It’s no secret that legal gun sales have been surging in the United States for several years now, even as Democrats continue to work to find ways to undermine or repeal the Second Amendment. There was a significant surge in 2020 and that trend has continued into this year. But as NBC News reports this week, there has been a notable demographic shift taking place during the same period. The number of Black Americans who are legally purchasing firearms has risen significantly faster than the numbers recorded in other racial groups. The reasons why these shoppers choose to arm themselves vary from person to person, but one of the most common themes among purchasers interviewed for this report was a rising awareness of the need to be able to defend oneself.

Two days after a white man shot and killed 10 Black people in Buffalo last month, Michael Moody reversed his thinking about possessing a firearm. He had watched the aftermath of the carnage on the news, the anguish of the victims’ families, and decided he “needed a gun. Needed, not wanted,” he said.

After discussing it with his wife, Moody said he left his home in suburban Washington to buy a weapon. He quickly learned he wasn’t alone. He said he was “stunned” at the number of Black people standing in line at the gun shop in Maryland to make a similar purchase.

Through chatting with others while waiting, Moody said he learned “a lot of us have the same idea. It’s getting bad when someone specifically targets Black people to shoot. We have to be prepared to fight back. And you can’t survive bringing a knife to a gunfight.”

The National Shooting Foundation reports that in 2021, ninety percent of gun shop owners reported an increase in Black customers, with an 87% increase in Black women seeking to purchase a firearm. People participating in these interviews offered different reasons for making the decision to arm themselves for the first time, with some being obvious and others more dubious.

The most recent Black buyers who explained their decision included many who cited the recent mass shooting in Buffalo. The central theme appeared to boil down to a few basic questions. What will you do if a shooter turns up at your grocery store and opens fire? Will you run and hide? Or will you try to defend yourself, your family, and your neighbors? It’s an admirable position to take, though if you live in New York you will find it nearly impossible to obtain a permit allowing you to carry your firearm with you to the grocery store, particularly in New York City.

A more worrisome explanation was offered by Philip Smith, the founder of the National African American Gun Association. Here’s the disturbing quote.

Smith said the murder of [George] Floyd, compounded by the myriad shootings of Black men and women by white police officers, vigilantes and the like, sparked the surge.

There are many reasons to encourage people to be open to safe, legal, responsible gun ownership. But if the discussion is centering around George Floyd or Black suspects who wind up being shot by police officers, be they white, Black, green, or any other color, then it sounds like you’re preparing people for a war with the cops. If other law-abiding citizens don’t find that approach troubling, I honestly don’t know what to tell them.

Someone who has been hot on the topic of legal Black gun ownership for quite a while now is Maj Toure, the founder of Black Guns Matter. Toure has testified before Congress during gun control hearings, arguing that “more Black people would be alive if they were armed.” If you want to hear more from him, you can follow him on Twitter.

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