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African-Americans Involvement in the Shooting Sports...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Magnum.35744, Aug 12, 2008.

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  1. Magnum.35744

    Magnum.35744 Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I have always wondered why I haven’t seen many African Americans in the shooting sports? I'll come out right away with the fact that I am Mixed (Dad's Black, Mom's White). And at the age of 15 I've only seen maybe 5 or 6 Afro-Americans in a gun store or on the range for that matter. I live in a good area and racism has never been a problem. But do you think that the common "Stereotypes" for African-Americans would tend to keep them away from the shooting sports along with any other ethnicities? Thanks in advance for trying to help me understand this topic better.
     
  2. Mr Thundermaker

    Mr Thundermaker Member

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    Shooters aren't racist. But it that helps you believe thats why there aren't that many blacks at gun stores and IDPA matches then go right ahead. Different strokes for different folks. Mr T
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008
  3. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Member

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    Actually, I've been seeing many more over the last couple of years. Same with female shooters.

    I think there's a certain institutionalized taboo against guns in minority communities. Folks are taught that guns are the tools of the State and criminals, and that no "normal" person should need one.

    Thankfully, lots of folks are finally starting to see through that. While I haven't seen many minorities in competition, I'm seeing a huge influx of casual shooters, and that's a big start :)
     
  4. Huddog

    Huddog Member

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    I don't know about the "shooting sports" but I quite often see African-Americans at the shooting range. I also see Asians, Europeans, South Amercans, Native Americans and occassiononaly just Americans. Shooting is one of the least racist of all "sports" and things in life. The gun doesn't care what your ethnicity is and neither do most gun owners. We are just proud to be American and able to own and fire our guns.
     
  5. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    I live in an overwhelmingly white state, so for me, seeing any minority at the range is going to be an oddity, not because they are any minority, but because not all that many people are dedicated shooters and when there are so few people representing a given skin tone or background it makes it all the more unlikely that I will run into anyone but white people at the range. Though I suppose a guy in my unit I took to the range recently is black, I guess, I didn't realize it for the longest time but I suppose it makes sense. I thought he was jewish or something. And I have taken my cousin to the range once or twice, my cousins and uncle are black, but otherwise I don't believe I've ever run into anyone not white at a range in my state.

    I'm sure that would not be the case if I were in almost any other state in the union.
     
  6. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    Like anything else, if you weren't involved in the shooting sports as a kid you're not likely to seek it out as an adult.

    That's the simple explanation from my perspective. The DEEPER socio-cultural analysis of this issue would fill volumes and cause heated debate.

    Once more, who is out there saying HOW do we get more black kids into the shooting sports? Maybe that's a question worth asking.
     
  7. Crunker1337

    Crunker1337 Member

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    Shooters aren't racist at all... IIRC, back in the 60s, when segregation was, quite simply, a fact of life, the NRA had non-segregated ranges, some in the capital.

    Full disclosure: I am a minority, but not a black one.
     
  8. TStorm

    TStorm Member

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    Good post.

    Same with Servo, I've seen more and more minority (and female shooters of all races) at the range and at IDPA. Some people realize this is a great sport, not to mention a right that needs to be exercised, for everyone.

    Hopefully, this sport, as others have in the past, can be a good common interest for people to participate in together.
     
  9. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

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    Some of it will also stem from socio-economics. Lets face facts shooting is not cheap. You have hardware, training, range time, CCW permits, and the ever fun who has the cheapest ammo thread done here on a daily basis.
    I have taken several friends of varying skin tone to the range with me. Only the African-American one asked why I had so much tied up in my favorite sport.
    Different people have different priorities, my friend would rather have a set of 26" rims on his car than a super accurate handgun. His choice is to roll in fashion mine is to roll in unlimited reloads.
     
  10. jaholder1971

    jaholder1971 Member

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    Magnum,

    I think the problem isn't that we won't reach out to minority gunowners and shooters, but some folks honestly don't know how to. I've worked with Junior shooting programs before and coached several black and asian kids shooting smallbore, but they found us, we didn't find them.

    Perhaps you, being a young, minority shooter (or at least interested) can find the way to bridge this gap and bring more young responsible people to the shooting sports where you live?
     
  11. Drgong

    Drgong Member

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    In my experience, the more recent immigrants, be Asian, European, african, or south American, are some of the strongest supporters of the 2nd amendment.

    Mostly since they don't take freedoms that we have for granted.
     
  12. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

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    Crunker1337, You are a REAL minority! A shooter in NEW JERSEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
  13. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Member

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    I saw a black man in a gun store once.

    I remember thinking "wow, thats cool". But i haven't seen him since.
     
  14. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Member

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    I've seen plenty of African-Americans involved in shooting and in sports.....does that count?
     
  15. Drgong

    Drgong Member

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    Hyatts in Charlotte has prob 20 percent black consumers from what I see, a lot of single moms buying self defense guns or a nice pump shotgun to protect there home and family, and it makes me smile to see a mom thinking ahead to protect her kids, no matter who they are.

    At least with me I am a religious minority, so folks don't know I am a minority unless they really know me.
     
  16. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    Now, I wouldn't call myself traveled, but I also have noticed a lower frequency of blacks* at shooting ranges and in sports, too.
    I think it's like what Tom Servo said. Minorities just seem to avoid it.
    Of course, when you break it down, everyone's a minority, so that statement is meaningless without qualification, but I think you all know what I meant anyway.
    We really need to reach out to them, which is one of the reasons I like the work Oleg has done. Sadly, it's unusual to see a black man using a firearm responsibly, but I do think it is changeable.
    Plus, supposedly most blacks are liberal, and they (at least from what I've seen around here) seem to toe the party line better than most.

    *I do have a good reason for using this term to describe the phenotype in question. If you want the explanation, PM me.
     
  17. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    I think most people get into guns from hunting. Most people get into hunting as kids from their parents. Hunters seem to be largely white for a variety of reasons (including some bad reasons from the past). Shooters need to make an effort to reach out to people that might not otherwise be exposed to shooting sports.

    Racism is still alive today and that includes at gun shops and ranges but I don't think its a significant factor in why blacks are under-represented in shooting sports.
     
  18. lloydkristmas

    lloydkristmas Member

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    Guy who owns the nicest gun shop in the area is black and is a great guy, very knowledgeable about all things firearms. But I agree, havent seen too many black people at the range, in the store, etc. I can think of several "why'' possibilities, but thats more for a sociology class than a gun board. Either way, great to have you on board, and as another guy said, as a shooter of any race, you are a minority in todays political environment...
     
  19. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    We'll See More

    You will see more shooters of all colors as we make progress in winning back the rights of run owners.

    There are politicians still trying to enforce the original theme and spirit of gun control.

    Gun control has its roots in racism.

    As we illuminate the hypocrisy of "human rights activists" who push gun control (e.g. ACLU), we will see more of the folks who have had a culture of firearms denial enforced on them in the past join us in the here and now.

    Oleg, the founder of this site, works actively toward eliminating gun control and its causes.
    s_racist.jpg . . stopKKK_s.jpg

    s_agreement.jpg

    We need ALL Americans armed and secure, enjoying the shooting sports, and seeing to their own defense from predators of all stripes.

    And that (ALL) includes the ones with hyphenated nationality designations.

    You can eliminate government-sponsored racism: replace the corrupt politicians who sponsor gun control.
     
  20. lowdrag82

    lowdrag82 Member

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    Gun laws are racist/sexist

    I have come to the conclusion that gun laws that we have in the U.S. are racist. The toughest gun laws are in Washington D.C., Chicago, L.A., New York City, etc...All of these cities have a large concentration of minorities, in many inner cities; there are large concentrations of minority women. In my opinion, the way the Constitution reads, the demographic that most NEEDS guns are women that live in the inner city; but guess what? The local and state governments feel that guns are bad and they restrict the people that most need them for protection. This is because local and state government feels they can protect and provide for its citizens better than the citizen. Guns are demonized in inner cities and the general consensus is that only criminals need guns. If the inner city citizen realized that he/she can indeed take care of themselves and are protected by the Constitution, then politicians would be out of a job. They need people to be afraid to pass ridiculous gun laws for the protection of their citizens, or in many cases "subjects". BTW I live in a rural area and shoot with friends of several ethnic backgrounds, the reason many of the African Americans don't go to the range around here is because they choose to shoot on their own land.
     
  21. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know, cultural issues maybe?

    Then again, Pueblo is only about 2% black, and I've seen black people at the range, and competing in IPSC here.

    Also, if it is a problem, what can we do about it? THR is, after all, a considerable force.

    BTW, this is a picture from last year's Colorado Get Together. The black guy is a respected THR member. Maybe he just never mentioned that he was black.

    2007_Colorado-1.gif

    Just for the record; I'm old fashioned. I don't do hyphenated descriptions of people. I would hate to have people refer to me as "Scots-Irish-American".
     
  22. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Member

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    Good point. All the shooting literature I see, including magazines and television, can be divided into two types:

    "Tactical" stuff, in which Very White Republican looking types shoot guns dressed in nicely pressed fatigues, and

    "Hunting" stuff, in which Very White Republican looking types shoot guns dressed in nicely pressed camo.

    Oleg's work stresses diversity (for lack of a better word), but the mainstream still depicts the shooting culture as White Dude USA.

    What's more, when we get back to politics, we see "minority leaders" championing gun control and telling everyone, from elementary school on, that good people don't own guns.

    Most minorities I see coming in to the culture are doing so because they need the means of self-defense. When they finally get up the courage to go to a range or a gun shop, it's obvious that they're quite nervous.

    It's not that they consciously avoid it, it's that they've been told to avoid it. That's gotta change, but change comes slowly.

    What I've noticed is that, once they get into it, they get really into it. They're very safe, very conscientious, and they take on a contagious enthusiasm for the sport.
     
  23. CWL

    CWL Member

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    I live in Northern CA and there's a small but decent number that attend local IDPA shoots and the ranges. We're pretty colorblind when it comes to welcoming shooters at events. It's only jerks and "know it alls" that get ignored around here.

    I think that it may be due to lack of advertising.
     
  24. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    What you have identified can be explained also by the urban/rural differential. Minority races, particularly blacks, largely dwell in urban areas.

    There are groups who are inquiring into this issue and what can be done about it. At the Gun Rights Policy Conference last year (hosted by the Second Amendment Foundation) they had presentations on out reach to several non-traditional segments of gun ownership (not particularly shooting sports). This included women, gays, blacks, youth, etc.
     
  25. Seminole

    Seminole Member

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    Great question.

    I live in Memphis, which is a majority African-American city. I see many African-Americans at the range, but many of them appear to be relatively new shooters. I know that African-Americans make up a large percentage of the handgun carry permit classes that are taught at the range and my guess is that they, like the white students, are concerned about the abysmal crime rate in and around the city and are looking for legal and effective ways to protect themselves and their loved ones.

    The fact that so many of them seem to be relatively inexperienced with firearms tends to suggest, however, that they didn't grow up in environments that would make them comfortable and familiar with firearms in a positive way--that they didn't grow up in a "shooting culture" in which guns were used for sporting purposes. I'm not sure what the reasons for this might be, but given the concentration of African-Americans in urban settings where the "shooting culture" is not as common as in rural or suburban settings (and for that matter, African-Americans living in rural contexts seem to be much more likely to be hunters, for example), the fact that many African-Americans self-identify as part of a liberal political and social movement that tends to be anti-gun, and the fact that it is easy for people who tend to live in the inner city to identify guns with the thugs that make life there so dangerous may be among the reasons.

    My guess is that as more African-Americans get their handgun carry permits and spend time at the range, they will begin to participate in more sporting uses of firearms. I would also guess that they will make sure that their children are comfortable with and educated about the proper use of firearms.

    Though there are bad apples in most groups of people, I've not found shooters to be significantly more racist that non-shooters.

    Just my $.02
     
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