You see, they still seem to believe that being pro-gun is somehow a symptom of being a white male and that the idea of armed “people of color” is somehow an anathema to us. No, I’m really not making this one up, because that’s exactly what this story on Salon says:
I have a theory that the quickest way to get legislative gun control in this country would be to start a movement that successfully convinces millions of black folks to join the NRA. I’m not pro-gun, I just know that a gun rights movement fueled largely by white fright would suddenly see the logic in gun restrictions if more people that didn’t look like them carried firearms.
That’s what happened in the late 1960s when the Black Panther Party for Self Defense started patrolling Oakland’s black neighborhoods while openly carrying guns, which was perfectly legal according to California law. It took only a few months of that for the state legislature to draft the Mulford Act, aimed at ending open carry in the state. After 24 Panthers showed up at the state Capitol armed to the teeth to protest the bill, Gov. Ronald Reagan couldn’t sign it fast enough.
Here’s a tip: If a million black folks showed up as members of the NRA, the first thing many of us would do is probably ask them how often they shoot, what they like to shoot, and what range do they like to go to.
We really, really don’t give a damn what the melanin content of their skin is.
“Oh, but the late 1960s…”
Dude, that was almost 50 years ago. In case you forgot, there was a lot of stuff that was the case in the last 1960s that aren’t the case today. Just look at the stuff you can put on television today that you couldn’t have back then. Game of Thrones would have created strokes in pretty much ever censor working in the industry all on its own.
We, as a society, are different. Gun owners are different. We’re not all a bunch of straight white men who only think straight white men should own guns.
In fact, while the author of this post is salivating over the idea of non-whites owning guns causing heart palpitations in straight white male gun owners, she overlooked a little something.
It’s called Operation Blazing Sword. It came out of the aftermath of the Orlando Pulse nightclub attack. Kicked off by Erin Palette, a transgender gun enthusiast, writer, and podcaster, who recognized that many in the LGBT community might want to arm themselves, but didn’t have a clue where to start. As a result, she started Operation Blazing Sword as a means to connect would-be LGBT gun owners with people who will help them learn the basics, including how to pick their first gun.
Thousands of us inundated Erin’s project. Yes, I said “us” because I’m on her map as well. Several of my friends who had never heard of Erin signed up as well.
The truth of the matter is that none of us care. We take issue with non-gun owners joining a gun rights organization, but who wouldn’t. How would the ACLU feel anti-free speech advocates filling their ranks? What about the Freedom From Religion Foundation getting swarms of new evangelical members?
But no one cares if they’re black, brown, or purple with yellow polka dots. If they’re interested in defending their gun rights, then gun rights advocates welcome them.
Of course, the author of that post had a prime opportunity to explore that when she brought up Black Guns Matter.
Maj Toure is a politically conservative African American who started Black Guns Matter because of anti-black police violence. “Black Guns Matter came about because of the amount of murders of African American people, especially by corrupt police officers,” Toure told NBC News. “I don’t have to convince anyone that my life matters but I’m going to have the tools to defend my life because it matters to me.”
It’s odd to transform the phrase Black Lives Matter, created by a group that is staunchly anti-gun, into a pro-gun effort. And right-wing pundits drool over Toure because of his libertarian attitude toward guns. But he argues that his mission is to “educate urban communities on their Second Amendment rights and responsibilities through firearm training and education.” He’s lectured in venues around the country on gun laws and safety, including resolution and de-escalation tactics.
We “drool” over Toure because he’s reaching people that many of us aren’t able to for various reasons…because, again, we. Don’t. Care. About. Color.
The Second Amendment says “the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That means all people’s, and I, for one, stand by that.