According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, about 40% of the gun purchases in 2020 were to first-time gun buyers, and about 40% of those customers were women. Self-defense is the most common reason customers gave for their decision to buy a gun, which makes sense given the civil unrest, riots, and rising violent crime rates in many cities.
That’s certainly the case in Kansas City, where homicides last year reached an all time high. There were 156 murders in the city in 2020, and the violence has prompted a surge in gun sales to folks wanting to protect themselves.
Those new gun owners, in turn, are a big reason for a new organization called the Pretty Pistols Posse, which was created in August of last year by Latasha Jacobs and Rashaun Garlington. Jacobs tells Kansas City’s FOX 4 that the group originally started as a few friends hitting a local gun range, but interest in the organization has exploded in the past few months.
“We are a team of so many different women from different backgrounds — children, no children, business owners, nail techs, makeup artists, bankers,” Garlington said.
These founders were already gun owners, but they didn’t regularly shoot. Now the group meets at least once a month for target practice. They emphasize gun safety and education while smashing stigmas and stereotypes.
“Our Black men can protect themselves and carry guns, and they’re not gangsters. Our Black children, we can teach them gun safety, and they’re not going to grow up to be gangsters,” Garlington said. “Black women can carry guns and protect themselves because we don’t necessarily need someone else to do it for us.”
Industry data shows Black people are one of the fastest growing groups of gun owners. Many bought their first firearm in 2020.
“We want you to be empowered to know you’re the first line of defense. You are your first responder. You are the one who can be there to protect your family,” Jacobs said.
Self-defense is a human right, and the right to keep and bear arms is a right of all the People, not just a right for the Right or a right that white people get to exercise. I’m thrilled to see groups like the Pretty Pistols Posse spring up to help educate new gun owners and to grow the Second Amendment community.
While most of the members of the Pretty Pistols Posse are black women, Garlington says that the group is open to almost anyone, telling FOX 4 “Black, brown, white, pink, yellow — we don’t care who you are, what you are just as long as you have an interest in wanting to learn more.”
I truly believe that the Second Amendment movement is the last “big tent” movement in American politics, and the Pretty Pistols Posse is evidence of that. I wish these women all the best in their efforts, and I hope that the organization continues to grow as quickly in the months ahead as it has since its formation last August.