Amir Locke and multiracial gun rights

(with the range emblem)

The death of Amir Locke should not have happened. I don’t care how people try to justify it, the truth of the matter was that he didn’t do anything that the rest of us wouldn’t have done under the circumstances.

However, it’s yet another death of a black man at the hands of police while exercising his lawful Second Amendment rights.

It’s not a good look.

Over at National Review, there’s an idea that might be worth discussing.

Last year saw a historic surge in gun purchases. As local governments have slashed police-department funding, implemented cashless bail, and declined to prosecute gun crimes, the results have been predictable: surging violent crime and lawless streets. So, it’s no surprise that law-abiding adults who actually do follow local regulations want the right to self-defense. They deserve that right. Amir Locke was one of these Americans. But he nonetheless died at the hands of police while exercising his Second Amendment rights.

Traditional knock-and-announce warrants may give criminals time to destroy evidence. No-knock warrants can help preserve that evidence, but they have proven enormously risky for Locke, for others like him, and for the approximately two police officers who die each year serving them. An alternative to these warrants that can still maintain the element of surprise is the “breach and call out” method, in which police break down the door and call the occupants to come out and surrender. This gives those inside the time to gather themselves and make safe decisions for interactions with law enforcement. A patient and overwhelming police presence should dissuade the foolish few tempted to use the extra time to prepare an attack on law enforcement. Pro–Second Amendment individuals and institutions must stand against this policing strategy and stand up for black Americans like Locke.

This would be worth doing regardless of how many black Americans were gun owners. But the fact that they are a growing and important Second Amendment constituency makes this stand all the more righteous. According to a 2017 survey, one in three black households owns a gun. And gun purchases by African Americans increased 56 percent in 2020 compared with the previous year, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

Basically, what the author thinks is that we need a multiracial approach to gun rights, and he’s not wrong.

However, it’s important to recognize that none of the major gun rights groups are “white” organizations. They’re gun rights organizations meant to serve all. Some do a better job of it than others, but the only explicitly racially-focused groups are all ones serving minority gun owners.

I’m not going to comment on whether that’s good or bad.

What I will say, though, is that maybe we all can do more in the way of outreach.

See, I hear all the time about how welcoming white gun owners are to black gun owners when they come to shooting matches or just to the range. However, why aren’t we doing more to invite these guys and gals?

Some of you are already doing this, no doubt. Others aren’t and can do better.

Regardless, we need to look at this as an opportunity to stand united for gun rights in this country, regardless of race.