Most of my articles come from things that happen or I see in my own life. This one comes from a statement that I made that cost me a friend. That person had described a black man. The man was a professional with a very important and impressive resume. His work indicated that he was very intelligent, highly educated, and had skills that not many could match. After this description my friend went on to say that this man was a strong supporter of the second amendment, owned a gun, and had his license to carry. He however had told her that he would never carry nor would he ever allow his son to carry because “if anything ever goes down I am a black man with a gun”.
Now the trouble started when I commented “that is the silliest thing I have ever heard… Well not the silliest but…” Yes I understand that when all you have to go by is what you are reading that sounds very cavalier. I mistakenly thought that based on previous history with the people present everyone would see I was attempting to be light but think on this subject and maybe it would start a useful conversation where I could expand on the point. Wow that is for sure not what happened. My friend immediately felt that I had grossly disrespected their friend and that it required them to defend him in the strongest measure. I tried to relay that this was a subject I had been thinking on for some time and actually I would not want to disrespect, but recruit this man. The damage however had been done and there was no explanation that I could find that would undo the impression. I really regret that, but life goes on and I know I have a number of minority readers that I can explain what I was trying to get to here. So here goes.
I am a huge supporter of the second amendment. Not just for me but for everyone. One of the best ways to gain support is to have the right people out there taking advantage of that amendment. This black man is a perfect example. He is the kind of guy that everyone who believes like me needs out there carrying his gun as is his right! This is all about perception. This man is not a thug out there doing thugie things. He is a professional. As I spoke to my friend I tried to explain that he would be dressed as a professional. (That did not help either) Now I don’t mean that he will always be wearing a suit and tie. What I mean is he won’t have his hoodie zipped up with the hood up when it is 80 outside. His pants won’t be hanging down where we can all see his underwear. He will be presentable even when he is dressed casually. What I saw here was exactly the right man. A man with the chance to help gun advocates as well as equal rights advocates, making a mistake that could cost a lot. Here is a man that everyone could look up to, freely giving up his right to his most effective self-defense tool. How great would it be to see a news story where this intelligent, well educated black man had saved himself or his family from an active shooter at the mall? How would you feel to know that he had saved your wife, husband, or child? He is giving up this chance on the idea that it is more likely he will be seen and killed solely due to his skin color.
If you just play the what if game here. Work through the scenarios. Yes if you are dressed like a thug it might be a bad idea to carry a gun. Skin color does not really matter. I absolutely notice and keep an eye on guys with hoodies all buttoned up in warm weather and it does not matter what color their skin is. I absolutely keep an eye on guys all tatted up. I absolutely keep an eye on groups of guys hanging out in off places. An appropriately dressed black man is not going to draw an undue amount of attention, and concealed is concealed so who is going to know? Now if something goes down!!! Well yes the police and I are going to be looking at the guy with the gun! Again skin color is not the important factor here. You have a gun and should act appropriately. Don’t act like or look like a bad guy. Don’t wave the gun around. Don’t shoot indiscriminately. Follow the orders of police. Is there a chance of an accident here? Sure there is. Same for any of us. Police or some other well meaning citizen could misread the situation but if you don’t have your gun and “something goes down” it is 100% sure that you do not have the best chance available to protect you or anyone else.
This man has every right to disagree with me on all of this, just as any of you do, but I want to address one more thing. He says that not only is he giving up his right, he is not going to let his son exercise this right. Now he has not only lost out, but he has taught his son that he is different. He is less than someone else. How do you think he is going to take that? As well meaning as it is. As loving and protective as it is intended. Will his son just smile and understand, or will this young man not like that idea? Will he feel alienated and angry? How angry will he be? Mad enough to act out? Mad enough to want to repay this slight that actually no one has ever done him? In my title I referenced Rosa Parks. She helped the equal rights movement maybe as much as anyone in history. I also have made a huge point about perception all through this article. Now I want you to imagine what if it had not been Rosa Parks? What if it would have been Michael Brown or Travon Martin on that bus that day? Does anyone really think that it would have turned out the same way? Anyone think that mister Brown would have moved equality forward the same amount as Rosa Parks? We all need as many Rosa Parks out there right now as we can get! That is where I wish my original conversation would have went.