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By Mafic

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?

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  1. You won’t truly “fit” into the gun community, because us dark skinned guys and gals have to make our own place at the counter.

    I know what it’s like for dealers to give me the stink eye when I walk into a gun shop for the first time.What’s worse is that I can’t blame them-the demographic most represented in the prisons , courts, and homicide blotters of America ain’t the white man. How many straw purchasing thugs have come before me to create that negative impression?

    That’s the crux of the problem, right there.The Black Community, collectively, embraces a culture of lawlessness posing as racial justice.When a white man goes to jail, it’s because the white man f##ked up.

    When a black man goes downtown, it’s practically a badge of honor in the urban tracts of America.It wasn’t his fault he was selling dope and robbing people, Leroy was jus held down by da man.

    That systematic dodge of responisibility is not only against the teachings of every civil rights leader , it’s antithetical to the entire concept of individual liberty .Unfortunately an unholy alliance exists between anti-liberty politcians, anti responsibility black community leaders blaming The White Man for rampant gang violence, and black citizens indoctrinated to hate the Constitution, firearms,and all aspects of a free Constitutional Republic.

    That’s a mess we, the black gun owners of America, have to clean up ourselves.We need to make it clear that the only voice we should trust is in the Bill of Rights, and not what some race baiting cretin says on a camera.

  2. I can see where the author is coming from. All I can suggest is that you people work harder at making us feel comfortable around your kind. You could start be acting, dressing and speaking more like us. One of my best friends is black and he’s a very hard working, patriotic American and he doesn’t even have a criminal record. I enjoy our friendship but I wish there were more like him because he’s not like the rest.

      • Look buddy, I was offering a few tips that might help you appear less guilty to the mainstream. If you don’t want to take my advice that’s fine, but you will continue to be seen as someone to be suspicious and fearful of, regardless of your character. That’s just how it is.

        In any case, I didn’t mean to offend you. But I’m not surprised because your people tend to be sensitive. But it was not my intent to offend, so I apologize if you got offended.

        • I laughed out loud at “your people.” I shouldn’t have, but there it is.

          9.5/10: When I can’t tell, you’re doing it right.

          Edit to add: By “it” I mean trolling, because I’m still not 100% sure that’s not what this is.

        • That is some good trolling right there….I can even imagine it being said in Dave Chapelle’s “white guy” voice.

        • Well if we are making fundamental changes to our ways of life to make others comfortable it seems entirely rational to stop carrying or owning guns….. you know to make people with un justified biases more comfortable around us.

    • This is sarcasm, right? Your racist overtones don’t belong on this site. You’re perpetuating a stereotypical view of gun owners that we’re all racist. You should delete that post and apologize before more damage is done to our cause.

      If you can’t see the problem with your post then you’re worse off then I thought. Suggesting that an entire race of people with their own culture developed over hundreds of years in this country simply change to accommodate the minority of our (white) culture is wrong.

      Where are the admins at?

      • Whoa! I apologize if my apology sounded sarcastic. It wasn’t intended to be. And I certainly didn’t intend to be the spokesman for anyone else. I was just expressing my views as to what they need to do to be viewed with less distrust and disgust.

        • You’re a gun owner posting on a popular gun site, one of the most popular and visible gun site on the internet. Your comments will be seen at one time or another by someone who is not sympathetic to our cause and used against us all. You represent the gun owning community and your continued openly racist comments, no matter how well-intended you think they are (Hint: they’re just racist) are wrong.

          At this point you’re either a troll, the most willfully ignorant man on the planet or an unapologetic racist…

          Again, where the HELL are the admins to shut this guy down?

        • Another racist comment, seriously WhereTF are the admins?

          You guys are giving ammo to the other side here. Keep your good ole’ boy comments to yourselves for Christ’s sake.

        • Re: Where the hell are the admins, asked 3x now by you.

          Racism is in the eye of the beholder, and we generally allow people to speak their minds, as long as they’re not flaming (attacking) others. Like it or not, there are people that think differently than you, and that’s how it is. If the other commenters disagree, they are free to say so, as long as it doesn’t get nasty. One thing I’ve really always liked about the comment section around here is that the community is largely self-policing. If there’s a mildly out of line comment, and a half dozen people immediately jump on it to express their disagreement, I think that’s a much better solution than if we delete it on sight. That’s the community policing itself (which is how it should be), not my singular subjective opinion dictating what should and should not be.

        • 4ID

          Put your man pants back on. Pointing out that a glorification of criminality does not constitute culture is not racist. It’s common sense. There are ways of life that are unacceptable. Not “different”, unacceptable. ANY group that glorifies thuggery and rapine is not expressing a “culture” they are expressing a lack of civilization and basic human decency.

        • MattinFL,
          Seems kosher I just know that these kinds of comments cement all gun owners as “racist, OFWG’s from the Old Confederate States”. Just to put it out there I have lived in GA the majority of my life apart from being stationed at Ft. Carson, CO and various places in Iraq so I’m not just some hateful yankee cracking on the South.

          Ignorant, rude AND disrespectful. You’ve hit the trifecta of assholism, and possibly trolling??? Either way you’re useless to me so we’re done here.

        • Normally I don’t say anything. I just read. I come here to get a different perpective from what is available through mainstream media. With that having been said, it is utterly ridiculous to make the statement that WE (Black people) should be more like YOU for the sake of making YOU feel comfortable. Do I know that there are morally reprehensible who live within the confines of the Black community? Of course. But that can be said of any community. White included. Here is the difference: When you are not here (TTAG or the catagorical equivalent) and you are watching television, reading newsprint, or getting your information from the watercooler it is always presented as the Black guy is a thug and the White person is a hapless victim. Everyone then goes back on their merry waysecure under the firm belief that not only are they right but they knew it all along. At TTAG we like facts. Fact of the matter is I, as a Black man, am way more likely to get killed, robbed, kidnapped, raped, locked in a basement and used as a sex slave for a gang (or whatever “The Blacks are gonna eat me scenario you have in your head) by another Black man than any white person in this country. Why is that? Because people kill where they live! I live there. They don’t go to a place no where near them just to whack someone? I would be inclined to give you the “Knockout Game” but before the 70’s it was “just” lynching the Black guy. No big deal, right? All of it is preposterous and reeks of immaturity and childishness. The example has been set. Judge a man by his character (which, by the way, is colorless and without “culture”). What defines his character? His deeds. His works. What he has done. What does not define him is his dress, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or myths. If it did that means no beatniks, hippies, goth kids, grunge types, rockers, democrats (Yes, I said Democrats. How else do you convert them?) and what ever other group you can think of as in deep need of change because they are not acceptable to your sensitivities. So, in summary, if your hindparts were in a sling you would want me there ; wild hair, baggy pants, Nike boots, gold teeth and all. And when I saved you I have a feeling that all of that other stuff would suddenly be insignificant. Let it be insignificant now.

      • I guess it is not a racism to advise not looking like a thug if you do not want to be identified as one. It seems more like your projection.
        Why should we tiptoe around black and brown and yellow people in fear we might say something that it could be not PC enough?
        Fact: black males make only about 7% of US population. Yet they fill prisons more than any other demographic group. Is it surprising people look at any black guy with more suspicion than at Asian or Indian or white guy?

        • According to the modern American PC Gestapo, anything that is said about a black, Latino, Muslim, or other “minority”, that is in anyway negative (even if it’s 100% true) is racist – if it’s said by a white person. Didn’t you know?

        • Scoutino, I worked at a state prison. I’m also an OFWG. All things being equal, a 20 yo white male and a 20 yo black male commit the same crime and the black male gets a heavier sentence. White offenders are more likely to get probation than non white offenders. I spent a good portion of my life in WV. A lily white envirenment. Guess what? The jails were full of white guys there. Crime continues regardless.

          And where do you get those % figures concerning populations and crime rates? The government that we TTAG’ers love and respect so much?

          The man points out that he gets looked at as a criminal because of his skin color. True. Do we, POTG who get looked at as if we’re all Adam Lanza’s by the media and non gun people emphasise with him or do we go off on a rant defending our profiling?

        • The thing is it is YOU who has determined what looks like a thug. Just like it is the antis who have determined that including a gun in your daily ensemble makes us white guys racists and the equivalent of murderers.

    • If you talk and dress as I do, I will be more comfortable around you. I have a black friend . . . and he doesn’t even have a record.

  3. I welcome minorities into the Gun culture. After all, it is their God given right just as much as mine and I am tired of the MSM painting Gun owners as all white. The enjoyment one can get from responsible firearm collecting and shooting transcends race, sex and culture.

  4. I cannot speak for all, but I welcome anyone into the fold who believes as we do. I’m not perfect by any stretch, but I try not to judge people by superficial details. I know what it’s like to be judged just on how you look, and I won’t be a part of it.

  5. I, by no means, intend to be inflammatory here, but this post bothers me greatly.

    How can you write an article that is premised on the notion that, “because I am black, I am treated as a criminal” but then on the flip-side, pretend ignorant to the reality of the world we live in? The pathos of your argument “blacks were killed for flirting with a white woman or any other ridiculous excuse,” sounds great, but do you actually believe that is the reason people keep a closer eye on you today?

    You are clearly not a thug, clearly not “one of your kind” as the post above states. But why do all blacks ALWAYS have to resort back to arguments that involve the inequities of many generations ago. Instead, why not acknowledge that an extremely disproportionate amount of violent crime is committed by people with darker skin than an OFWG? Why not admit that somewhere close to 75% of those are incarcerated are from the same minority that makes up 40% of the general population? Why not state that the reason Zimmerman followed Trayvon that night is because of the break-ins within his community? Why, Mafic, does it ALWAYS have to be about the past?

    Clearly you are not the problem in society. We all acknowledge there is a problem, correct? But next time you want to make an argument for why you are treated differently based on the color of your skin, why not make it based on the realities of the world we all live in?

    I know that I for one, would be much more receptive to these arguments. Maybe I am alone?

    • Amen brother! A lot of black men commit a lot of crime. That’s why we look at them as criminals until the prove they are not. Why can’t they see it like you and I?

      • Same with mental health and universal background checks for firearm ownership, right? Only makes sense that ALL (would be) gun owners prove they’re not (potential) lunatics or criminals.

        You’d agree to that right?

      • I’m pretty sure comments like this is why I assume most people are useless assholes until they prove they’re not.

        I’m not saying you are, of course. I wouldn’t do that.

        • Im a useless asshole because I do not deny the statistics? To do so would be as ignorant as ignoring the fact that 99.99% of people who carry concealed are completely law abiding citizens.

          It is as fair to assume a black man between 18-30 is more inclined to violent behavior than his white counterpart, as it is to assume a person of Asian descent is going to be hard working, polite and not violent.

          Of course there are exceptions. But why is it wrong to acknowledge the evidence? Its not a judgment on their skin, it’s a judgment that the odds are not in their favor. This is not a race debate, this is a statistical debate.

        • @Anonymous: Please look again. I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to Mr. “We look at black men as criminals until they prove they are not.”

        • Okay, Anonymous, the statistics are the statistics. Black males are highly overrepresented in the prison population, and that’s a fact. Gun owners are also highly overrepresented in “gun violence”: murder, suicide, accidental deaths. Fact.

          Yet those facts mean nothing without the WHY.

          Why is so much “gun violence” committed by people who own guns? Because they have guns. (And because what’s usually labeled “gun violence” is not the same thing as violent crime.) But are all gun owners criminals until proven otherwise? No. The overwhelmingly vast number of gun owners are law-abiding, peaceful people. Unfortunately, there is a very tiny minority of determined criminals who use guns for evil purposes. Yet there are a lot of people who think it’s the gun that makes the criminal, and in their tiny brains a legal gun owner is only a criminal that hasn’t happened yet.

          Now insert “black people” in that same scenario. A black person living in a high-crime, poverty-ridden area is statistically more likely to commit a crime, just like people who have guns are more likely to commit “gun violence.” And if that makes them all criminals by default, then by the same logic, we had all better turn in our guns at the next buyback boondoggle before we start acting like the gun criminals we are.

      • Jack, when you read a book that has a jacket cover, do you look underneath to make sure it’s not black first? Or do you read it then sometimes find out it’s black later on and realize the color doesn’t tell you if it’s a good book or not?

      • People like you are the reason why I hesitate to invite any black friends to the gun show. Because I know people like you are going to be there.

        • You know what? Invite your black friends to the gun show anyway. And if you encounter bullshit like that, stand shoulder to shoulder with your black friends and call them on it. Even at a gun show in the heart of redneckville, I think you’ll find that more people around you are on your side than on the side of the old bigoted asshole behind the table.

    • “why do all blacks ALWAYS have to”
      All? Always? In psychology, this is called “globalizing,” and it’s usually a symptom of some deeper dysfunction.

    • “Why not admit that somewhere close to 75% of those are incarcerated are from the same minority that makes up 40% of the general population?”

      I don’t think those numbers are correct (at least not as a national average). Last I saw black people were roughly 13% of the general population in the US. I don’t know about the percent of the prison populations, but 75% seems too high.

    • I bring up the past in order to explain the outrage from the black community in response to the Martin-Zimmerman case. The saying that goes something like “those that forget the past are bound to repeat it” comes to mind. That’s like saying we should forget our past tyrannical government and repeal the 2A, because that was the past. We remeber so that it may never happen again.

      Also in my opinion the numbers of black men incarcerated is irrelevant. making a generalization of an individual based ones race, sex, religion, etc is very short sighted. I believe in personal responsibility and those that are in jail are there on their own actions.

  6. I can somewhat understand your sentiments, but cannot wholly agree. I personally am cautious of anyone, regardless of appearance, until I can be satisfied of their intentions. This is not merely a modern reality, it has been the way of the world for so long as humans have roamed it.
    Do certain traits tend to elicit more caution? Of course. If this were not true, law enforcement and other entities would have no incentive to profile people. In some cases those traits are inherent to the person, and must be coped with by those persons, unfortunately. In other cases the traits are a matter of choice. I myself have been subject to “unwarranted” suspicion plenty of times in life. Of course, those harboring suspicions have “profiled” my appearance and considered such suspicion conducive to their well being.
    Regular civilian clothes and and overly military look (high and tight) can arouse fears in some circles, and my current style even more so. Riding a motorcycle, wearing leather, having long hair and a beard, these things arouse suspicions and scrutiny. Granted these are traits easily altered. I choose to do as I prefer, knowing that everyone is scrutinized to some extent, and confident that any fears some may harbor are unfounded. I do not have enough time in my day to worry about their petty insecurities.

    • Except that profiling is exactly what leads to disproportionate representations of one race in prison rather than another. There are many studies that show that color of your skin greatly impacts your ability to plead down charges or how likely you are to be found guilty. There was a study releases just this year that showed that blacks and whites use and sell drugs at equal rates, and yet blacks are convicted more and serve more time.

  7. Mafic:

    Great article, I enjoyed reading it. I don’t think there are any easy answers to the issues you raise, race itself is still such a touchy subject for many Americans. While it shouldn’t be, it’s freaking 2013, it is and to deny it is not living in reality.

    I can say that as an NRA instructor, shooter and gun enthusiast, I rarely see shooters of color in my classes or at the range and that makes me sad. I hope that people in the black community begin to realize that guns and shooting can be a great, safe and wholesome sport or hobby but also that as Americans, to be truly equal, they need to embrace their God given rights to defend themselves and their families as well. Almost all popular spokespeople and leaders in the back community are vehemently anti-gun so it takes independent thought and well thought out logic for many black people to embrace gun ownership.

    Glad to see you posting here, I look forward to more posts with your observations and positions.

    • Here’s the unfortunate problem with belonging to an easily identifiable ethnic minority, Mafic – you ARE going to be judged, at first glance, based on the societal stereotype of your ethnic group. This may be annoying to you, and I do not envy the position, that is a fact of life.

      Just as in the video above, if you dress like a whore people will treat you like a whore, regardless of the color of your skin. If you dress like a cop people will treat you like a cop. If you are covered in prison tats and dressed like a gangsta people will be very suspicious of you. Same if you look middle-eastern and wear a man-dress in America. Since skin color is an easily observable trait, regardless of how you are dressed, it is something people will use to establish an initial opinion.

      It is unfortunate that for some ethnic groups an image has been created that they cannot be trusted. That image is not something thrust upon them by society, it is generally earned by the miscreants in the group itself and it is THEY who have created this prejudice you must deal with every day.

      In my years of travel all over America as a truck driver I met all colors of people and with very, very few exceptions they were just regular folks trying to earn a living, just like me. Even in the south I saw little evidence of prejudice or bigotry, so I think it is safe to say that MOST, if not all, of the issues of race today come from current perceptions of the group itself, not some historical aspect of slavery.

      I am not a bigot, but I am prejudiced. If I am walking down the sidewalk and I see a Tiger approaching I am going to condition orange and I will do my best to avoid the cat or be prepared to protect myself, if necessary. This is the actual meaning of prejudice, to make a pre-judgment based on initial data. If the Tiger ignores me and goes about his business everything is fine, but I am certainly within my rights, based on historical knowledge of Tigers as a whole, to be instantly on my guard until I know he has no ill intentions towards me.

      By this same measure, if a statistically significant portion of a particular ethnic group has proven itself to be dangerous within society, and it can honestly be argued that too many young black men, young Hispanic men, and Muslim men have earned that status for their groups, then it is only reasonable that anyone, even members of their own minority group, should eye them with suspicion until they have demonstrated by their actions that they are not a threat. It could be argued that to fail to do so is a reverse bigotry and could well end poorly for you. A potential threat is a potential threat, regardless of its color or stripes. Misdirecting the animus at some antiquated concept of vestigial bigotry may prevent Mafic from seeing the true source of the problem and become a victim of the very people who are creating the problem for upstanding individuals such as himself.

      And by the way, it is unfair to accuse others of stereotyping you while writing an article stereotyping them. Bigots exist in all colors, in my experience, but they are for the most part shallow and ignorant individuals. For the most part I see little or no true bigotry in this country anymore. YMMV.

      • “If you dress like a cop people will treat you like a cop.”

        Polo shirt, khakis, decent shoes, and open carry… 9 people in 10 will assume you’re LEO of some kind.

        I’d try it, but no OC here.

      • In no way do I mean to stereotype. This is just my personal experience and as we all know nothing in this world is absolute except for taxes and our eventual death.

        As far as my dress, my job requires me to often interact with the public. So I at the least wear a nice polo with jeans (placed where they belong) and I wear that even when I don’t work.

        I guess my point to the article was to show the flaws based on making a generalization based on race and more so to start a discussion on race. Which is often seen as taboo.

        Also I agree that bigots do come in all colors and I think it is perfectly reasonable to make a snap judgment on a individual based on their dress and demeanor. I find myself doing that and it is all part of having situational awareness. I just think it is unfair when we move from an indivudual to making snap judgements on an entire race.

        • Anytime I find myself judging someone by their appearance, I always think back to this song.

          You don’t know them, their life, or who they are. Don’t be quick to judge, even if you get to know a person a bit and they seem like an asshole. Some people who seem like dicks are actually nice people inside, and some who appear nice are actually really shitty.

  8. “I can thank my father…” Here in lies the answer to why this man can be trusted with firearms while so many of his peers cannot – he had a father.

    I can’t see that it would take more than a minute or two to get (white) people (gun owners) to accept him. Speak proper English and dress nice and people will know you’re not a thug.

    That said I’m not sure I can support Yankee fans being allowed to own guns.

    • if speaking proper English is a requirement then there entire swathes of white gun owners that must fall outside of your circle! I assume you must belong to one of those haughty English style shooting clubs, or would that be offensive of me?

      • I’d peg the Governor as belonging to whatever group it is that makes a lot of reasoned, sensible and just plain valid points. If you sound intelligent, respect is much easier to come by. Not fair, but it’s definitely fact.

  9. I can relate to the author incredibly well, being an openly gay gun owner / 2nd amendment supporter myself. Though recently I’ve noticed and incredibly large amount of acceptance into the community as a whole.. Ironic, really, because the Left is far less more accepting than the whole entire gun community. I’ve personally met a few community members who, while not accepting of homosexuals, still went out of their way to accept me for who I am despite a disagreement. Guess I really just wanted to say that.. XD

    • because a lot of 2A people are libertarians or classical liberals, and believe that it’s none of anyone’s business how and with whom you get your rocks off or even marry. this even applies to a lot of religious conservatives today who are freedom-minded first.

    • Oddly enough I have also found this to be true.

      While I am a fairly normal strait white guy, I am married to a Middle Eastern woman. When we are just out and about things usually go well but occasionally we do run into someone who assumes we are affiliated with “terrists”. This despite the fact that she has done more to hunt down such scum than just about anyone here outside of a very few military units and gov groups in our former life. They can’t see that former service when looking at her, they just see the skin and dress.

      However out on the range not only do people generally seem to be accepting but very friendly. We have made a number of friends and always have a lot of fun. It isn’t just the shooting but chatting with folks, swapping stories and having a good time. On the range or with a group of friends who are all vets seems to be the only times when we are in that “one of us” category.

      “I don’t care where you were born, what your skin color is or what god you pray to. I care about your actions and ability.” My 1SG a very long time ago.

    • Yeah, I’m going to second that – it may just be the people I know, but most of the “gun culture” folks I hang out with are members of the LUTHA Party: Leave Us The Hell Alone. And I would add a touch of “mind your own business” to that.

  10. I feel your pain, Mafic. But can you honestly tell me that when you go to the range you aren’t accepted for who you are?

    I’ll bet that at the range, you are looked upon as just another gun person. Because that’s who you are, and that’s who we are. There’s no black or white on the firing line. There are only people, and we all get along just fine.

    What does that tell you?

  11. In answer to your final question: “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?”

    My answer is: Where do you live? I think that all other things being equal, that is the single largest determining factor to answering your question.

  12. Judging by your clothes and the condition of your house (I’m assuming it’s yours), I don’t think I’d be reaching very far at all by assuming you have an intellect, as well. You can share my fox hole anytime. Nothing to do with the color of your skin.

      • Indeed. That’s an image of Mr. Colion Noir being used as clip art. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

        Much more importantly, I wonder how he feels about that. According to the side bar images “Mr. Colion Noir reads TTAG”, so perhaps we’ll find out.

      • Colion is the official approved spokesman of all Black gun owners so I don’t see a problem with using his photo. I probably wouldn’t have read it if some other random black dude’s face photo was attached.

        • So Kenn Blanchard is out as the official approved spokesman of all Black gun owners, huh? Shame I was really pulling for him as a fellow marylandstaner. So is it true that Obama goes to these secret meetings too, as a gun owner who shoots trap on the WH lawn, of course.

        • Obama doesn’t shoot trap on the White House lawn, he shoots skeet once every four years at Camp David with four-star Marine Generals. Everybody knows that. It’s what proves he’s a Regular American ™, just like us.

  13. First, I’ll confess my own viewpoint. I am a defense attorney. I’m white and live in an area that is virtually all white. But I grew up on the southside of Atlanta, where I was the minority. I’m also a Christian and a bona fide gun nut. So those are the glasses through which I view the world.

    I’m ill-equipped to answer some of the “how does it feel” questions. But I am well positioned to analyze one question you posed: How would race factor in if you were involved in a defensive gun use?

    The area will play a significant factor. Are you in Augusta, Georgia or Augusta, Maine? The issue will play out differently in those very different places. This isn’t a condemnation of the south. Racism exists everywhere. But the subtle nuances of racism differ depending on where you are.

    What do you look like? What do you dress like? You can suit up for trial, but what clothes will the jury see you wearing when they are shown photos of you from the night of the shooting? If you were wearing dirty blue jeans and a ratty Carhartt jacket, that doesn’t look good but at least it can be spun in such a way as to make you look like a hardworking guy. Urban thug attire has no redeeming qualities. You don’t necessarily need to wear a Brooks Brothers suit everywhere you go, but whether you like it or not you will be judged based upon your attire. This is an issue that comes up before you even get to the courtroom. If a cop comes around the corner and sees you standing over a dead guy with a pistol in your hand, will he see a young professional or a gangster? Race is undeniably a factor here, but so is attire. How heavily each criteria will be weighed largely depends upon the particular officer. If you are prosecuted, the same will apply with each individual juror. It’s fatalistic, but perhaps it is a good idea when we get dressed in the morning to actually think to ourselves, ‘What do I want to be wearing for my mug shot?’

    If you are black in America and you shoot someone in defense, race will definitely factor in. That is true regardless of the race of the attacker. But it definitely doesn’t mean that you pull the race card like Jesse Jackson. It does, though, mean that race–even if not discussed openly–must be considered as part of the defense. It is something to be planned for.

    You cannot correct all of the evils in the world. But being aware of them will at least help you position yourself advantageously so as to avoid undue hardship.

    I’m glad to have you as part of our tribe.

  14. Well, judging by the ridiculous comments this was a very brave post and this man might actually need that FNS-40 more than most. That, and he bears an uncanny resemblance to Colion Nior. So I say give it too him along with some ammo.

    And P.S. for you racist igits, while it is true that inner city minorities control the drug market, before that it was Italians and Irish. Drug prohibition makes drugs lucrative, but dangerous. Where there is supply there is demand and mostly these inner city gangsters are capitalists doing what they need to to survive. Like Al Capone, only darker. When you peel away the skin, everyone’s color is green.

    I’d be happy to shoot or hunt with Mafic any time.

      • You did the right thing! The topic was black oriented, so you posted a photo of an acceptable black guy. Colion is like the one black guy we all know, so it’s natural to post his photo if the topic pertains to black people.

        Look, I’m white. If I submitted an article with no photo, I’d have no problem with you posting a photo of Ted Nugent or Wayne Lapierre to accompany my article. It just makes sense.

    • That’s not a picture of the author. Mistake #1. You compare Italian and Irish immigrants to today’s drug dealing thugs and say they controlled the drug trade….no, cocaine was in soda pop and any drug store sold opium laced cigarettes and about anything else. Italian and Irishmen never controlled anything remotely as destructive as the crap being sold to youngsters by inner-city gangs of the 21 century. They had a hand in alcohol bootlegging for the few years it was illegal. Mistake #2. Wow. Behold an example of why America is dissolving. It’s called ignorance. You parade your words virtually begging us to say, “Gee he’s so noble”. All you are sir is a vehicle of destruction for simple minds. Pay closer attention.

      • Yes, I knew that was CN, but thanks for the reminder that not everyone has my extra dry sense of humor.

        Second, During prohibition, homicide was twice what it is now, and the only other peaks were in 81 and 91 when the drug war was at the highest.

        Legalizing drugs is not about condoning drugs. Drugs are a health, education, and morality issue and using the criminal justice system to attempt to address it does not work. 1 in 5 Americans use pot, its the largest souce of illegal $$ for gangs and thugs. 70-90% of homicide in urban areas is by or to someone with experience in the criminal justice system. The jails are largely run by organized crime, so once you go in, you come out with better criminal skills and a better network.

        Drugs have social ills, but compounding it by relegating the market to organized crime only makes it worse. It needs to be legal for people to come out of the shadows, see a doctor, and get treatment. 75% of people who abuse painkillers get them from friends and family because DEA rules strongly discourage doctors from seeing and treating patients.

        The last three presidents have done pot and cocaine. If you did not do heroin today, its not because its illegal or unavailable, its because its stupid.

        And no, the thuggery by todays gangs is nothing new. People have been using brutality to enforce territory longer than recorded history. Al Capone lured rivals into a warehouse and gunned them down in a warehouse on valentines day. Whitey Bulger convinced an associate to kill his own freakin girlfriend because she was drawing too much attention.

        • I think the drug warmongers have the same mental defect as the militant hoplophobes “Oh, if it was legal EVERYBODY’d be running around zonked out of their mind all the time! Horrors!”

          It kind of makes me wonder if, e.g., Marine 03 is one of those who would do so, as if the only thing stopping him from being a crazed addict is the law.

          I don’t need some jackbooted nazi thug looming over me to tell me that killing people is wrong, thank you very much.

  15. Yo yo yo yo YOOOOO! I be’s a black man who be talkin’ lak dis an’ be dressed inna monkey suit an’ sittin’ inna concert hall be lis’nin’ ta Bach an’ enjoin’ it.

    I can also speak and write in “proper” English wearing a hoodie and droopy pants, and can still sit in a concert hall enjoying the hell out of Bach. And I’d still be a black man.

    Which man would you trust more, Jack Stempsky?

  16. I am so glad that my parents never exposed me to racism. What I mean is neither of them ever distinguished any person by color or race. When I was growing up, I played with white people, Asians, and black people. I didn’t even realize they were different from me. The Zsu family and the Odom family were our friends. I didn’t even realize there was such a thing as racism until I was in my teens. I am very thankful indeed.
    Today I work with Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Black people(Some are African and some are American), and white people. I love all of their cultures and them. I respect those that deserve it and they respect me.
    I also DO NOT CARE how they dress, or look. I do care how they act. ALL of them.
    I hope the responsible ones amongst them ALWAYS carry firearms. I would hate to lose any of them.

  17. Until humans stop judging those by their outward appearance, good luck 🙂

    If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, quacks like a duck etc.

  18. Instead of writing an article stating that white people look and treat you differently because you’re black, you could pose the idea to your community to stop perpetuating actions that cause those stereotypes. Do you see the difference? One side redirects blame and the other addresses the root of the problem.

  19. I have 5 problems with black people.

    1) I detest the term African-American, it is another divide to separate us, it is itself racist.

    2) The community has been manipulated by racists to produce shitty human beings and few seem to recognize this and fight to overcome it.

    3) I have known very few Blacks, Colored, or Negro people, what ever you wish to use to describe melanin content. I am apprehensive of being accused racist, and therefor nervous around Negros…

    4) I hate being outed from conversation because I’m white and I would not understand. I would still want to talk about it and try to understand, maybe even find a solution.

    5) They don’t get sunburn, as a note it sucks…. I would love to have a melanin induced permanent tan.

    Recently I met a black man who is in my area refurbishing the oil pipeline, said he was the head guy for the group just up the road from my house. We got into a conversation because he saw me OC my 1911 and he CC, got weird for me when he said that he could not OC because he is black…

      • It sure is a lot harder to get one though. I am a little jealous, since when I go swimming my lady doesn’t even bother with it unless we plan to be out for a long time. I’d be cooked in 30 minutes without sunscreen.

      • I didn’t get sunburned until I moved to Washington. I lived in LA sun for 23 years with out a single burn. My first summer in Seattle my forehead was crispy.

        • I know that #5 is incorrect but who the hell is going to spend hrs with the bottoms of their feet,their palms, and or eyes to the sun? I have gotten my share of sunburns and none were on my palms, bottoms of feet, or my eyeballs……

  20. “i don care if your black, white, Asian, Hispanic…” if you shoot and have my political beliefs, i will accept you. even if you don’t, i will still respect you.
    does anyone know what the quote was from?

  21. Wowo. ..lotta blatant racism here.

    In regards to the article;
    I dont treat blacks, asians, hispanics etc any different.
    If I see a group of black males walking down the street with pants hanging off their ass, huge shirts, walking with a ganster lean, im gonna be more alert.
    If I see a group of white kids doing the same, Im going to be just as alert.
    I know people say “you shouldn’t judge how they dress” but why wouldnt I? I do everyone else.
    Dressing like a gangsta doesnt help any image. If I dressed like that people would think I was a white thug. This is a fact.
    A black man wearing casual clothes like anyone else though, I treat them as anyone else.
    Im not saying you dress like a thug, I was just saying overall.
    When I see black men at the range its always two types…the guy just like everyone else, and the two or three guys dumping mags sideways or being a general shithead. Heres another fact, those groups are ALWAYS dressed like gangstas. Always.
    Its how you act, and yes, look.
    Everyone of every race is based off this.

    • I agree. It’s the way that they dress and act–they could take a note from Bernie Madoff. Appearances go a looooong way when folks are judging you. Character not so much!

    • I agree as well … it’s how you dress and act, not the color of your skin.

      If you want a community to accept you, be polite, courteous, respectful, and friendly … and do NOT dress like a gangsta.

  22. I wonder how George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would reply to this bit of writing? Then again, what do they have to do with the Right to Bear Arms?

    • Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Don’t know about George. I would assume so since his plantation was in Virginia. I don’t know how accepting either man would be of armed people of color.

      Fortunately we modern Americans can aknowledge their contributions to our nation AND recognise and learn from their shortcomings.

  23. “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.”

    Except that it wasn’t “just because” he was black. He wasn’t from there, was walking around dazed in the rain, and was basically casing units. Soooo….

    Bad decisiins were made by both, sure, but here’s the thing: Zimmerman’s poor decision was just that, an unwise decision in that it resulted in a negative and not entirely unforeseeable outcome, but he still had the rigjt to make that decision to follow. Martin’s bad decision was to commit a violent crime, which he had no right to do.

    That willful misrepresentation of the case and other comments of yours reveal a major chip on your shoulder. That’s on you, not on society. It clearly colors your views and likely influences your interactions with people. The fault isn’t with your skin, but with yourself. Until people start seeing themselves as individuals first and demanding the same frim the world, instead of as members of some happenstance community or ethnicity,

  24. I am white living in a small nice, integrated, neighborhood in inner city Detroit with three adopted black children. I am a hard core libertarian conservative. My children all have experiences like Mafic on a regular basis. Many of the comments in this thread are quite offensive to me and I am sure would be to my children. I have a child in her twenties who lives in NYC and dresses in nice conservative Brooks Brothers clothes and is treated as suspicious in stores at times. She is a grad of an elite east coast school. Being judged on the basis of color is a huge problem. It is not restricted to whites judging blacks. For example both blacks and whites have made unfortunate comments to me about my relationships with my daughters and refuse to believe that they are my daughters. One thing I know is that politeness and diplomacy on both sides is a part of the answer. Even then it is difficult. I have a wonderful relationship with my daughters but sometimes we struggle in discussing the issues presented by Mafic.

  25. “Nothing succeeds like success”

    Has anyone ever heard that saying? The hard truth is that if multiculturalism was working articles like this wouldn’t be written. Racial tensions wouldn’t continuously be tearing our nation apart. The media would not be a continuous cycle of civil rights confrontations. There would be no affirmative action. No racially based political correctness. And every neighborhood would have a white family living next to a black family living next to Latino family living next to an oriental family living next to a Muslim family living next to a Jewish family, etc. We all know a neighborhood like that would be hell for every ethnicity mentioned. If it sounds racist I’m truly sorry. Truth doesn’t come in racist flavor or non-racist flavor… It comes in one flavor… Truth. If I could magically change this reality I would. I can’t. Neither can you. Berate me. Make yourself feel superior by writing how I’m a KKK hater or whatever you like. The truth is that multiculturalism is a disaster. Not for all but for many. That is the truth and in every heart regardless of it being inside a white, black, Asian, indian, Christian, aethist, etc. it knows truth when it hears it.

    • You just described our neighborhood. Lots of Indian, middle eastern, latinos, black and europian households next to each other. I assure you it is quite nice and tranquil. On the other hand I used to work on south side of Chicago where everybody was the same. Not so nice. We had often problems with brake-ins into buildings and vehicles, tools and material stolen from just behind our back… and no one from people sitting on the front porch all day watching us ever seen anything. It’s not the color. It is the culture that matters.

  26. Race or culture in and of itself has never been a problem anywhere in the world. The problem always boils down to a person or group placing themselves above another person or group.

    Sometimes the offenders are criminals who steal property, liberty (including rape and slavery), and/or life from other people. Sometimes the offenders think they are superior and do not respect other people or treat them as equals. Either way, it is a fact of life which affects everyone at various times. Deal with it. Succeed anyway.

  27. Not being black, I can’t speak to your perspective. All I can do is thank you for sharing it. Regardless, at least at the places I shoot, the people at the range pretty much look like the surrounding community (about 20-25% black at my favorite indoor range. I don’t see the black customers being treated any differently. Again, I don’t know how they feel, and there could be some subtle stuff I don’t see, but if people act funny toward you where you shoot, you may just have found some a-holes.

  28. So blacks get more time in jail when they commit crimes than whites, and that is why the jails have such a higher percentage of blacks than whites? I got a solution, it is so simple. If blacks stop committing crimes, and there will be no blacks in jail.

    Don’t want to be looked at suspiciously? Don’t dress like a gang banger and help the cops find the criminals in your neighborhoods, no matter what the race of the suspect or the cops. (BTW I gave the same advice to some very white friends of mine who had a kid the cops “profiled” because he dressed and acted like a gang-banger.)

    Seriously, I’ve been hearing this song my whole life, that blacks get a raw deal from the evil whites in society and it all goes back to slavery. Get over it. Slavery has been over for 150 years. White guys fought a war to end it. Maybe you heard about it. White guys also passed the Civil Rights Act.

    And the reason Travon Martin is dead is because he attacked a guy carrying a gun. Who was beaten bloody before he shot. And the shooting was found to be a good shoot by the local police, the state police, the FBI and the court system. Zimmerman followed a suspicious character who he did not know was black until the fight started. And the only reason Zimmerman went to trial is because his name wasn’t Juan Garcia, because the Hispanic race baiters would have screamed as loud as Black race baiters.

    • “Don’t want to be looked at suspiciously? Don’t dress like a gang banger and help the cops find the criminals in your neighborhoods, no matter what the race of the suspect or the cops. (BTW I gave the same advice to some very white friends of mine who had a kid the cops “profiled” because he dressed and acted like a gang-banger.)”

      I know it’s been repeated a bunch, so clearly it’s a common thread.

      Here’s what I know: When I see anyone dressed like a gang banger, or a thug, or whatever you want to call it, regardless of whether he’s black, white, hispanic, asian, or martian, I am going to think certain things about him. If I see a group of guys dressed like that, I’m going to cross the street, I’m going to watch them more closely, and I’m going to have my guard way, way up.

      Clothing, more than any other single item, is an identifier of things to avoid. It works before you can see skin color, it works before you can hear accents, or language. And it works in the other direction, too. C’mon guys, how many times have you seen what appeared to be a shapely female figure at a distance, but when you got closer you realized you’d dramatically misjudged the situation? Clothing helped with your initial observation.

      It’s just nature. You know how primitive man determined the difference between a lion (to be avoided) and a zebra (to be eaten)? By what they looked like from a distance.

      So, if black people want to change how they’re viewed, the first and probably easiest method is their mode of dress. That doesn’t mean they all have to be wearing Brooks Brothers, because there’s a HUGE spectrum between that and dressing like a thug, and virtually anything in between is “acceptable.” But just like every guy in a suit is a guy in a suit, every guy in a gang-banger looking outfit is a gang banger, until it’s determined he’s not.

      “But it’s just the culture where I’m from.” Yeah, I agree with you. The younger kids grow up wanting to dress like the cool kids. And you know what the cool kids dress like? Thugs. Because they often are thugs. Because being thugs is what makes them cool, in certain cultures. Because when your culture (and I don’t mean all black culture; it’s granular, often down to the neighborhood and block level) reveres illegal behavior, and thinks of actually obeying the law as being “oppressed,” then it’s easy to draw a line from one to the other. If doing a stint in juvie is looked upon as a badge of honor, and the chucklehead who did the stint (for robbing a store at the mall) dresses like a thug, then the little kids who want to be like the cool kid are going to dress like him. And then the next time they walk into the mall, even if they’re straight-A students and have never even told a white lie, they’re going to be looked at as if they’re no different from the chucklehead who just robbed the place. If you don’t want to be looked at as a thug, don’t look like a thug.

  29. the original article and the first reply are indicative of what this site should be all about. This is the type of discussion and idea exchange that should become mainstream so we can figure out how to end this dissention amongst us. Then we can stop politicians using it as a wedge for their gain at our expense.

  30. My mother used to say, “Some people stereotype all the time because they’re racist, but everyone does it some times because its easier.”

    If some mid-age, man wearing nice suit was to walk past you and your family, you would probabably not give him a second look.

    In turn, if some disheveled, homeless looking man was to walk past you and your family, you would likely keep your eye on him.

    The homeless man may simply just be walk past, like the business man, he could even be a good hearted person and mean you no harm, but you would watch him nonetheless.

    The business man could work for a bank, or insurance company, he may spend his days signing foreclosure letters on victims of predatory home loans, or finding ways to not pay out on insurance policies for people who rightfully need them. He could be a corrupted, mean spirited person who has no problem stepping on people in his quest for the almighty dollar, but you would likely not concern yourself with him in passing.

    I’m not saying sterotyping is the right things to do, but everyone does it at times because, well, it’s just easier than getting to know everyone you come across.

    • Yep. We say don’t judge a book by its cover, but we all do. And not necessarily related to color. Confidence men take advantage of that by dressing/appearing to be the image they want you to perceive. Successfull lawyers, bankers or financial advisers dress to impress you with their success, competence and trustworthiness. A conservative but well dressed look. (You really gonna invest your life savings with a guy who looks like they can’t even afford their own lunch? Or dressed like they’re living such an expensive fast-life that maybe they’ve been embezzling from every client?)

      Car salesmen do the reverse- they size you up by what you’re wearing to assess how much you can afford, even before they ask what you’re willing to pay, or what you do for a living. That assessment does play into how much they’ll negotiate with you and what cars they’ll show you.

      • I spent some time as a street beggar once, and it was interesting to note that the most generous donors were usually the ones who looked like they were least able to afford it. Whenever somebody would yell, “Get a job!” I would yell back, “Good idea! You hiring?” For some reason, they didn’t seem to like that response very much.

  31. Actually, I find an interest in guns immediately sparks a bond. I’m a middle aged white guy who grew up in the suburbs, did a full career in the military. I was in chik-fil-a the other day and overheard a couple of young black guys talking about Glocks. Next thing you know we’re talking the pros/cons of various weapons/calibers and recommending ranges/stores to each other. A common interest bridges gaps. Note, the middle aged white soccer moms in the vicinity looked aghast at us! I had more in common with the two young black guys and our basic views of freedom and responsibility than I had with those women.

      • Yeah, he was a father to a young kid working 2 jobs and had taken up shooting as a hobby. The women were particularly disturbed when I mentioned that one of the ranges has a kids class once a month. Good place to start his son out when he got a little older.

  32. The responses in this thread are interesting… though not surprising, there’s a couple of “you people” and “the Blacks” type arguments. C’mon guys, really? Is it Mafic’s responsibility to rehabilitate every thug who shares his skin color? Are all black gun owners relegated to pariah status because they’re guilty by racial association? That mafic and black gun owners need to “fix” people in their community?

    I expect better from folks here on TTAG.

    There’s a certain irony to that line of thinking, ya’know. We in the gun community are routinely made to blame in the media for the Adam Lanzas and Jared Loughners of the world AND WE HATE IT. We argue (rightly so) that actions of these individuals do NOT reflect on the character of other gun owners. We argue (rightly so) that we bear no guilt for Lanza’s or Loughner’s evil simply because we choose to also own AR-15s or Glocks.

    Plenty of people in the black community are upstanding citizens. As far as arrest and incarceration rates of those in the black community, you can look at the statistics in which 2 people are arrested for the EXACT SAME CRIME, yet their odds of going to jail are different merely because of race. Racial relations have improved greatly in America in the past few decades, but we don’t live in a utopia yet. So don’t bother to throw out the tired argument of “YOU PEOPLE HAD IT WORST, NOW QUIT COMPLAINING”. You could talk to middle class black kids in middle class communities raised, educated, and socialized to be regular “Americans”, and you’d be shocked at some of the experiences they’ve had in their life simply because of their skin color.

    Also… the tired line “I see no color” is unnecessary as well. A better mindset is “I see that you’re white / black / asian / hispanic etc. and I acknowledge that while you’re different than me, DIFFERENT IS NOT BAD.”

    And before some joker says I’m just another “angry black guy”… wrong. I’m not black.


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