According to Time magazine, racial tensions are fueling a rise in gun ownership among black Americans. Could gun ownership itself be a way to help defuse those tensions? On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, I sit down with Tony Simon, the founder of DiversityShoot.com, to talk about the Second Amendment’s potential in bridging the many divides in our current culture.

Simon’s monthly events, which have been primarily been held at Gun 4 Hire range in Woodland Park, New Jersey for several years, typically bring in a crowd of experienced gun owners, newbies, and some folks who’ve never shot a gun before in their lives. People of all walks of life, political ideologies, religions, and races get together to shoot at targets and shoot the breeze, finding connections in the shared experience of exercising their individual right to keep and bear arms.

When it comes to Time‘s assertion that fear of white supremacists is what’s driving gun ownership among black Americans, Simon believes that might be true for some new gun owners, but that the civil unrest and increased crime in many cities is also an important factor that Time completely ignores in favor of their desired narrative.

“It’s funny because Time and the mainstream media take no responsibility for the fact that they’ve pushed this fear. They’ve pushed this distrust between people the entirety of 2020. Ever since the ‘mostly peaceful’ protests started happening, and they couldn’t get enough of showing it and trying to show the divide,” Simon mused.

“Well, what black people along with everybody else saw was one, a lack of police response. The fact that elected officials allowed this violence to happen. And they see property destroyed,” Simon continued. “So they want to keep their families safe like everyone else, and they know that the best way to keep your family safe, especially when the government has let you down, is to arm yourself. So that’s what’s happening. It’s not ‘Oh my goodness, all of these white people are going to come burn my burn my home down.’ It’s all of these people are not being checked by law enforcement and I’m going to have to defend myself against whomever comes to cause my family harm.'”

Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Tony Simon in the video window above, including our discussion about the future of Diversity Shoot, which is up in the air (in the short term, anyway) after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf imposed new travel restrictions on visitors to the state. For the past several months the Diversity Shoots have been taking place at a range in Easton, PA because New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has limited indoor range capacity to 25%, which makes it virtually impossible for Simon to hold the events in New Jersey, where he lives.

Simon will be holding a Diversity Shoot this evening, but that could be the last one before the travel restrictions are lifted. It’s truly a shame that the governor’s emergency orders may actually end up preventing the type of socially distanced gatherings that can help us find some common ground in these divided times.