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Tipsheet

The Latest Wave of New Firearm Owners Shreds Another Anti-Gun Narrative

AP Photo/John Locher

First, I’m shocked NBC News would write a story like this about gun owners. Second, it’s about yet another hurdle anti-gunners have to scale when pushing their ‘take all the guns’ initiatives. This isn’t necessarily a new trend. Nonwhite Americans and women have flocked to gun shows and concealed carry permit classes. In fact, there are so many female concealed carry holders that they’re changing the industry. Female participation in shooting sports spiked during the Obama presidency. That alone is a problem for anti-gunners and Democrats. It’s never a good idea to go against what middle-class women like—that’s a long-established political reality. You’re gambling there. 

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Now, you have to factor in that the latest wave of new gun owners are black Americans—and you have to tread carefully about the silly talking points about gun ownership and the Second Amendment (via NBC News):

Two days after a white man shot and killed 10 Black people in Buffalo last month, Michael Moody reversed his thinking about possessing a firearm. He had watched the aftermath of the carnage on the news, the anguish of the victims’ families, and decided he “needed a gun. Needed, not wanted,” he said.

[…]

Moody’s sentiments represent one reason the sale of guns to Black Americans rose 58 percent in 2020 — the year George Floyd was murdered by a Minnesota police officer, sparking a nationwide social justice movement — according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms trade association. It was the highest bump in gun sales of any ethnic group that year.

Further, in the first quarter of 2021, another NSSF report revealed 90 percent of gun retailers reported a general increase of Black customers, including an 87 percent increase among Black women. 

“And you wonder why?” said Moody, who works for the federal government. “You look at Buffalo and the feeling of ‘This could have been me’ is there. We could be the next target. And when it’s you, what are you going to do? Are you going to run and hide? Or are you going to be able to protect yourself? Protect your family? I didn’t want a gun; I’m not a gun person. But this world has made me get one. Getting one for my wife next.” 

The foundation said 40 percent of the overall gun sales in 2020 were to first-time gun purchasers. Black gun owners, old and new, say the rise is a byproduct primarily of a heightened fear they could be targeted like those in Buffalo or at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, when nine Black church members were killed by a white supremacist.

To that point, anti-Black hate crimes rose nearly 40 percent in 2020, the latest year available, according to FBI statistics. There were 2,755 reported incidents targeting Black people in the U.S. that year, the most besieged racial group by a large margin.

Two weeks after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the Capitol in Washington, Destiny Hawkins, a divorced mother of one who lives near Atlanta, waited in line to purchase her first gun, a Glock 43. “It wasn’t the gun I wanted because their selection was so low; people were buying guns like crazy,” she said.

[…]

This increased interest in firearms delights Philip Smith, who started the National African American Gun Association in 2015. A human resources executive in Atlanta, Smith said he owns “about 30” weapons, including the lethal AR-15-style rifles used in the Buffalo mass shooting and the Uvalde elementary school massacre in Texas on May 24.

 The increased number of Black gun ownership represents “an awakening,” Smith said. “It’s a value-add to their family household, as opposed to, let’s say, 10 years ago or six years ago. This is a movement in a certain direction, and I think it’s a good direction.”

His organization has 48,000 members nationwide, he said, and has gained more than 1,000 or more each month since 2020. It has nearly 107,000 followers on Facebook.

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Sure, there are differing opinions about possession in this piece, but it’s clear that Black Americans are exercising their Second Amendment rights which is a good thing. Ideally, everyone should. Ideally, every household should have a firearm. Whether the reasoning is a stalker, Antifa, terrorism, a spike in crime, and yes—a crazy white nationalist shooting up a market, you have the right to own a firearm in this country and use it for self-defense. That’s what is so great about the Bill of Rights. They’re all connected. They’re all equally important with regards to upholding the other amendments. There is no graduated scale here; only liberals think that way. There’s no cafeteria support for the Bill of Rights either. It’s either you support them or don’t. There’s no filleting of the first ten amendments. The notion that the Second Amendment is for white Americans only is dead. The notion that the Second Amendment was meant to maintain white supremacy was never real, but it’s obviously not an old white man’s game anymore. Women and minorities are all packing heat. Americans of all stripes are buying guns. 

It’s a homemade American apple pie, with a side of 9mm I guess. That’s fine. What we need to worry about is Democrats and Republicans now working to set the foundation that could strip those rights down the line. 

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