Although the NRA Annual Meetings were abuzz with excitement over a speech from President Trump, a growing number of women in leadership, and a diverse lineup of speakers, Politico Magazine suggests it is still struggling to make black gun owners feel welcome.
Politico Magazine reports that it was amazing “just the how white the crowd was” at the booths set up at the Annual Meetings. Yet they spoke to 40-year-old Dwayne Williams — a black man who was at the meetings with this wife — as a way to show the NRA has a problem appealing to black gun owners.
The problem with this approach is that Williams told them how he has watched the NRA’s outreach to black gun owners change; that he went from uninterested in joining the organization in 2012 to becoming a member in 2014.
Williams spoke to the diversity of shooters and spokespersons in NRA ads and commercials. He said, “Now the NRA’s commercials are featuring different shooters. You don’t just see the white guy — you see the white women, the Asian guy, the Hispanic guy, the black guy; not just the NRA, but the gun industry in general.”
In other words, in a column titled, “The NRA’s Struggle to Prove Black Guns Matter” — a column intended to show that the organization is struggling to connect with black gun owners — Politico Magazine highlighted a black gun owner who outlined how the NRA had connected with him. This is a very strange way of trying to show that the NRA is not connecting with black gun owners.
It is even stranger when you consider that one of the NRA Leadership Forum’s featured speakers was Antonia Okafor — a black, female NRA member and concealed carry proponent. And her message was clear — the Second Amendment protects rights that belong to every law-abiding American, regardless of race:
No matter the color of your skin, no matter where you come from, no matter your economic status or your education level, whether you’re young or old or a man or a woman, if you’re a law-abiding citizen of this country, you have a constitutional right to your Second Amendment and a God-given freedom to protect yourself and your family.
There is no doubt the NRA is a political success. Truth be told, they are a political powerhouse. But it is equally true that the NRA is diverse, and those who walked the floors of the Annual Meetings this year saw not simply old white men, but old black men too. And there were women — black, white, and Hispanic — and entire families where parents were pushing their children in strollers or holding onto their hands as they walked the 15 acres of guns.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.