As history would tell it, a significant portion of the Black population has long been opposed to carrying concealed weapons. Now that the community has started to lose faith in law enforcement, more Black people are starting to show overwhelming support for carrying concealed weapons.
The truth of the matter is that it would be far too easy to find a Black family who once called the police only to find that the officers were hesitant to come to their neighborhood. It would be no challenge at all to find a young Black man who called the police for help only to get pummeled or harassed by officers once they arrived.
In more ways than one, the Black community has started to lose faith in law enforcement and question their own safety.
When officers are the same ones gunning your sons down, you may hesitate to dial 911 when you need it the most.
That’s why more Black communities are taking the necessary steps to protect themselves and boosting the support for carrying concealed weapons.
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 54 percent of Black people now see gun ownership as a positive thing.
Rather than view it as a threat, they see it is as a way to protect themselves and their families in the face of danger.
It’s a shift that James Craig, Detroit’s police chief, understands all too well.
“It’s a well-known fact here in Detroit,” Craig explained to NPR. “People didn’t have a lot of confidence that when they dialed 911, that the police were going to show up. In fact, we know they didn’t.”
That’s when he found himself, as a Black man once opposed to carrying concealed weapons, supporting the trend of “good Americans” arming themselves.
Rick Ector, another Black man in support of this trend, is glad to see the sheriff’s attitude shift.
Ector owns a practice range just outside the city of Detroit where he trains everyday citizens on how to handle a firearm just in case they find themselves having to use such skills to defend themselves.
“When you look at New Jersey, you look at New York, you look at California, D.C. and Chicago, really it’s still a foreign experience,” Ector adds. “When you really look at the city of Detroit, we’re kind of leading the way in terms of urban areas with law-abiding citizens carrying guns.”
All throughout the city of Detroit, citizens are welcoming the change.
Places like churches have long been considered easy targets for carjackers and muggers who are looking for victims who are less likely to be armed.
That might not be the case when it comes to churches in cities like Detroit.
“I love the Lord; I’m a Christian,” Pastor Haman Cross Jr. told NPR. “But like I told the congregation, let’s send a message right in front. I want the word out in the community, if you steal any of our cars, I’m coming after you.”
It’s the type of mindset that supports a simple theory.
Would-be criminals may second-guess their decisions to rob or attack someone if there were higher chances that the target might have a weapon.
Statistically speaking, there is no confirmation that more guns will ever equate to less crime. In fact, some studies fight against that idea.
While arming citizens may not help reduce crime, however, some citizens, especially those in Detroit, at least believe it gives them more power over their own safety and well-being.
Even then, some people remain fearful of what the presence of more guns means for the community at large.
After all, even “good Americans” have lapses in judgment and they too can become overcome by anger and other negative emotions.
That’s the predicament citizens like Evelyn Marks are fighting with.
Her only daughter was gunned down by a man who had a concealed-carry permit.
Even more tragic was the fact that that man was Marks’ husband.
She insists that when people feel “threatened, the first thing they want to do is pull out their gun and shoot to kill.”
Even as a former Black Panther, Marks insists that more weapons will only lead to more violence and more unnecessary deaths.
“I’ve been shot and a gun would not have saved me,” Marks added.
While Marks’ perception of more guns in the community is the one most closely backed by recent research, it is quickly becoming the least favored perception in a community that now feels like the only way to protect themselves is to take matters into their own hands.