I’m a very outspoken open carry gun rights activist, I try to help people overcome their fears of guns and blacks with guns by openly displaying my firearm in public. What we call open carry.
Usually, this disarms other blacks and allows them to confront me and ask me questions they usually wouldn’t ask. Questions like are you afraid of carrying a firearm in public as a black man? how did you get your gun, how much was your gun? how can you carry in public? what would I need to carry in public? and how much does a carrying permit cost? These are the questions I get from curious people. Whether they’re black or white, I get these questions only when I’m open carrying in public. Otherwise, people wouldn’t know I’m carrying, you can’t just look at me and tell I’m a gun owner.
Open carrying for me is a great conversation starter, I get to dialogue with people on the other side on the gun debate. I alleviate many of their fares and debunk any misinformation they’re given by the misinformed media.
However, when there’s a mass shooting this is when I most fear open carrying my firearm. When the public gets word of a mass shooting their awareness heightens, and a black man walking around with a loaded gun on his hip displayed in public does not send a positive outlook to most people on the left.
Being ambushed, or the police called on me is one of my biggest fears as a black man open carrying just after a mass shooting.
Another fear I have is how the anti-gun people on the left in the media act after one of these events. They blame gun owners and the NRA, they try to stigmatize gun ownership even more and blame us for tragedies committed by a mentally insane person, a person who in many cases had no ties to the NRA. My fear is this rhetoric pushes everyone to their corners and heels are dug in even more, leaving no room for compromise.
To some, these fears may seem irrational. Regardless, With the media running the story of a mass shooting every minute of the hour and the gun control groups flooding every social media with outrage. I fear it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens to me or any other open carry activist for that matter, so this is why I don’t open carry just after a mass shooting.
I know mass shootings aren’t that prevalent in America and we are just better informed now with the advent of social media and a news media jockeying for first position, we know for sure the mainstream media uses these events for clicks and ratings. “If it bleeds, it leads.”
The left-wing media and the gun ban lobby are doing a fantastic job of trying to make us gun-owners feel guilty when one of these shootings happen.
One day I hope to overcome this fear and guilt, I know it’s the media and the left in my head playing tricks on me, but for now, until we can get these mass shootings under control by ending gun free zones, I’ll keep my firearm concealed weeks after any mass shooting.