Approximately 8.5 million people will have acquired their first handgun by 2020. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, that figure accounted for approximately 40% of all gun sales. Experts say three key events in a year that can only be described as unclear and unprecedented drove the increase: the coronavirus epidemic, national protests following George Floyd’s death, and the presidential election.
NbA research by industry experts and gun rights supporters, which previously said that the majority of gun owners last year — whether adding to their collection or first-timers — were frequently male and white, now reveals that more and more Black women are purchasing guns for personal protection.
They were sparked in part by dread of violence, especially since shootings and murders on all dimensions have been on the rise in Michigan cities recently. Displays of public outrage, epidemic restrictions, and political instability have all contributed to Black women entering the figurative arms race, just to what prompted consumers to buy guns at an all-time high last year.
The Associated Press spoke with Valerie Rupert of Detroit about her gun handling experiences. “I was a little frightened at first, but after a few shots, I really enjoyed it,” she added.
The 67-year-old grandmother was one of 1,000 persons who took part in a series of free weekend gun safety and shooting courses at two Detroit-area ranges, the majority of whom were Black women. Gun purchases by Black men and women climbed by more than 58 percent in the first half of last year, according to the weapons industry’s trade association.
According to Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy and professor of American Health and Violence Prevention at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, gun ownership rises as faith in the government and law enforcement declines.
Webster explained, “We’ve seen such a spike in white nationalist violence.” “A combination of a lack of trust in law enforcement and hate groups has prompted many Black people to arm themselves.”
“We are arming ourselves for self-defense,” Philip Smith, founder and president of the National African American Gun Association, based in Griffin, Georgia, near Atlanta, told Forbes in April. “We are not equipping ourselves to go out and attack,” he stressed. We simply want to live peaceful lives with our families and loved ones, and we do not want to be attacked.”
Black gun owners make up a modest percentage of the overall gun population, accounting for 9.3% of Black males and 5.4 percent of Black women. White men account for over 56% of gun owners in the United States. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, situated in Newtown, Connecticut, white women account for over 16 percent of all shooters.
Lavette Adams, a Black certified firearm instructor who took part in a free Detroit-area training sponsored by gun advocacy group Legally Armed In Detroit, said it’s all about self-care for many Black women. “Women’s violence is nothing new. “Women defending themselves is a novel concept,” she explained.
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