Black Gun Ownership Rises Amid Pandemic, Protests For Racial Justice


A record number of Americans have purchased guns this year including Black Americans from K. N. UNC in northern Colorado Lee. Patterson reports that incidents of violence against people of color have pushed some to purchase guns for the very first time and warning to our listeners. There are sounds of gunfire in this story. What type of gun is? So this is a Smith and Wesson nine millimeter shield cat trailer bought her handgun this past spring these as she practices at an indoor range with her husband like it's no big deal. But talking through her mask trailer describes how she felt the first time she pulled the trigger is beyond terrified shaking. Hands were sweaty. Trailer is a democratic political consultant who lives in Colorado. At first, she was nervous cleaning and shooting her new gun. And she had a bad experience, the first range she went to she says people were staring she felt unwelcome. Still regardless of the anxiety I had around. All those things. I got into this because I feel like it was necessarily trailer I started thinking about buying a gun when she saw empty grocery store shelves at the beginning of the pandemic. Then she watched racial justice protests unfold across the country. She started thinking about pushback from people who disagree with those efforts if it looks like communities, of Color and people that support communities of color are rising up against white supremacy that could be a problem for us is. It's probably time probably time for them to buy guns a thought that many other Americans have also had in. August. Alone people bought one point eight million firearms according to industry estimates a trade group called the National Shooting Sports Foundation reports the gun sales to customers have grown more percentage wise than for any other racial or ethnic group. With. Her New gun trailer wants to feel like she has a chance during a home invasion or an encounter with police. What we as the family had to determine is, how do we WANNA die? Instead of look at it that way. DO WE WANNA die not being prepared or at least trying to protect ourselves. That's how you weigh that as part of becoming a new gun owner trailer joined the National African American Gun Association Philip Smith is the founder nationally across the board from all over every state. We have people joining all times a day night. You know I I thought something was wrong with computer. Smith was watching membership numbers rise after the death of George Floyd may but black people have been using guns for hunting and protection for a long time historian say that Harriet Tubman carried firearms so did the Black Panthers in the nineteen sixties these days according to a Gallup poll released last year nineteen percent of black people own guns. Smith says his members are not monolithic. Some women join because they've been sexually assaulted some women join because they wanNA teach you some men join because they want to just get really good at self defense people are joining now for different. Reasons some want to support the National African American Gun Association Financially Smith says for others it's more spiritual I. Think people were looking for a home a place where you can kind of event you can belong where you felt your mind having a relief of some sort Bruce Tomlin a truck driver who lives in New Mexico describes his decision to buy a gun response to stress. I'll just say amounting society He felt that way after watching cellphone video showing the death of Ahmad arbitrary a black man who was shot while jogging through neighborhood in Georgia earlier this year don't. Go around arm the rest of my life. That's because he's been feeling under attack for years after the two thousand, twelve killings of Trayvon Martin, for example, and after the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston in two thousand, fifteen by a white supremacist goes like I can just be mine them all business. And if somebody who's a racist, just decide to roll up on me gun meet down. As is decided that like if I go out I'M GONNA go out shooting back. But now that he's an actual gun owner, it's not so straightforward day to day of feel like I can defend myself better defend my loved ones. But I usually get comfortable having it sometime he does not want to kill or injure anyone open carry makes them nervous I would never take my gone to the grocery store and carry around inside or anything like that. But on the other hand I could be in a situation where needed still out in the car or whatever I just like knowing that I have it gun ownership is complicated for Tomlin especially because he's black if he was stopped by police says, he probably wouldn't tell them that he had a gun. And catch trailer says the same thing giving the example of philander casteel he was shot during a traffic stop for years ago in Minnesota after telling an officer that he had a firearm, his car casteel did have a permit to carry it. Cat Trailer believes that gun cost him his life we're not given a fair shake when these conversations are happening automatically worsen tensions are assumed just because we're black, we're gun owners for both of these new black gun owners. It's an identity that comes with risks, but does make them feel safer for

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