Guns aren’t just for white folks. The Second Amendment states that the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, not just white folks. Now, many of our Founding Fathers had some peculiar notions on just who qualified as “people” back in the day, but we’ve gotten past that. We recognize that people mean folks of various ethnicities.
That’s good for all of us.
However, guns are still thought of as the domain of white folks, occasionally colored with shades of “white folks afraid of non-white folks,” if we’re fair. Not everyone thinks this way, but enough do that it’s something we need to be mindful of.
Yet it’s surprising when someone clearly profiles a group that’s not your typical bunch of white folks with guns. In this case, CBS took a look at the National African American Gun Association.
Co-host Anthony Mason introduced, “The country’s largest and best known gun rights association, the NRA, is losing board members. But another lesser known gun organization is thriving.” Reporter Omar Villafranca explained that the National African American Gun Association “has become the largest minority gun club in the country. There are more than 75 chapters with more than 30,000 members and over 90 percent of the members are black.”
In the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, the networks exploited both tragedies and promoted control by a 17 to 1 margin. But on Wednesday, CBS refreshingly talked to NAAGA’s founder, Phillip Smith, who described the diversity of gun owners: “We have folks from every walk of life. Black doctors, gay, straight, Republicans, Democrats, you name it, we have it. We’re not monolithic in why we’re all here. We have different reasons.”
This is fantastic. The truth is, the sooner the public and lawmakers change their view of who gun owners are, the harder it becomes for them to dismiss gun owners as just a bunch of “angry white guys.” Maj Toure and Colion Noir are generally the two names that come to mind when you talk African-American gun owners, but they’re far from alone and it’s time people see that.
The truth of the matter is that gun owners come from all walks of life. They’re white, black, Asian, Latino, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, male, female, transgender, the works.
We are everywhere.
CBS taking a look at another group and while I’m sure it was an effort to probably hurt the NRA–“Hey, there’s another group you can join instead of the terrorist group called the NRA. Let’s tell you about them!”–the end result is ultimately a good thing for the firearm community. After all, when they come for our rights, it won’t be for the rights of just the white gun owners or the black gun owners. It’ll be for all of our rights. By showing that we’re not just a bunch of good old boys from the backwoods, it becomes harder and harder to pretend gun control is only hurting one demographic.
Personally, I want to see everyone armed. I don’t care what your politics are, ethnicity is, sexuality is, anything. I want everyone who can lawfully have guns to have guns. An armed society is a polite society, after all, and we could all stand to see a little more politeness.