The Turning Tide of Black Gun Ownership

According to the Pew Research Center, there's growing support for gun rights in these United States. An increasing number of Americans are now saying that guns do more to safeguard people than to put them at risk. And in particular, Black people's views on gun ownership have shifted dramatically as of late. The most recent survey shows that 54% of Blacks say that gun ownership does more to protect than to endanger. This is nearly double the 29% who said as much just a few years ago.

While the study does not address the root cause of this pendulum swing, such a shift is to be expected given the amount of Black blood on State hands. Government agents, as well as private individuals, are given license to execute us. And we see the murderers granted impunity almost across the board. Is there any wonder why the targeted group is changing its views on gun ownership?

But what about the guns themselves? Why the want for such destructive instruments? What are we really after when we seek to own and carry a gun? We want security. We seek to satisfy the human need to feel safe and secure, whether in our homes or walking down the street. And toward such end, self-defense is the tactic we employ, while firearms are merely the tools we use. So contrary to the perception of gun owners being blood-thirsty psychopaths; we merely seek the safety & security that no ruler, no police officer, that no government agency can provide.

What the Pew survey reflects, in my mind, is the acceptance of a glaring reality: the reality that working people in general – and Black people in particular – cannot outsource our safety concerns. The masses are beginning to appreciate – that a gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone. That the State, even if it were benevolent, is ill-equipped and even less motivated to protect the lives of workers. And that the means to defend ourselves is essential to our survival.