That feeling when you start to challenge some of your most deeply-held preconceptions and the conventional wisdom of those in your chosen social and professional circles:
Even as the survivalist movement took me a distance from my own experience (unlike Ms. Ross, I would have no idea how to kill a wild turkey and roast it for dinner), I began to wonder: What about those close to me? I took an informal family poll that left me reeling. I learned my relatives have guns.
They store weapons in hidden chambers inside homes where we gather; they possess permits to carry concealed weapons and take target practice; they have friends who bring guns to church in case the congregation should need shielding; they are prepared to “protect my family no matter who comes through the door” and readying themselves for a “major environmental act.”
At last, I was left having to examine myself. “You’re not anti-gun,” Maj Toure told me. “Ask yourself this. It’s a zombie apocalypse. Tomorrow, you wake up, and you can’t find your children. You go out to search for them. Do you want a gun now?”
His analogy was not outlandish. This was, of course, the constant threat enslaved people endured. Had I been fooling myself about my anti-gun stance? I don’t think so, but I did come to realize through a series of unexpected exchanges that the issue was more complicated than I had allowed and that my views of just coexistence and human flourishing might not require the absolute prohibition of arms.
– Harvard history professor Tiya Miles in The Black Gun Owner Next Door