African American Gun Owners Worried About 2A Rights

photo from motherjones.com

It’s widely known that one of the incidents that incited the recent protests throughout the country, including the protest that ended so tragically in Dallas last week, was the shooting of Philando Castile, an African American concealed carrier, by police during a traffic stop in a Minnesota suburb. The direct aftermath of the shooting was caught on video by his fianceé, who was sitting next to him.

Castile informed the officer he was armed and had a permit to carry, and was shot while reaching for his ID, according to the fianceé.

This story from Mother Jones says that this incident, and others like it, have sparked concern among black gun owners and has made some wonder if the Second Amendment is being applied equally to them.

“It terrifies me,” said the founder of the Dallas-based Huey P. Newton Gun Club, which advocates black gun ownership, in the story.

The story says the number of black Americans who own guns is on the rise, and according to a 2014 Pew survey, 19 percent of black adults said they owned a gun, up from 15 percent in 2013. In another 2014 survey, 54 percent of black adults said they believed owning a gun makes people safer. That's up from just 29 percent two years earlier.

"'Don't get a gun because you can kill yourself' (or) 'your kids can hurt themselves.' But people are saying, 'Hold on, if I'm in a home by myself at five o'clock in the morning and someone comes banging through my door to rob and kill my family, the police are not going to make it there in enough time. So I need to be able to deal with that threat," said Philip Smith, founder of the National African American Gun Association, in the story.

“(Smith) attributes the ownership increase to several factors. Many blacks, he says, are simply feeling the need to protect themselves against violent crime. (Black Americans are more likely than members of other ethnic groups to be the victim of a gun homicide.) Fear of terrorism also comes into play, he says—the reasons, he adds, vary by sub-demographic—single women, married fathers, rural versus urban, etc.”

Smith launched his organization in Atlanta in February 2015 and it now boasts more than 11,000 members, and 65 percent of the members are women.

In the story, Smith, a concealed carrier, said he's been pulled over more than once while carrying. He told officers that he was carrying, and there were no problems, he said in the story.

“I’ve seen situations on YouTube and stories on the Internet and in newspapers where people had been in situations like mine where they say, ‘Get out of the car! Put your hands on the hood!’ they arrest you or put you in the back of the car, they take your gun ,and they run your gun. It can go a thousand ways,” he said. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/07/black-gun-ownership-castile-police-shooting