Amidst the historic surge in gun purchases, can the media finally let go of their false narrative that only old white guys, most of them living in rural areas, are embracing their Second Amendment rights? Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation says it’s long past time for reporters and anti-gun politicians to recognize that there really is no such thing as a stereotypical gun owner these days.
Americans of all walks of life are exercising their right to keep and bear arms, many of them for the first time in their lives, and Keane highlights the broad diversity of the Second Amendment community in his latest column at the NSSF’s website.
Maj Toure, founder of Black Guns Matter, promotes African American gun ownership and spends his time advocating firearm ownership and teaching gun safety in urban and minority communities. He spoke to Business Insider about the growth and success of his efforts. “People somehow forget that we have the right to defend our lives with firearms,” Toure said.
The National African American Gun Association boasts membership growth of 15,000 new members in 2020 so far. “A lot of times in our community, we hear a lot of our politicians, unfortunately say, don’t have a gun. You don’t need a gun,” explained NAAGA founder Philip Smith. “Well, I pushed back on that and say, that’s the very thing that we do need.”
As crime has exploded in many cities, Americans of all races, colors, and creeds have turned to the Second Amendment and the ability to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their loved ones. That includes a growing number of women. Anecdotally, my local gun store owner says he’s seen a number of women, from young moms to older widows, come in looking for a gun for the very first time. Keane says it’s a nationwide phenomenon.
After seeing a man outside her window while alone one night, 59-year old Terry Marsh said she would not be in that position again unarmed.
“It’s a very helpless feeling knowing you can’t protect yourself or your family,” Marsh said. “If I had a gun or a way to protect myself it would have given me a little bit of power and I’d have felt secure.”
Women are taking those priorities into their own hands, with home and family safety at the top of Americans’ minds during the current unsettling times. That makes sense and is a welcomed development.
What impact will these new gun owners have on the 2020 elections? Keane believes that new gun owners could be a key voting bloc in protecting our Second Amendment rights.
As gun control groups like billionaire Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action clamor for more gun control, increasingly more voices of a diverse American gun owner are responding. The impacts will be significant on the future of Second Amendment rights in America.
NSSF launched the #GUNVOTE® online resource to help gunowners to register to vote and provide voters election updates and candidate information in order to be more educated about the Second Amendment positions of political candidates. As these positive trends continue, voters need to be informed in the ballot box so they don’t risk their rights.
If these new gun owners aren’t just exercising their rights, but are prepared to protect them on Election Day, Keane is absolutely correct that they could have an outsize impact, particularly in battleground states. The key is making sure that they are engaged, and the best way to do that is to educate them on what’s at stake in this election. If Joe Biden wins in November, legal gun owners new and old will be the ones paying the price, while the country’s criminals will be further emboldened by the Democrats’ focus on turning the Second Amendment right of the People into a privilege of the few.