The election of Donald Trump to the presidency has brought at least one pleasantly surprising result: American minorities are waking up to the value of gun rights. According to gun store owners who spoke with NBC News, minority customers are outnumbering whites to purchase firearms by significant margins. The stated reason for this is self-defense, thanks to a rise in violence and other crimes against sexual and ethnic groups—though perhaps we’d better not tell The Trace or The Guardian, given those publications’ statements about how taking an interest in one’s own protection is an act of fear.
As has happened before when a Democrat looked likely to win the White House, gun sales increased, and as I’ve discussed before, the election of someone who ran as a Republican and promised to defend the Second Amendment resulted in a decline in the number of firearms being purchased. If new customers come in to pick up the slack, so much the better.
This news, if it becomes a trend, is also good when we consider polling done over the last twenty years showing that blacks and Hispanics specifically have supported more gun control by margins of two or three to one. I wish that it didn’t take hateful acts by bigots to convince people to be active about personal defense, though if there were no bigots and no one else willing to commit acts of violence against innocents, firearms would indeed be tools for sportsmen and hobbyists only. Since we live in the real world and not a fantasy, it’s good to see people who are targeted for abuse discover the ability to emphasize the word “no.”
Another good thing is that, speaking in personal terms, at least, every person new to firearms that I’ve taken to the range has found out that firearms are a lot of fun. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them have become gun owners, but they realized that guns aren’t the horrors that some make them out to be. If what I’ve observed holds true generally, bringing in people who haven’t traditionally been thought of as supporters of gun rights bodes well for the gun community.
This is especially the case when we consider demographic trends in the United States. We’re already to the point at which children born today are in a cohort with no group as the majority. In a few decades, that statement will be true for the whole population. While the Trump election is being treated as a victory for white America in some circles, the future isn’t on the side of those who shudder at the thought of diversity. To preserve gun rights and the gun community, we have to bring in more and more good people, regardless of their background.
One of the new gun owners, Yolanda Scott, explains her purchase of a pistol to protect herself and her family this way: “I’m not the type of person who is afraid of my own shadow. I’m going to protect myself, whatever that means.” Good for her, and good for the country. We need to welcome Scott and others like her, offer them help in picking out and learning how to use firearms, and celebrate the exercise of the basic rights we value.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.