As a black man, a retired US military veteran, and a licensed concealed-carry gun owner, I have to register my concern over the gun debate. For all you card-carrying NRA members, I do believe in the Constitutional right to bear arms. What I feel that the white male gun owners fail to understand is that for centuries, people of color have been in the sights of guns owned by white males. From the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the genocide of Native Americans to the lynchings of the Jim Crow Era, guns have been used to dominate and force the will of one group of people over another. If one thing this gun debate is that very few people understand the difference between the constitutional right to own a gun and the responsibility that ownership carries with it. It is much bigger than personal responsibility, gun ownership is a communal responsibility. My right to own a gun does not override someone’s right to humanity. As a person of color, I realize the privilege that a gun carries with, a power wielded that is not meant to be an equalizer as much as it is meant to be a force multiplier.
The unhealthy anger and insecurity that many people display in the perceived threat to their right to amass as many weapons and ammunition as possible. This mindset is much different than the right to own a weapon. We are experiencing our own internal Cold War of sorts, people claiming they are on one accord in acquiring weapons in the off chance that the US government could convince its 3 million active and reserve military personnel to imprison and enslave its over 300 million citizens. Writing that makes it sound even more laughable than it is, the few citizens of a country built on the land-grabbing and the enslavement and genocide of other people, fearing for their own freedoms.
There are people that individually own enough weapons that could have decided the outcome of Civil War or Revolutionary War Battles. Imagine, a handful of people with enough weapons and ammo to decimate a small brigade of soldiers, considering that a right as inalienable as the right to live.
So, with all this being said, the gun debate needs to take into consideration what side of the gun sights certain groups of people usually stand.