A recently released study may be a major step towards dispelling the stereotype of gun owners as white men in ball caps with a pickup truck in the driveway and a ’73 Mustang on blocks in the front lawn.
According to the New York Times:
Up to 59 percent of African-American households now view owning a gun as a “necessity,” according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center released this month, and African-American women have outpaced all other races and genders in terms of securing concealed carry permits in Texas between 2000 and 2016, according to demographic information released by the state.
Black Americans seem to be obtaining gun licenses at a higher rate than others in general, according to a study by the Crime Prevention Research Center [CPRC].
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However, as APNews.com reports, “Black women outpaced other races and genders in securing concealed carry permits between 2000 and 2016 in Texas, one of the few states that keep detailed demographic information.”
One possible reason for the increasing rate of gun ownership among black women is the stunning rate at which black woman are victimized by violent crime.
And according to the Department of Justice, between 2001 and 2005 “Blacks were at a greater risk of rape or sexual assault than any other racial/ethnic group except American Indians.”
The New York Times report also explains that the crime that victimizes black women does not always occur outside the home.
Marchelle Tigner, a domestic violence and sexual assault survivor, says that black women are particularly likely to be victims of domestic violence. She became a gun instructor, she explained, in order to give other women of color the fighting chance she wished she’d had.
“It’s important, especially for black women, to learn how to shoot,” Tigner said. “We need to learn how to defend ourselves.”
Antonia Okafor, an African-American woman who was a victim of a sexual assault as a child, described the feeling of empowerment she has as a gun owner in an opinion piece titled “Why I Bring My Gun To School.”
In this piece she writes:
When I started advocating for concealed carry on campus, I was not a “gun enthusiast” or a member of any Second Amendment organizations. I had only recently been taught to shoot by a concerned local firearms instructor who had heard about a scare I had with a cyberstalker.
But from the minute I put my hands around a Ruger LC9 pistol, the gun I regularly carry with me now, I felt more in control. I felt empowered to be holding a tool that could protect me physically, and I was determined to learn how to use it responsibly. It was a relief to know that I could shoot if I had to, even though I would never use my gun unless it was a last means of self-defense. I got my concealed carry license a year ago.
If challenged, black gun owners, and particularly black female gun owners, can point to another study by the CPRC that shows murder rates and concealed carry permits have an inverse relationship: namely, the more guns people have legally, the fewer murders we find occurring.
This of course will resonate among members of a community so damaged by murders and other violent crimes.
If black lives matter, to many African Americans, black guns should matter too.[Note: This post was written by dk. Follow him on Twitter @DarkKnight3565 or at AACONS on Twitter and Facebook]