Anti-gunners generally view firearms owners in the United States as conservative white males clinging to their Bibles and guns. That makes it easier for them to use identity politics to create opposition based on race, rather than reality. Fortunately, a growing pro-gun group is helping to illustrate how wrong anti-gunners are about the nation’s gun owners.
The National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) is in its fourth year of existence and recently topped 30,000 members. More than 90 percent of those members are black, but founder Phillip Smith says they have members from all walks of life and political viewpoints.
Well, aside from radical liberals who want to eliminate the Second Amendment and make firearms something only the government owns and controls.
Smith says he founded the NAAGA in Atlanta in 2015 in order to create a pro-Second Amendment organization that educates and trains “our community” about the legacy of firearms ownership among African-Americans in the United States.
Smith says he fell in love with firearms the first time he held and fired a 9mm pistol. It gave him a sense of independence and freedom he never felt before, and wants to share that feeling with more people.
Smith says he formed the NAAGA to help other blacks experience that same liberating feeling and better understand how the Second Amendment, likewise, liberates them. The NAAGA’s long-term goal is to introduce every black in the United States to firearms and their many uses.
Those uses included self-defense, preservation of life, competitive shooting and outdoor recreation. That includes hunting, skeet shooting and other popular firearms pastimes.
The NAAGA already is proving highly effective with a particular demographic – black women. About 60 percent of the NAAGA’s more than 30,000 members are black women. Those women are embracing firearms ownership at rates greatly surpassing other women of color and white women in general. That should help to alleviate problems for a group often victimized more than most others in the United States – black women.
Black women in the United States face rates of rape and sexual assault that exceed those faced by whites, Hispanics and Asians, according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. About 40 percent of black women suffered violence at the hands of an “intimate partner” at least once during their lifetimes, and up to 60 percent say they were subjected to coercive sexual contact by the time they turned 18.
Prejudicial notions suggest black women engage in behaviors that lead to greater victimization rates, but the NAAGA is proving otherwise. The Women of Color Network, Communities of Color: African-American Women, says stereotypes regarding black women’s sexuality, such as “jezebel,” “promiscuous” and “exotic,” perpetuation a stereotype that suggests black women willingly participate in their own victimization.
The NAAGA, though, says most of its members are black women. That suggests black women rightfully are embracing the Second Amendment at increasing rates. Black women also are the one demographic that most needs to learn to use safely use firearms and possess them in the United States. Doing so greatly could reduce violence against minority women in urban centers.
It also could help more women feel empowered to go out into their communities more and search for better jobs. Unfortunately for black women, most of them vote for politicians who would perpetuate their plight and disarm them, rather than empower them with firearms for personal safety and jobs for economic freedom.
After all, a scared, dependent voter is one motivated to keep you in office – even when your policies run counter to their own self-interests.
Fortunately, the NAAGA is showing blacks are not lemmings and realize owning and carrying firearms is the best way to ensure personal safety and liberty. Instead of “might makes right” ruling the day, a firearm helps a woman of color to dissuade potential attackers from following through on ill intent.
The NAAGA affirms firearms are a benefit to people from all walks of life, and education is the best way to ensure firearms safety. Education and familiarity with firearms also reduce firearms violence, even when the number of firearms owners expands, rather than contracts. An educated and properly trained firearm owner is an asset to any community, and the NAAGA fully affirms that notion.