any people of color?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by DilboFlaggins, Aug 7, 2012.

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  1. DilboFlaggins

    DilboFlaggins Member

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    Are there any people of color on here, who carry for fear of hate crimes?

    I am one, and I get the impression that the gun community consist mostly of white males. Though I have never been made to feel uncomfortable by the people here, I attribute that to vigilant moderators and the anonymity of the internet.

    I was born and raised in North Carolina I am Iranian-American, sport a long beard, and am no more a terrorist than any random Sikh. I fear is an armed or malicious bigot, far more than any mugger or home invader.

    I often feel alone, I am talked down to, or ignored at gun shows and in gun shops. I have also only been to a gun range once, where the range officer didn't watch me suspiciously closer than every one else I have even been yelled at and asked to leave. I feel I constantly have to prove that I am "one of the good ones" which is just as insulting as overt racism.

    Dose anyone have similar experiences?
    Have you witnessed someone mistreated?
     
  2. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    I am not a person of color. However, incidents like those you describe really annoy me. You should kindly remind those discriminating against you that America is a nation made up of many different races and nationalities, and that your race, appearance, etc. should have no bearing on your enjoyment of your second amendment rights. And they are YOUR rights to exercise, they are guaranteed to you by your American citizenship, citizenship which is your birthright. Unless the people discriminating against you are Native Americans (which they very probably are not) they are no more or less American than you are. They have no more claim to this nation than you do, just because they happen to be of European descent and you aren't doesn't make them special or more trustworthy.

    One of the best ways to shut bigots up is to beat them at the thing they are trying to exclude you from. Continue to visit the range. Become a highly accurate shooter. Develop an extensive body of knowledge about firearms. They may not like you, but they will respect you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  3. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    Unfortunately after 9/11 anyone who looks middle-eastern is going to be looked on with suspicion as being a jihadist or Islamist. The innocent suffer from the evil of the few. Pretty much human nature. And unfortunately there are always some that cannot stand anyone that looks different for any reason and act violently on their bigoted beliefs.
     
  4. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    Also, to my last point, look up a man named Massad Ayoob. He is of Arab descent and is one of the foremost experts on defensive handgunnery. He is well respected throughout the community.
     
  5. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Member

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    Dilbo, I am truly sorry to hear about your experiences. Racism is nothing but fear and just remember that THEY are the one with the problem. You should not let their problem keep you from practicing a craft that could save you or your family.

    Have you thought about joining a private club?

    Shawn
     
  6. dab102999

    dab102999 Member

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    I wonder if your lacation in the south has to do with the attitude some also?? I live where i grew up in southwest michigan very close to a high crime town. But in that town there is a very nice shooting range that i have gone to many of times. Never thought twice about who i am standing or shooting next to myself. And i would say 90% or better are non white members and visitors. I always look at the fact that if they have a ccw in michigan they gotta be good people no matter race or religion cus you just cant walk in a get a permit in michigan. Pretty timely and costly process...but with that same note i also snowmoblie and a friend from work wanted to try it ( someone that i have shot with for years) so i said come on lets go for a weekend. Once we crossed that bridge to the upper i could see the attitude towards him was " why dont ya just go home where you belong" he brushed it off but after a day of seeing it I said even though you r taking this better then me I am ready to go cus I dont need or want to hear this any longer.
     
  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I'm a white male, and I carry for the protection of myself and those innocents who accompany me. However, being white does not preclude my ever being a victim of a so-called "hate crime." True, if committed against me, it will not be prosecuted as such, but I am one who has been such a victim already on more than one occasion. This was factored in in my decision to remain armed after leaving law enforcement.
    I do feel for you, and it does pain me some when I hear of attacks against Middle-Easterners when such attacks appear to be motivated sheerly by prejudice, or the purported impression that "Arabs are anti-Americans who want to do us harm." I am also pained when I hear of any crime carried out on the basis of prejudice.
    However, this type of prejudice has been going on since the first two people on Earth who looked different from one another first saw each other. It occurs in the US, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle-East, and everywhere else. Fortunately, we here in the US, regardless of our ethnic heritage, generally have more rights to defend ourselves than in many of those areas. Well, most of us, anyway; there are many unfortunate souls in some still-prohibiting states and locales.

    You wrote:

    I'll edit:
    Trust me, there are, here in the south at least, more than a fair share of gun-armed non-whites. You just won't see as many of them at the range or in gun shops. But, they're a big part of why you will see me there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  8. kyletx1911

    kyletx1911 Member

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    i am black do i fear hate crime? yes but i fear random violence even more!!!
    In this day and age random is more the norm. I there is black on black white on white crime etc... in my mind crime is crime!!!!1
    i really dont care why you dont like me or if i have something you want it matters not. I carry because i want a fighting chance. i want to go home.

    And if that means taking the bg out then my job is done
     
  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Dilbo, I certainly feel for you and can't tell you how much it turns my stomach to hear/see that kind of stupidity.

    This may sound like difficult advice to follow, and it may prove impossible for you, but if you can manage to find and join a good, active shooting club it may help you find a more comfortable way to enjoy the sport, at least.

    The anger comes from fear and the fear comes from ignorance. The more present and active you are with a group of people, the less ignorant they will be, and their fear and anger will disappear. It can be a high initial hurdle to get over, though.

    (And, for what it's worth, gun shop guys and gun range guys can be nasty , suspicious, and hostile to white men too. It's a well-known phenomenon. I'm sure it is even worse for an Iranian-American, but the rest of us certainly recognize that problem and sympathize!)

    I've been fortunate to be involved with a large circle of clubs which do various types of "practical" pistol competition (IDPA & USPSA). That generally involves a younger, less rigid group of shooters (college age and young to middle aged professionals, mostly), and my location puts me on the edge of several metropolitan areas (DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC). This tends to draw participation by shooters of many different backgrounds. In years of participation at something near 20 different clubs in a 150 mile radius, I've never witnessed any of our black, middle eastern, Asian, Indian, or any other shooting friends mistreated in any way, whatsoever. In fact, in those settings I've seen a marked absence of the common racist/sexist "just between us (white) guys" banter that often is tossed around when like-minded sorts congregate.

    That may be an avenue of least resistance for you.

    Becoming part of a group or club can be tough, and a trying ordeal even for someone who looks just like the current members. I imagine it's even harder for someone who looks quite different. But working through the difficult initial steps can change your experience completely as those stony, perhaps ignorant, perhaps a bit suspicious faces start to become familiar and soften into friendship.

    I know it can happen because I've seen it many times.
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Italian heritage here. I understand a bit about being different (raised in the south in the 60's), but you cannot let the minority of people who cannot see through to the person within, stop you from enjoying life, guns, or anything else.

    Do not let a few dumb people cloud your world. For every moron you describe there are 10 good people out there. Focus on the good, not the bad.

    Sam1911 gave good advise about "joining". Join the gun club, join a committee there, get active, reach out, and ignore the ones who judge you by looks. Be pro active. Win some of the doubters over. Enjoy our great sport by getting out there and going for it.

    The glass can be half full if you want it to be that way. There will always be a few negative people who will never change. Don't let it drag you down. Focus on what you can do positive.
     
  11. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I've never paid any attention to the skin color of anyone unless he or she made an issue of it.
     
  12. Buck Kramer

    Buck Kramer Member

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    DilboFlaggins, keep on keeping on. It should not bother anyone whether you are black white or purple or what you worship. People who matter dont mind, and people who do mind dont matter.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2012
  13. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

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    It's been my experience that people, irrespective of color, will be treated accordingly based on how they dress or behave. If you are dressed like a gangbanger, I'm going to assume that you are a gangbanger. You can extrapolate that as you see fit and determine if it applies to your situation.
     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    That is so. But is isn't always right. There's a very fine line to walk. We all use the cues others give off to form impressions and educate our own risk assessments. But we should be very, very careful to screen those assessments and evaluate if they are proper, and even more importantly, if any actions we take based on those assessments are right/righteous.

    Dilbo is of Iranian ancestry. He cannot change his basic appearance -- and should not feel he has to. The stereotype of a "terrorist" or "jihadist" is often of a fairly well-dressed person, so if one were to counsel him to modify his clothing choices to not look like the stereotype that might be telling him he should dress "down." That seems less than appropriate as well.

    Somehow, telling an Iranian man that he should ditch his nice suit for a pair of Levis, a monster truck t-shirt, and a Skol ball cap so he fits in better just seems insulting! :) (I know that's not what you said -- just taking the point a bit further.)

    And lastly, he wears a beard which may be dictated by cultural and/or religious mores. His beard isn't a matter of something to be feared about him. If we're put off by it, that's a failing in "US."

    All this to simply say, he should not have to pretend to be something he is not, just to find acceptance among the shooting community.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  15. Vonderek

    Vonderek Member

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    This treatment is pretty much equal opportunity. Our sport/hobby/profession is notorious for shabby treatment by 'know-it-alls" and blowhards. There are of course decent and friendly shop owners but I have pretty much avoided gun shows and gun shops in recent years as I no longer have the patience or temperament to deal with rude people...especially rude people I am trying to spend money with.

    Sorry for you experience but it's also a matter of locations. I don't appreciate some here taking generic shots at "The South" as that in itself is a bigoted attitude in this day and age but whether you are in the north or south, east or west, there are places where one is accepted and places where one is not. In south Florida, I am a minority...maybe not in the eyes of the govt. but in reality...and there are plenty of places here where I would be racially profiled. Places where I obviously "didn't belong" and would be putting myself in danger, or at least be watched closely. There are other neighborhoods where someone like you would be way more accepted by the locals than I would be accepted and treated better in a store than I would be.

    Not saying it's all right but that's the reality. And to your point, I also carry to protect myself from possible crimes, whether it be hate crimes or crimes of opportunity or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  16. Trent

    Trent Member

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    You, my middle-eastern-descent friend and fellow shooter, have the exact same firearms rights as *I* have.

    People's perception of others is very biased. I found this out first hand when I started growing my hair out long. For my entire life, I had short hair. Decided to grow it out long on a whim, and stuck with it. Prefer the look.

    But.. I'll tell you what. I noticed an IMMEDIATE difference in the way people interacted with me. Before, with short hair, I could wear blue jeans and tie died shirts or whatever, and no one would treat me different. NOW if I do that, I get snide looks from people, and so on. My mannerisms and speech, actions haven't changed. But strangers perception of me totally changed.

    I've even overheard one guy, who must have been having an especially bad day, whisper "liberal pinko commie {slang for homosexual}" under his breath one day!

    People's default level of RESPECT is totally different. (We live in a farming community).

    Anyway I can't imagine what it's like to be of Arab/Middle Eastern descent, but I *do* know first hand what it's like to have people prematurely judge you based on appearance, and I can sympathize with this.

    Bottom line, you have the same rights everyone else does.

    My default position with anyone is not to judge by appearances. Hard to do! And I'm as guilty as the next man of making presumptions. But I make every possible effort to be non-biased and non-judgmental.
     
  17. BRE346

    BRE346 Member

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    You'll notice that likes attract likes. All the great cities have areas favored by this nationality or that ethnicity where the occupants are more comfortable. I'd be uncomfortable in many of them.

    Sure, join a gun club, enjoy the sharing and make friends among the membership.

    I'm glad to be an American, just like you.
     
  18. rajb123

    rajb123 member

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    Yes, I am afraid of people who commit so-called hate crimes.

    However, ALL violent crimes are committed with hatered. There should not be additional penalties for so-called hate crimes.

    unfortunately, the supreme court has sanctioned these laws...
     
  19. somoss

    somoss Member

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    I have been into shooting and guns for a long time and my experience has been similar to yours. I am Iranian born; American by choice and luck. I have run into a lot of what you describe but some it is the sport/hobby itself. There are a lot of people that know it all and don’t want to talk to a newbie. many times they just don’t know what to make of a middle eastern looking guy looking at AR-15's at gun show or store; specially around here as we are less than 30 minutes from the white house. A lot of what seemed differential treatment was in fact not so, I was treated like crap but so was everyone else.

    I have met the nicest people during the sport and some true asses, good guys win 100 to 1. At a local gun show I asked about semi auto shotguns for HD vs. semi-auto rifles (I know, I know...I was bored so I poked the hornets nest on that one); two days later I and my family had a visit from the FBI. Seems some people over heard and they thought i was talking about shooting into a crowd of people; because that is what people openly talk about at gun shows.

    Don’t let asses around you ruin your day and don’t expect to be treated differently; but if you are move on. You are in the land of the free; its not just a slogan.
     
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't know if we should feel better or worse because of that, but it certainly is true.

    One of my very good shooting buddies is a black, woman, doctor, Air Force Colonel, and sponsored competitive shooter.

    I heard a rumor she once walked into a gun store and the counter guy's head just EXPLODED!

    :D
     
  21. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

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    I don't disagree, but that first impression is what makes one have to prove to others that they are "one of the good guys".

    Despite the reputation as a "melting pot" we are still a largely homogenous population, and those who look different will often be regarded as outsiders. It's human nature.

    Edit: for the record, I don't just mean "foreginers". A guy walking around here in the northeast in "cowboy" attire that would be pretty normal in Texas or Oklahoma would be regarded with suspicion too.
     
  22. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    I am at a loss for words for once. I find hearing of these experiences disheartening.
    When being a proponent of the Bill of Rights means denying those rights to some it makes the words hollow and meaningless.
    The beauty of the Bill of Rights is that no exclusions were made, people of Color, different Religions, Creeds and Beliefs are not excluded from these rights. Being a Woman, and or Sexual Preferences do not make you an exception. We later Made exceptions, Felons and the Mentally Unstable can be excluded from some of these rights.
    But at their core there are no exclusions, our real fight is to keep it that way that exclusions from these rights diminish them for all not just the ones excluded.
     
  23. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    My wife has multicolored hair, tattoos and piercings. She also collects pre 92 Berettas.

    Sometimes when she asks a question at a gunshow the vendor goes as far as ignoring her and answering he question while talking to me ... When I wear my sleeveless shirts and my tattoos show, sometimes we both get ignored at gunshows or in shops.

    Believe me, this is a lot more common than you might think.
     
  24. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    Discrimination is a funny thing, for lack of a better word. By that I mean the motivations for it can range from hatred to a very silly little misconception or ideal in ones mind. A little "case and point" example, I work in radiology and wear scrubs everyday. I sometimes will go to the range right after work and I'll go shoot still wearing my scrubs. Well most people automatically assume you are a doctor or nurse when they see someone wearing scrubs. I had just finished shooting and was just looking at the toys to see if anything peaked my interest and man comes up to me and says "What are you doing here, I thought doctors were supposed to be about saving lives not taking them." I gave him kind of a "Really!? You serious?" look and said "Just because I look like a doctor doesn't mean I am and doesn't mean I can't enjoy shooting, hunting, and have the desire to defend myself and my family." Unfortunately bias and ignorance is rampant. Yes there are people out there who are just hateful, people of all colors, shapes, and sizes unfortunately but I think for the most part people like this are just uneducated and just need to be made aware and exposed to the truth.

    Keep on being a model citizen, exercise your right, and show others that a person can't be judged by their race, creed, or religion.
     
  25. jbrown50

    jbrown50 Member

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    DilboFlaggins,

    I'm Black/African American, proudly born and raised here with the emphasis on American.

    I get it from both sides.
    I've experienced Blacks who've given me a hard time and have even gone as far as calling me an uncle tom or ticking time bomb for being pro-gun/pro Second Amendment. I've also experienced Whites who automatically assume that because i'm Black i'm an anti or a gangster.

    Ignorant people will always exist and they will always try and toss their miserable, limited and self serving thinking onto you.

    I beleive, that if just a couple of the worshipers in that Sihk Temple had been properly positioned and effectively armed, that racist parasite (or any other criminal Psycopath) would have been neutralized before getting inside.
     
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