The federal government has also threatened to deploy federal forces in Baltimore, Detroit, New York, Oakland and Philadelphia, all of which have large black populations.
The White House has specifically mentioned armed violence in African American communities and the threat of damage to federal property as an excuse for the increased military presence. And it’s not the first time that government leaders have presented armed African Americans as a threat: When the Black Panther party peaked in the late 1960s, the National Rifle Association, in partnership with then-California governor Ronald Reagan, has passed gun laws that limited open carry on the state capital.
However, black gun owners of this era claim that their firearms possession is not evidence of anything sinister, nor is it the violent violence that some conservatives have shown.
“It’s my constitutional madman,” said Kat Traylor, a political strategist and weapons licensee in Aurora, Colo. Her city is home to one of the most violent mass shootings in American history.
Traylor said she feels strengthened by the possession of a firearm. At the same time, she is a member of the Moms Demand Action group, which advocates for gun laws. In 2018, she helped enforce the state’s Red Flag law, which gives judges the power to seize someone’s firearm if they prove to be a danger to themselves or another person.
“We were struggling with the idea of having guns in house because we’ve advocated so many gun rights laws,” she explained. “We were like, yes, we need this law because we don’t need weapons in the hands of people who will obviously hurt themselves or others.”
Traylor isn’t alone in struggling with the implications of owning a weapon as a black American. With shootings increasing in several U.S. cities, lawyers are wary of the trend, saying there isn’t enough evidence to prove that weapons will make black Americans safer.
“What I really want to think about is the impact of the presence of weapons in black communities and how there are inherent challenges and more nuanced ones to say ‘everyone should arm themselves,’ said Amber Goodwin, community founder and executive director Justice Action Fund, which aims to prevent gun violence in colored communities. “Not everyone has access to gun safety. We don’t know how guns can actually make black people safer, at home or outdoors.”
Proponents of black gun ownership, which prioritize safety and proper training over rushed and potentially dangerous efforts to secure these weapons, say their growth in numbers is sending a powerful signal beyond that of Stone Mountain, Oklahoma City, Aurora or an individual city.
“The time has passed for African Americans to hang out singing Kumbaya and hope and pray for someone to come and save them. We’re going to save ourselves, ”said Smith. “And any politician who wants our vote to move on, they better be on our side or you won’t get our vote. We don’t become sheep anymore. ‘