Right now, a lot of African-Americans feel like their lives are in danger. While we can argue until we’re blue in the face about whether the threat is justified or not, they feel it and feelings are powerful. Plus, honestly, I don’t know that they’re wrong.
Oh, I don’t think the police are looking to gun down black men out of some racist agenda or anything, yet African-Americans are far more likely to be the victim of homicide than any other ethnic group. That fact alone might make me more than a little concerned.
However, it seems one thing many black Americans are doing is precisely what many of us would do in their boat. They’re joining gun rights groups that cater to their needs.
The National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) gained thousands of members following the May 25 death of George Floyd.
[NAAGA founder Philip] Smith made clear that he recognizes that citizens of all races have a right to keep and bear arms, but he focused on the black community because of personal experiences of going to the shooting range and being the only black person there. He hoped to be part of an impetus for black citizens to understand the Second Amendment is theirs as well.
On June 11, 2020, PRNewswire reported that a partnership between Ammo.com and the gun rights group “indicates Rise in African American Gun Ownership.”
Moreover, NAAGA, which was founded with 30 members in 2015, now has over 40,000. And Smith says the group added 2,000 members “in 36 hours after George Floyd.”
He added, “That broke our records. We’re getting a ton of folks from all over.”
Honestly, it’s not surprising.
In fact, I’m going to argue this is precisely what many African-Americans probably should do.
You see, if I believed that I lived in a system designed to keep me down and prevent me and mine from getting a fair shake and that people wanted me dead because of the color of my skin, I’d damn well join up a group that I could trust to defend my right to have the means to defend myself.
Sure, some might argue that they’d accomplish more joining someone like the NRA, but we need to keep in mind a couple of things.
First, there’s no reason to believe that by joining NAAGA, they’ll never join the NRA, GOA, Second Amendment Foundation, or anyone else. That may be their first step into the water, so let them do it however they want.
Besides, my second point is that the media has portrayed groups like the NRA as being somehow racist. While we all know that’s absolute BS, it’s still the perception many have until they learn otherwise. You’re not going to win friends by trying to make them join a group they believe hates them. You’re just not.
Instead, let them join whoever. Groups like the NAAGA are a key ally in fighting to protect our Second Amendment rights. Their efforts fly directly in the face of those who believe that gun ownership is racist in and of itself. Seeing an African American gun rights group can do wonders in dispelling that narrative.
Personally, I don’t care what group anyone joins. What I care about is that we all are in the same fight, the fight to protect our right to keep and bear arms. For all those new members, welcome to the battle.