Policymakers are confounded. A recent report by The Hill showed that African Americans are the most directly impacted by what they call “gun violence.” At the same time, gun ownership by black Americans rose steeply in recent years. Those two facts are not mutually exclusive and are linked in ways that gun control groups don’t want to admit.
Crime Increases Gun Ownership in Black Communities
In other words, it’s the crime, stupid. And African Americans are refusing to be willing victims to criminals that have no respect for life or the law. They also won’t be victims of elected officials putting soft-on-crime policies ahead of protecting communities.
The Hill reported that a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll “found that Black adults were roughly twice as likely as white or Hispanic adults to report that they’ve had a family member killed by a gun, including by suicide, at 34 percent — compared to 17 and 18 percent of white and Hispanic adults.”
The poll further reported that a third of Black and Hispanic adults worry “daily” or “almost daily” about violent crime. This is compared to just 10 percent of white adults. Seventeen percent of Black adults surveyed said they don’t feel safe “at all” in their neighborhoods. Hispanic adults surveyed said the same at just nine percent and white adults at just two percent.
Some politicians seek to divide the nation along racial and ethnic lines. But, this survey reveals that safety is a primary concern for all Americans. The Hill report didn’t explore the reasons why African Americans and Hispanic Americans are worried about crime and lack of community safety. However, it doesn’t take much more digging to uncover those answers.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was trounced in her bid for re-election largely over concerns of rampant crime. San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed was roasted over her letter to federal authorities to assist the city’s police in gaining a foothold against the crime wave victimizing her city.
New York City saw record levels of felony crimes last year. Washington, D.C.’s crime is so out-of-control that the U.S. Congress blocked a crime reform bill that would have lowered penalties for violent crimes. Virginia’s Attorney General Jason Miyares said Washington, D.C.’s “crime explosion” is pouring over the border, becoming a concern for Virginia.
These are all metro areas that embraced “defund the police” policies and soft-on-crime approaches by district attorneys funded by progressive anti-gun billionaire George Soros. Those calls were echoed by gun control groups.
Americans from all walks of life are concerned about their safety. Especially in the midst of a crime wave that’s coupled with lax prosecution of crimes. When lawmakers reduced police presence in their communities, and prosecutors refused to lock up criminals, it is easy to understand why African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans started buying firearms in record numbers to protect themselves.
Gun Ownership Increases
NSSF surveys of firearm retailers showed that African Americans purchased firearms in 2020 at a rate of 58 percent higher than in 2019. Hispanic Americans, at the same time, were purchasing firearms at a 49 percent higher rate. Likewise, Asian Americans are at a 43 percent higher rate.
That trend continued into 2021, where 60 percent of firearm retailers surveyed said the increased traffic from African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans remained the same. Nearly 45 percent of firearm retailers reported an increase in African American gun buyers in 2021. Similarly, Hispanic Americans were reportedly buying firearms at 37 percent higher rates, along with a 27 percent increase of Asian Americans.
NBC News reported on this increase in more minorities buying guns last year and the reasons why. Spoiler alert – it is because these Americans are concerned for their safety. Philip Smith, President of the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA), told NBC News it is “an awakening.”
The reasons, he added, were all rooted in personal safety.
“Having a gun is OK as long as it’s done in the right way,” Smith explained to NBC News. “We try to use a lot of images and imagery that really connects our people to good experiences and positive images for families, for husbands, for mothers, for kids. It’s something we should embrace and use that positive energy in a legal, law-abiding way.”
Americans, no matter their race, creed or color, have the right to protect themselves. Polls that show their elected officials are failing to deliver on promises of safe communities explain why lawful gun ownership in black and other communities continues to grow.
Story originally posted to NSSF.org.