Why Black Women Are Buying Guns

Photo: ArmedEmpress
woman shooting a gun

Political tension is only one reason.

Apparently, black women are buying more guns.

Of course, that doesn't surprise me — not one bit. 

Gun range owner Marchelle Tigner told the Guardian that she was surprised by the "unexpected" number of black women who signed up for shooting courses recently at her Atlanta-area facility. But it absolutely “shows me how unsafe these women feel in their communities,” as Tigner mentions.

And more and more black women across the country are taking up arms, according to the Guardian report.

And why should black women feel safe?

If our men aren't safe, then how can we be?

We can't! And it's really that simple.

The threat to black women is greater than the interracial violence consistently imposed on people of color. It also stems from the "toxic masculinity" that America has bred since the beginning of time.

This has become a growing concern each day, along with the open bigotry that Donald Trump's campaign and presidency has unleashed and the police brutality that's been running rampant in black communities for decades.

So black women are buying guns.

And they're calling it a "movement."

Well, if a movement is a response to an epidemic, then, yes, that's exactly what this reaction to inaction from black women is.

Sadly, there's no single factor that has pushed women of color to re-evaluate the sense of security (read: the illusion of security) we once felt.

Ty Shaw, owner of the Armed Empress shooting range in Atlanta, points out: placing blame on an isolated incident “implies that there was ever a time where women of color didn’t have to be concerned about their safety.”

She further reminds us that, "Violence is deeply connected to the black experience.” 

We live it every day — both personally and vicariously.

A post shared by Armed Empress (@armedempress) on Dec 30, 2016 at 12:59pm PST

In addition to us staring down the barrel of officers' or overzealous vigilantes weapons, black women also have to worry about men who seemingly can't handle rejection without becoming abusive, verbally and otherwise.  

Saying "no" to a man's advances has become nearly as dangerous and unpredictable as getting pulled over by the cops during a routine traffic stop.

While I'm well aware that this isn't all men, it's one too many in my experience and the experiences of those in my social circle.

It's become so prevalent that Essence even has a photo gallery article with the names, photos, and stories of black women killed for saying "no" to a man.

Catcalling me and then following me down the street and calling me out for denouncing your catcall — how dare you? Who are you to demand that I pay attention to you? Who are you to make me feel threatened and unsafe in a public space?

Black women's safety is being threatened from all angles, and it only makes sense that fear and frustration are growing as well.

When the odds are already stacked against you — and have been for a very long time — you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

And perhaps that gain will be regaining our sense of security because right now we can't stand to suffer more abuse at the hands of anyone.

So, no it doesn't surprise me that the number of black women buying guns is climbing. What's sad is that it surprises anyone.