the last 6 months, I’ve actually taken them to the range. They’ll come around. Maybe not soon, but they’ll come around.

  18. avatar Bernard says:

    “You know the white man sends guns into the ghetto so that young men like yourself kill each other!”
    Wow. Now that’s a conspiracy…
    Great article.

    1. avatar dwb says:

      But people really do think this. What is really sad #1 is the implication is that the people receiving the firearms are somehow sub-human and cannot control themselves. What is really sad #2 is the failure to realize that the ultimate sign of trust is that someone hands you a loaded gun, because I would never hand a loaded gun to someone who might shoot back.

    2. avatar Anon in CT says:

      Obviously that’s not true, but in places like Chicago the politicians of all colors do “outreach” to the gangs – it’s part of politics as usual – and obviously violence, including violence using firearms, is integral to the gangs. So there certainly are plenty of politicians (inclucing white men, some named “Rahm”) who are pretty much ok with African Americans using illegally obtained and possessed guns to shoot and kill each other, as long as they get the gang votes.

  19. avatar Daniel says:

    Maybe a reminder to them that it was people with guns who were able to successfully defend themselves from groups like the KKK using guns. To those people, guns were the key to freedom frm oppression.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Plenty of rural black people are gun owners. Some of them can still remember when that old side-by-side was the only thing that kept them safe.

  20. avatar dwb says:

    Thank you for coming out of the closet and standing up. Its foolish to allow what other people might do dictate your rights and turn you into a prisoner in your own neighborhood.

  21. avatar cknarf says:

    Wow. Some family you got there lol. Acting as if you’re a criminal because you choose to be armed.

  22. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    “A real man doesn’t need a gun to stand on his own two feet.”

    This is absolutely true. Until another man sticks his gun in your face, then not so much.

    Good job, ST.

  23. avatar Hal says:

    What an excellent article. I hope it wins.

  24. avatar juliesa says:

    “Unless we in the firearms community do our best to break the cultural and political knowledge vacuum in minority America, we will at best become a nation of Two Americas. One where the Constitution only applies so long as you’re 50 miles away from a major population center. Or, worse, the day comes when the city men and women amass enough political power to utterly crush the rural folk who disagree with gun control.”

    This is an extreme danger on gun rights and other issues, and I agree with the entire post. Thanks for writing this and for exercising your rights in a community where it’s difficult to do so. Somehow we have to make urban minorities realize that gun rights empower the individual. Unfortunately, too many big city politicians have an incentive to keep minorities helpless and dependent, and gun control is part of that effort..

  25. avatar RT says:

    Great story, but I have to ask a question. Do African Americans really believe these kind of things?…….

    “You know the white man sends guns into the ghetto so that young men like yourself kill each other!”

    Seriously? Does anybody in the ghetto take responsibility for their own actions?

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      I would never have believed that anyone believed that kind of kook theory, either. Then again, I wouldn’t have believed that anyone believed the whole “crack was invented by the CIA to get the blacks hooked” myth, either. That is, until back in the 1990’s, the CIA Director John Deutsch had to go to Watts in L.A. to give a speech about it denying the rumors. There definitely are “two Americas” when there exist vast swaths of the population that believe this lunacy and perpetually support its self-serving propagators.

      1. avatar Publius says:

        “There definitely are “two Americas” when there exist vast swaths of the population that believe this lunacy and perpetually support its self-serving propagators.”

        They believe it only because it allows them to be free of all responsibility for their poor decisions. Get knocked up in high school? It’s the evil white man’s fault. Get into drugs? Again, the evil white man’s fault. Decide to become a criminal and get shot by another criminal? Yup, white man’s fault.

      2. avatar whatever says:

        Don’t be so hasty to dismiss the latter accusation:

        http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/nsaebb2.htm

        I know some are all to eager to write off their perceived political/cultural enemies as hapless, bumbling idiots, but to do so assumes that they are all complete fools utterly incapable of logical reasoning.

        As for the first accusation, look at the charges against Leeland Yee. Do you think he’s the only politico or official or dealer willing to arm gangsters for easy case?

  26. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Great article ST. One of the best I have ever read on this site period. Very educational. Breaking this cultural barrier is exactly what we need to do. We need more of this. If we fail, as he states- “the day comes when the city men and women amass enough political power to utterly crush the rural folk who disagree with gun control” will eventually happen at some point, and it will not be pretty. Along with a few other articles on here I will be saving this to my favorites, part of my compilation of 2nd Amendment literature I use for the education of others

  27. avatar Dempsterdumpster says:

    This is very enlightening. As a guy who has always been a ‘WG’ and becoming ‘O’ and ‘F’, I often despair over differences which correlate to race. It sucks when we are seem to be disqualified from meaningful interaction because of it.

    I learned several things from your essay. First, it can be hard to communicate with the black community even as a ‘BG’ (black guy). Second, the symbolism of the gun comes from a different place in the city than it does in the suburbs and even more so in the country. But, the third thing I learned is more hopeful–the gun can serve as a (very surprising) bridge across what can be the very turbulent waters of race and social circumstance.

    Mr. ST, I think you are the beachhead where a campaign can start. We need to hear more from you. How did you come to join the POTG in spite of the family and social barriers? How can we, even as OFWGs, help out (or should we stop trying)?

    1. avatar whatever says:

      I recall inner-city outreach programs kindly offering instruction, range time, low-cost and free weapons, etc. Perhaps that’s a good way to start?

  28. avatar cogline says:

    I think things are a lot better down south than they are up north. When I go to the range it seems like half the people there are minorities.

  29. avatar jirdesteva says:

    “A real man doesn’t need a gun to stand on his own two feet.”

    Many in my family used that line word for word. But, it has always been said it’s just a hammer. A tool like any other it’s purpose is set by the individual that wields it. The last time I heard those words was just before someone broke into my uncles house and guess what that was the last time my uncle believed it. He shortly there after purchased his first gun.

    1. avatar General Zod says:

      A real man, when confronted by a criminal with a weapon, will quickly discover that he is at a distinct disadvantage. It may be the last discovery he ever makes.

    2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      I agree. A gun sure as Hell does not make you a man. A lot of people, including those who are anti-gun and those who are criminal gun wielders, believe the opposite. Antis think that gun owners believe the gun makes the man. Criminal gun owners actually do believe that, so it validates the antis’ view.

      Yet, a hundred million gun owning men out there (not to mention the gun owning ladies) know full well that you’re a man or woman first. Exercising your God-given right and accepting your responsibility to defend yourself, your family and your property is part of being a man or woman, to be sure, but that comes after attaining that status first. There are no shortcuts.

  30. avatar JasonM says:

    I’ve always wondered why people who are more likely to be victims of crime were so strongly anti-gun. My one run in with (non-governmental) crime was having a car stereo stolen from a parked car back in college. My few experiences with guns growing up were safe and enjoyable plinking in the woods, and I’ve never heard gunshots outside of a shooting range (including the improvised ones in the woods). It never occurred to me that people might associate guns with the crime that victimizes them.
    You should convince your uncle that he needs to turn that tool of oppression into a tool of liberation. Much like black society has taken back “the n-word”, and reduced its ability to diminish them, they should take control of the guns in their neighborhoods.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      You should convince your uncle that he needs to turn that tool of oppression into a tool of liberation.

      +1000

      This has been the message some of us have been trying to get across to family and friends in the cities. IMHO, it’s one of the most direct and effective first hurdles to overcome. When what the tool represents is re-framed from oppressive to liberating, then the notion that the individual RKBA = freedom will be firmly planted and difficult to uproot. I’d wager that if even only this one message gets successfully propagated then support for the 2A will build itself.

  31. avatar AdamHaynes says:

    Give this man the SIG. This has to be one of the more eye opening stories ever posted to TTAG.

  32. avatar jake Brenner says:

    ha…as a lifelong Detroiter i can tell you not all blacks and minorities feel this way. The average Detroiter couldn’t be further from the average Chicagoan..we love our guns and NOBODY is gonna be taking them away!

  33. avatar DBM says:

    “Chicago’s concentration of people forever condemns rural Illinois to their lead”

    Ditto with MD.

  34. avatar Jake Tallman says:

    Best entry I’ve seen yet. Give this man a P320!

  35. avatar Morgan Gatorsee says:

    Just wanted to comment that is my favorite read so far on P320 entry!

  36. avatar Nic says:

    You should have just laughed at them.

  37. avatar lizzrd says:

    So I’m confused…Is he gay or not?

  38. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    So what became of the conversations with your family? Were you able to make headway with logic and facts, or at least political philosophical theory about natural rights, freedom and the Constitution? Are they more tolerant now that they see a black gun owner whom they know and love who is neither a gun toting criminal nor racist cop with an itchy trigger finger? Obviously there are no magic words to speak that would instantly transform antis into believers; but do you have advice on how to broach the subject of “coming out”, so to speak?

  39. avatar BDub says:

    I loved this post! I think its important that we all get to see inside as many of the diverse life experiences with regards to the gun issue – that these experiences get shared and talked about has got to be part of the process.

    Well done, sir!

  40. avatar JAS says:

    Give the man the Sig. Great post right on the money.

  41. avatar ReManG says:

    I think the depth that ST takes us out of our own experiences, and into his, makes this the winner IMHO….. Give him the P320

  42. avatar Frankster says:

    “You know the white man sends guns into the ghetto so that young men like yourself kill each other!”
    It is unimaginable, at least to me, that people believe this is true.

    1. avatar JAS says:

      I believe they do. Then again, every year abortions kill more African Americans than guns by a huge margin. Don’t see anyone complaining about that one.

    2. avatar whatever says:

      It’s quite plausible that corrupt officials in various capacities and shady dealers in various capacities supply weapons in various ways to the criminal element plaguing inner cities. If exactly that happens in Mexico, then why couldn’t it happen here?

      The most direct and humane solution is to allow arm law-abiding citizens access to the same or better tools, but that is too far much for they Leeland Yee’s of the world to stomach.

    3. avatar John says:

      That one surprised me, as well. I had no idea that was actually a firmly-held belief.

  43. avatar Mike says:

    Thanks for writing such an eloquent article. I found it informative and thought-provoking. This is the sort of work that enriches the TTAG community. You certainly have my vote for winning the P320 prize.

  44. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    ST stole Rick Ector’s picture.

  45. avatar NWGlocker says:

    Wow. Winner. Well said and thanks for the insight.

  46. avatar DerryM says:

    This is a really good article, ST. I join the chorus voting for you to get one of the Sigs. Hope you eventually patch, or have patched, things up with your Family. Thanks for giving us the benefit of your experience and insight. It’s powerful.

  47. avatar David_TheMan says:

    there is such a huge divide between southern blacks and your northern city blacks.

    1. avatar whatever says:

      It’s more along the lines of middle-class suburban and rural blacks versus urban blacks. The first two groups have been living relatively free while the last group has been suppressed by corrupt, statist, machine politicians.

      1. avatar David_TheMan says:

        not really, southern city dwelling blacks are still culturally different than your midwest and northeast urban blacks.

        There tends to be a lot of friction between the groups. Its pretty funny if you go to a HBCU you can easily spot the Detroit, Chicago, NYC, Baltimore and etc residents from say your Birmingham, Jackson, Atlanta residents. All from urban enviroments but very different outlooks in certain areas. Causes lots of fights as well, northern blacks seem to look down on us southern blacks, which is weird since we southern blacks make up the vast majority of blacks in the US

  48. avatar Wes says:

    Best of the p320 entries that I’ve read.

  49. avatar Mike B says:

    There is absolutely nothing the NRA or anyone else in the industry can do to bring minorities to the light. As far as the black community goes being democrat, being anti gun, and being christian is pretty much part of the culture at this point. Were dealing with who’s views and opinions are not their own but those of the people raising them and right or wrong never factors into the equation because you are also taught not to question your elders.

  50. avatar SpecialK says:

    That was a great post, thanks for writing it. I am very fortunate to have a wife who works with a lot of female minorities. I have introduced many of them to firearms, to great success. I think many whites feel like speaking to minorities about guns is taboo, largely because of some of the attitudes espoused by the author’s family members.In my experience, more than anything else we need to let the non-shooters in our lives know that we care about them as people. Once they see that we care the step to understanding that we want to share the experience of firearms with them because we care is a relatively small one.

  51. avatar Alex in IL says:

    Reading this made me mad at Chicago. Which isn’t unusual, but still. Too much power there. And it’s just truly sad that people are kept in terror of inanimate objects like that.

  52. avatar John says:

    You know, I’d thought that I already knew which P320 entry I was rooting for, but now I’m conflicted. This was an interesting and revealing story. Thank you.

  53. avatar John in Ohio says:

    You hit the nail on the head, ST. There are black gun owner forums that crop up on the web but I think that they need better promotion from the rest of the gun community in order to drive membership. If people don’t know that they exist, they can’t join. Also, Gadsden flag flying urbanite homes are few but slowly growing in number here in Ohio, IMHO. If I still lived in the city, I’d be intently working on building Liberty groups among inner city residents. I have lived a rural life for a while now and although I was never “in the closet” while living in the city, I still face the uphill battle that you articulated so well with those left behind in the city. Unfortunately, I’m viewed by those same family members and friends as something of an outsider, no longer accustomed to what city life is like. There’s a lot of work ahead. Work that cannot be ignored.

  54. avatar EP says:

    Wait, I thought open carry where it isn’t already common scared people and only hurts our cause?

    Oh right. That is only at Chipotle, or Starbucks, or Jack in the Box, or a baseball game in Georgia. When it’s a guy at a gas station, were all for it.

    Unless the gas station owner puts out a press release demanding that people not have guns at his establishment. When that happens, we’ll all turn on ST and say people like him are to blame.

    1. avatar lizzrd says:

      The fact that you aren’t able to see the difference between open carrying a sidearm at a gas station and carrying an AR into a restaurant or pacing back and forth outside a park full of children with an exposed handgun says a lot about you. You’re part of the problem.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        pacing back and forth outside a park full of children with an exposed handgun

        Who did this? If you mean that recent article, wasn’t there some big question as to if that was only in the mind of a mom? IIRC, the guy wasn’t doing what she said he was doing. But, hey, anything to smear open carry, right? 😉

  55. avatar racer88 says:

    Great article!

  56. avatar ComeAtMeBrew says:

    Is the holster in the picture safe? It looks to me like anyone who wanted could simply walk up and snag that firearm right out. Is there a strap but I’m simply not seeing it?

    I ask because that looks to me like the S&W SD9, which is a lower cost handgun that a lot of people own. There are purpose made holsters for that weapon.

    1. avatar RT says:

      Looks like a Level II Blackhawk Serpa to me.

    2. avatar Fred says:

      Looks like a Blackhawk serpa, which has positive retention with a button release.

  57. avatar Chris says:

    Great post, one of the best in the Sig contest so far. In fact, I didn’t want it to end. I want to know how the rest of ST’s evening went!!! What did he say to his uncle? I want more!!!

  58. avatar Taco Picasso says:

    A man, without force, is without the essential dignity of humanity. -Frederick Douglass

  59. avatar KevinMA says:

    Well said ST, thank you for writing this.

  60. avatar CLarson says:

    Excellent article. I respect the author’s perspective but relying on outside organizations to instruct a community of people how to live is not an answer. Big blue government tries to do this time and time again and it’s a big reason why many inner cities are crime ridden, illegal gun only zones. The author makes the comparison to the gay rights movement but fails to observe why the gay rights movement succeeded. Gays organized, went “loud and proud,” and normalized into society. There is nothing stopping black gun owners from joining gun organizations, or stage demonstrations in their communities. Gays face alienation from their families, social circles, and communities; black legal gun owners in Chicago will likely have to face the same thing. It is the price of change. Finally, while I feel bad for the gun owners of many freedom challenged states that include Illinois, there is not a coming apocalypse for gun rights in many other states. Rather the trend has been going the other way.

  61. avatar SteveInCO says:

    My thanks to ST for this; I hope that in spite of all the hate directed at him by his family, he carries on. (Needless to say, this is not a decision any adult should allow others to make for him or her, not even people in his/her own family.)

    Count me among the many who would love to know if any of them ever budged off their hoplophobic and ignorant stances.

  62. avatar GenghisQuan says:

    From what I’ve seen, my fellow Asians are of a 50/25/25 split.

    Half don’t care one way or another. They might be surprised if they find out that I have guns and carry except in places where illegal, but then they’ll brush it off. Chalk that to ignorance/unfamiliarity causing them to just treat it as no big deal. Of the remaining, half have been taken by the Social Justice Warriors and the modern Left. These, are, in turn, balanced by the remaining half who are all super into self-reliance and personal responsibility in all things, including personal defense.

    Huzzah for the immigrant ethic, I suppose.

  63. avatar Proverbs says:

    This was an interesting and insightful article. Thank you, ST.

    Carry on.

  64. avatar 2hotel9 says:

    ST? Brother? You ain’t got a lock on this one. A whole lots a “white folk” feel and think the exact same way. Plenty of them have it from their “ethnic background”, coming from European countries that for generations did not allow the commoners to be armed and instilled very strong societal taboos(not just religious,the Catholic Church and disarming the peons is a whole other discussion) against men bearing arms outside of war.

    Its an uphill battle all the way around, for the cultural elitists have been using this to push the pacifist ideology and create a rigid class/caste system in western culture. With them, of course, in charge as the hereditary ruling class.

  65. avatar DTAL says:

    “A real man doesn’t need a gun to stand on his own two feet.”

    A real man is secure enough in his manhood to recognize he could use the edge in a life or death fight.

    Also, a real man is able to protect his family. Let’s see you do that when several armed criminals come calling.

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