Getting ‘strapped’

Non-Whites buy guns after Trump wins


African-Americans and other racial minorities in America are arming themselves, fearing a continued surge in hate crimes since the election of Donald Trump in November, according to NBC News.

Racial incidents and Donald Trump’s election has led to an increase in gun purchases by Black Americans and other racial minorities. (FLORIDA COURIER FILES)
Racial incidents and Donald Trump’s election has led to an increase in gun purchases by Black Americans and other racial minorities.

Four times as many non-Whites are flocking to gun stores, firearm business owners told NBC News.

Additionally, Black gun groups such as the National African American Gun Association say attendance has doubled since the election.

Trump sets tone
Minorities “feel that racists now feel like they can attack… just because the president is doing it,” Earl Curtis, the African-American owner of Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, Va., told NBC News.

Racial tension in America had already been brewing. The election of President Obama in 2008 was met by cross burnings, racial epithets hurled at African Americans and scrawled on various surfaces, Black figures hung on nooses, effigies of the president and the vitriolic rhetoric of the Tea Party.

The racial temperature continued to rise as the unrepentant killing of unarmed Black men and boys by police was answered by nationwide protest and the sparking of the Black Lives Matter movement. Into that maelstrom stepped Trump, whose unabashed disparagement of Mexicans, Muslims, Blacks, women and others seemed to embolden those with bigoted agendas.

‘Build the wall’
Since Trump swept into the White House on a tide of hate Nov. 8, the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported an uptick in hate-related incidents.

Of the 701 reported so far, several include school children chanting, “Build the wall” to their Hispanic peers (referencing Trump’s promise to build a wall to prevent Mexicans from illegally entering the U.S.) or “White power;” swastikas emblazoned on homes and public surfaces; non-Whites, LGBT or Muslim Americans being verbally or physically attacked and more.

On Nov. 28, the Council on American-Islamic Relations also sent a letter to FBI Director James B. Comey asking for a formal investigation into a series of letters sent to mosques that threaten the genocide of Muslims across the nation and praises the president-elect.

Pistols to rifles
Philip Smith, founder of the 14,000-member National African American Gun Association told NBC News that his members are buying a range of guns, from Glock handguns to AR-15 rifles to AK-47 semi-automatic weapons to 9-millimeter pistols.

“Most folks are pretty nervous about what kind of America we’re going to see over the next 5-10 years,” he said, adding that fears include those of an “apocalyptic end result where there’s anarchy, jobs are gone, the economy is tipped in the wrong direction and everyone has to fend for themselves.”

The increase in gun purchases among non-Whites after Trump’s victory reflect an upswing that has been reflected over the past eight years, according to research.

According to a July 2016 research paper by John Lott Jr. of the Crime Prevention Research Center, the number of concealed handgun permits during President Obama’s tenure soared to 14.5 million, a 215 percent increase since 2007. The uptick, he noted, was largely driven by non-Whites whose permit-holding was increasing about 75 percent more than among Whites.

General fearfulness?
The vast majority of gun owners say that “having a gun makes them feel safer,” says a Pew Research Center report on gun ownership in America. The 2013 Pew Report indicates that far more Americans cite protection – rather than hunting or other activities – as the main reason they own guns today.

A national survey finds that nearly half of gun owners (48%) volunteer that the main reason they own a gun is for protection; just 32% say they have a gun primarily for hunting and even fewer cite other reasons, such as target shooting. In 1999, 49% said they owned a gun mostly for hunting, while just 26% cited protection as the biggest factor,” according to the report.

Safety also is a major concern among the majority of Americans who don’t have guns in their homes. According to Pew, “nearly six-in-10 (58 percent) of those in households without guns say they would be uncomfortable having a gun in their homes. When asked why they would be uncomfortable, more cite concerns over gun accidents and safety than any other factor.”   



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