In the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina terrorism against churchgoers at a historical black church, many African Americans have decided that the they cannot rely on the police for protection.
President Obama tried to make the act of terrorism by Dylann Storm Roof about “gun control,” but more and more, Black Media is taking notice and not having it.
The Atlanta Black Star ran a piece entitled “Obama Makes Charleston Shooting About Gun Control Instead of Terrorism Against Black People” which asserted the president was out of touch with what was actually going on.
African American gun ownership and support for carrying firearms for self-defense is at an all time high.
An African American church in Minneapolis says they will act as their own security guards and carry guns due to past threats directed towards the congregation. They say they can’t count on the police to protect them from incidences like what happened Wednesday night in Charleston, South Carolina.
NPR reports an interesting anecdote that illustrates this shift…
When James Craig was a young man in the 1970s, he says law-abiding people wouldn’t dream of carrying guns. But then he left town to pursue a career in policing. In the years he was gone, Michigan liberalized its gun laws, making it easier for people to get concealed-carry permits.
When he came back to become Detroit’s police chief in 2013, he found a whole new reality.
“You would have thought, given the dynamic of people who carry weapons, that we were maybe in Texas,” he says. “But in fact, we were in Detroit, Michigan!”
Police chiefs usually don’t like the idea of citizens carrying concealed guns for self-defense, but Craig says he had to be realistic about the situation in his hometown.
That’s right, even the police chief in Detroit had changed his tune about people arming themselves.
“It was a well-known fact here in Detroit,” he explained. “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.”
According the Pew Research Center, 54% of African Americans now view gun ownership as a good thing.
When asked specifically, those surveyed said that owning a gun was more likely to result protection than harm.
Just two years ago that was at 29%.
But many in the community say that it African Americans are being “hunted” and that “self-defense is the only defense.”
As well, with the high profile police shootings of unarmed and otherwise-innocent African Americans by law enforcement officers, many in the community do not feel safe calling the police for protection.
At a historically black church, Greater St. Matthew Baptist, Pastor David Bullock notes that there are pews where armed congregants usually sit.
“The chairman of my deacon board, he carries,” Bullock explained. “And then on the west side, there’s a middle-aged woman who also carries.”
Bullock recounted the first day she told him she planned to carry at church.
“She comes to the office, closes the door and pulls up her coat, and she has a firearm,” he recalled. “She says, ‘Is this ok?’ And I say, ‘Yeah, it’s fine.’”
Check out the full report from NPR and let us know what you think…
(Article by Shante Wooten; M. David and M.A. Hussein)