Gun ownership is surging among black Americans as stores across the country report that the run on guns and ammunition is continuing.
Politico reports that black Americans have been arming themselves “since the beginning of the pandemic.”
National African American Gun Owners’ Association (NAAGA) president Philip Smith has seen as many as 2,000 new members a day since coronavirus warnings and shutdowns began impacting the country earlier this year. That rush in membership only continued following the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd.
Smith intimated that the very onset of the coronavirus made some black Americans give gun ownership serious thought for the first time: “If you have a half a brain in your head even saying, ‘Oh, this might get serious, let me plan accordingly.'”
His group “has grown to more than 30,000 members” this year and has nearly 90,000 online followers.
On June 11, 2020, PRNewswire reported that “90% of NAAGA’s members are African American, more than half of them women, and over 1,000 are law enforcement and military.”
Black Gun Owners Association’s Derrick Morgan also explained the increase in black American gun ownership by presenting through a prism of coronavirus fears, but he also pointed to police response times.
Morgan said, “A lot of people are reaching out to us, mainly new gun owners and people who wouldn’t have considered owning a gun or firearm for their protection, have been lining up to purchase firearms and access information from our website.”
NAAGA’s Philip Smith suggested black American’s growing interest in gun ownership and self-defense is too big to be a fad. He said, “The days are over of African Americans sitting around singing Kumbaya and hoping and praying that somebody will come and save them. We’re gonna save ourselves, and any politician that wants our vote moving forward, they better be on the side of our thinking otherwise, you’re not gonna get our vote. We’re not gonna be sheep anymore.”
On July 13, 2020, the Brookings Institution put forth research that showed past runs on guns have frequently been an outgrowth of fear of gun control. Brookings specifically pointed to spikes in gun sales that followed the December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook attack, the December 2, 2015, San Bernardino attack, and the February 14, 2018, Parkland high school shooting.
After pointing to those incidents, they noted that the current surge in sales, based on fears of safety and a desire for self-defense, far surpasses the surges that were based on fear of gun control.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange