Black women in US taking to guns for self-defence - GulfToday

Black women in US taking to guns for self-defence

women turning to guns

Women in action.

An Associated Press report has taken note of the fact that more black women in the United States than before are now turning  gun-owners, and they are taking lessons in firing. The number of black women buying guns has increased of late, but they remain a small number among the gun-owners in the country, with 56 per cent of white men owning guns.

But this new trend will be cheered by the members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) because they have opposed any argument and any move to ban guns.

Many liberals have been passionately pleading for the ban because of the many fatal mass shoot-outs, especially in the schools across the country for the past quarter century.

The ease with which any person can buy a gun in the United States has put the lives of innocents in danger, and it has enabled psychopaths to reach out to a weapon and go on the rampage.

There is tremendous resistance to laws imposing restrictions to buy guns. An argument put forward by the powerful gun lobby in the country is that majority of people who own guns are law-abiding citizens, and the too few who misuse it should not be allowed to tarnish the image of the majority.

The sporadic shoot-outs have taken a huge toll on children, teenagers, schoolteachers all over the country, and most ordinary people in America felt that there should not be this untrammelled freedom for anyone to buy a gun that unwittingly endangers the lives of the innocents. When President Barack Obama introduced the rule that there should be a background check of the potential gun-buyer, there was huge resentment in the widespread gun lobby.

For those outside America, this passion of Americans, citizens of the oldest democracy in the world, to own a gun seems puzzling. One of the features of a democratic polity that America symbolises so well is that there is rule of law, and everyone gets justice.

Commonsense would dictate that there is no need for Americans to own guns because they do not have to resort to a gunfight to settle disputes because of a robust judicial system. But it seems the American attachment to the right to own firearms is something historical.

The earliest settlers on the continent had to defend themselves either individually or as a settlement, and the colonies had not become the functioning democratic systems that they are now. It is this old memory of defending oneself and one’s near and dear ones that seems to be lodged in the collective unconscious.

But the historical and sociological compulsions do not really hold good in the present because it has turned out to be more dangerous to society than as a means of self-defence. Many in America and outside watched with horror the Trump supporters, who had marched on the Capitol on January 6 earlier this year, and it was an armed insurrection for all practical purposes. But the prevailing gun culture and the fact that it is legal to own guns is influencing many people to become gun owners, and the new trend of black women turning to it is new but not surprising. Most black women seem to feel that in America they need a gun to defend themselves when pushed to the wall. It is not reassuring though.

The report quotes a black gun instructor Lavette Adams saying, “Crime against women is nothing new. Women protecting themselves, that’s new.” The development should be a matter of disquiet and concern to those in the police and in the judicial system across the country.

Related articles

Other Articles