Minority Gun Owners

The New York Times, of all publications, ran a well balanced article briefly discussing some of the issues minority gun owners run into:

INDIANAPOLIS — Standing in a small booth surrounded by displays for rifles, pistols, holsters and other firearm accouterments, the Rev. Kenn Blanchard signed copies of his book “Black Man With a Gun: Reloaded.” Amid the sea of thousands of white faces that descended on this city for the National Rifle Association convention in late April, Mr. Blanchard, an N.R.A. member since 1991, offered his reasoning for why he was one of the few black visitors.

“We still culturally have a fear that we’re going to be that lone guy out, and you don’t want to be the lone guy out,” he said, estimating that one in 100 people at the convention was black. “The exposed nail gets hammered.”


At a time when gun issues are volatile nationally and sales are increasing, minority gun owners — whether black, Asian or Latino — may feel that their weighing of the practical pros and cons of gun ownership comes up against the conservatism and unyielding stances of the N.R.A. and some other gun advocates. Mr. Blanchard said it could be a difficult balancing act.

This somewhat touches on the culture issues within the shooting community. Namely that it can be difficult for people who aren’t white male conservative Christians to get involved in the shooting. Some of this pressure comes from the established shooting community itself and some of the pressure comes from other peer groups. Many organizations that focus on issues primarily facing minorities have a tendency to be anti-gun. That makes it difficult for somebody wanting to work with those organizations to also be pro-gun.

Culture is a difficult beast to tackle. Most of us are members of multiple communities. Oftentimes those communities are complimentary. There are a lot of shooters who are involved in their local hunting clubs and churches. Likewise many people involved in the martial arts community are also involved in the defensive firearm community. Fewer people participate in non-complimentary communities not just because of the opposing ideals but also because of the peer pressure to not participate in “false religion”.