According to a recent study from the Pew Research Centre, up to 59 per cent of African-American households view owning a gun as a necessity.
African-American women are increasingly buying guns. Marchelle Tigner is one such woman. She is a survivor of domestic violence and is now determined to train at least 1 million women how to use a firearm.
“It’s important, especially for Black women, to learn how to shoot. We need to learn how to defend ourselves," she said.
She launched the Trigger Happy Firearm Instruction centre last November, expecting only 20 students. However, the class sold out within the first two days, and there was so much demand for the classes, that now she has them scheduled almost throughout the year. "It shows me how unsafe these women feel in their communities,” she says, while talking about the growth of the classes.
Another study conducted by researcher John Lott showed that Black women outpaced other groups in securing concealed carry permits between 2000 and 2016 in Texas. The Pew Centre found that the number of Black households, which view owning a gun as a positive thing, has shot up dramatically in the past few years. In 2012, things were very different. Less than a third of Black families saw owning a gun as a positive.
So why the sudden perception shift? The founder of the National African American Gun Association says that politics and the recent police shootings have caused the change in mindset.
Around four in ten Americans say they live in a gun-owning household. 67 per cent cite protection as a major reason for owning a gun. Most gun owners say they have a gun close at hand, and that owning a firearm is tied to their personal freedom.
Picture Credit: Ammoland