Headline: Organization advocates, empowers African American gun ownership
Spectrum News reported recently on a trend that is sure to spark fear in the hearts of anti-gun rights Democrats everywhere - the continuing and increasing growth in gun ownership and concealed carry usage among people of color.
From the article:
To combat negative stereotypes against firearms and encourage others to learn proper gun safety, a Columbus man is working to get more people at the range.
It was a day on the range for Thomas Cunningham as he taught some first-time shooters.
Cunningham found a passion for shooting when he was in the military. However, he said he noticed there wasn’t much representation among African Americans at shooting ranges.
“We went to the gun range one day, and we were the only African Americans there. And so then we decided that we wanted to get more people of color, minorities, legally armed,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham told Spectrum News he is working to achieve his goal through the Onyx Gun Club, a chapter of the National African American Gun Association. Spectrum News reporter Ryan Schmelz joined Cunningham at one of his concealed carry classes at the Deer Creek Wildlife Area Shooting Range.
Again, from the article:
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the first six months of 2020 saw a nearly 60% increase in African American firearm purchases compared to 2019. With more African Americans interested in buying guns, the Army veteran said he wants those buying to feel empowered and safe, while also breaking stereotypes.
“Firearms have always had a negative stigma in our community. So by more of us getting legally trained, legally armed and doing the right things with firearms, we change that negative stigma,” said Cunningham.
One major increase in gun ownership is among Black women.
Paula Jones is a gun owner who stepped onto the range with some family members. As she learned the proper way to shoot from Cunningham, she said she became more comfortable.
“I made a couple errors quickly, but it works out,” said Jones.
Jones, a wife and mother of four, said she’s learning to shoot to take the safety of her and her family into her own hands.
“It’s good protection for the home and it is good protection for outside the home nowadays. It’s not as safe in Columbus as it used to be. So we have to have that additional protection,” said Jones.
Cunningham told Spectrum News he’s hoping to continue teaching African Americans about safe gun ownership, hoping to inspire new confidence.
“That empowerment, you know, combined with that confidence, it changes the whole narrative in our community,” he is quoted as saying. “And now they’re legally armed, their families see that they’re legally armed and next thing you know, their family say ‘hey, how did you become confident in carrying a firearm?’”
Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.