ABC News has been “Rethinking Gun Violence” for a little while now. Their series has mostly been talking about how we need more gun control or how guns are evil or things like that. I knew we’d get a number of stories off of the series, but they’ve given us a fair bit already.
So, I guess we should thank them?
Anyway, much of the time I’m more than prepared to take issue with what they say, but I came across one today that I just found interesting in general. They decided to look at why minorities are buying guns these days.
After months of anti-Asian hate incidents making headlines across the United States, Clyde, a 69-year-old Japanese American living in northern California, grew afraid.
Stories of assault, verbal attacks and deadly shootings against Asians in the Bay Area put him and his wife on edge, he said. He feared an assailant may see them as perfect victims for an attack.
“Age is beginning to make me one of those easy targets,” said Clyde, who asked ABC News to use only his first name for his protection.
Which is why, he said, he bought his first handgun.
“I don’t go out looking for trouble,” Clyde, who is now a member of the Asian Pacific American Gun Owners Association, said. “But to ignore the inconvenient truth that Asians are targets isn’t going to stop the attacks,” he added.
Clyde is one of the many people of color who purchased a legal handgun last year, according to a number of gun trade groups.
Fear motivates some new gun owners
In 2020, the U.S. saw the highest number of hate crimes in more than 10 years, according to the FBI.
Anti-Black hate crimes rose nearly 40% from 2019 to 2020, according to the statistics. There were 2,755 reported incidents targeting Black or African American people in the U.S. in 2020, making this demographic the most targeted racial group by a large margin.
Hate crimes targeting the Asian community in the U.S. rose by about 73% in 2020 when compared with 2019’s numbers, from 158 to 274, according to FBI hate crime statistics.
And hate crimes against Latinos dropped just slightly, but still surpassed 500 incidences in both years.
In other words, people are worried about being the victim of a hate crime and they’re taking steps to deal with it. That’s a perfectly reasonable and responsible way to look at things.
After all, if you feared being targeted for an attack, wouldn’t you buy a gun?
Of course, ABC News also had to try and introduce the anti-Second Amendment spin by claiming guns don’t actually make you any safer.
A study by the anti-gun violence group, the Violence Policy Center, found that in 2017, there were only 298 “justifiable homicides” in the U.S. involving a private citizen using a gun, as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting program.
I find it odd that their only measure for the effectiveness of gun ownership is how many people armed citizens shoot and kill. That’s not remotely accurate.
After all, if pointing a gun at someone and demanding money is a violent crime–and it is–then pointing a gun back at them and telling them to go away should “count” as well.
In fact, if you look at all defensive gun uses, we see that those seem to outpace “gun crimes” in general.
With that in mind, if people are concerned about being the victim of a hate crime, then arming themselves is reasonable. It’ll likely result in far fewer hate crimes taking place.
Not sure what ABC News will have to say when that happens, though.