There’s a video that’s gone around social media this week that warrants some special attention. In it, a white man behind the counter refuses to sell a gun to a black man. The video starts after the first refusal, and the man refuses to explain why he wouldn’t sell a firearm to the individual filming.
The professional race-baiters seized on this almost immediately.
White man refuses to sell a gun to a Black customer after guessing that he might sell them to criminals on the street. A damn mess. pic.twitter.com/m07cy1O0u5
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 8, 2017
A suspected white supremacist from Hopkins Gun and Tackle on Mechanicsville Turnpike in Richmond,Va. refused to sell a gun to a Black customer, using the "I'm white and I say so" excuse pic.twitter.com/mKYsF4Wg9q
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) November 8, 2017
However, if you watch the video, there’s absolutely no mention of the guy’s race by the man at the gun store. Nothing at all.
Further, what did we not see? Did he talk about shooting people? Did he quip about getting even with someone?
If there was any of that, even if meant as a joke, it might have been more than enough to making someone uncomfortable about selling the gun. Remember that gun store owners are under a microscope. Had this guy bought the gun, then gone and shot someone and anyone learn he’d been making such comments prior to his purchase of the murder weapon, what kind of press would the gun store have received.
Also, the video cuts out before the entire thing is over.
In other words, it paints a horribly incomplete picture. What isn’t shown is awfully critical information that we need in order to have an informed opinion. All we have is a video without much additional context other than what the man videoing says is there.
I’m not the only one who thinks that.
I️ say it’s messed up if this Video is the entire context and everything said In the Video is true. I’ve seen Shop owners deny sales to ppl b/c they look real suspect, it’s a hard balance. Sometimes stereotypes poison the decision & other times it legitimate. https://t.co/FMFIqfKSu8
— Colion Noir (@MrColionNoir) November 9, 2017
But that won’t stop people from using this video as evidence that gun owners are all racist. For example, Colion Noir got this response to the above tweet from the individual he was replying to.
— Maud Gonne (@AnnaEngelbrech5) November 9, 2017
In other words, no matter what was said–and look, Noir is actually somewhat supportive of this being a bad situation that shouldn’t have happened this way based on what was shown in the video–and was immediately told the NRA is a racist organization.
The same supposedly racist organization who helped a black man overturn Chicago’s oppressive gun laws in the McDonald vs. Chicago decision. Totally racist.
But that doesn’t matter. Those who want to paint the NRA and gun owners in general as racist now have their “proof.”
Let me make something clear here. I don’t know what happened off camera, but if anyone refuses to sell a gun to someone because of the color of their skin, they deserve to see their business go under. They deserve to lose their business and livelihood.
But we don’t actually know if that’s what happened or not. We don’t have enough information and are instead having to go on the word of someone who may have reasons to be less than honest.
While the guy behind the counter doesn’t deny them, he doesn’t affirm them either, which means he may have simply been refusing to engage with someone he was asking to leave. It’s not a bad strategy since anger rarely does any good, and a denial will invariably lead to an argument.
We’ll have to see, but for right now I’m willing to bet that the guy who screamed “racism” at the drop of the hat may well have been looking to get turned down by the store owner in the first place.
Just a hunch.