Saturday, October 10, 2020

Race and Gun Ownership

 10/8/20 Ammoland observes that police officers so often assume that black people are criminals that they hassle blacks with carry licenses, sometimes killing them without reason (like Philandro Castile).  No question.  While I know no one ever pulled over for a DWB (Driving While Black), when I lived in San Jose, a gal from my church was often pulled over for the related DWB (Driving While Brown).  She was not Hispanic, but dark enough that San Jose Police would often pull her over.  An Hispanic driving an almost new car in the late 1980s was assumed to have stolen it.

I bought my first handgun at Martin B. Rettig in Culver City.  When I went in there, along with other whites dressed casually like me, there were black men shopping who were wearing suits and ties, trying to look middle class and respectable.  Were their expectations of how they would have been treated if dressed casually unreasonable?  I hope they were unreasonable, but I do not know.  Certainly in a society where black men are overrepresented among criminals, this behavior was unfortunately wise.  Lawful black gun owners are well-advised to avoid dressing in a way that might cause prejudicial assumptions by police.  

Similarly, white gun owners would be well-advised to avoid wife-beater T-shirts, and raggedy clothes more appropriate to a methhead.  Since I was young, it appears to me that our society has made enormous progress about race.  My younger students (even the white ones) tell me stories that suggest the younger generation may be more racially prejudiced than my geezer generation.  Keep this in mind if you are lawfully carrying or going to a range.

We seem to not live in a perfect society yet.  I do not want any of you to be the victim a police officer's bad assumptions.


  1. You can not assume the cops are racists even if it is true that they hassle blacks with carry licenses because it is likely that such drivers behave in a way that is unusually threatening to police, compared to the behavior of other races.

    For example, the cop involved in the Philando Castile shooting was acquitted of all charges in a jury trial.

    You can also watch the video of Sandra Bland to see how she behaved.

  2. Wonder if they though they would be photographed for the purchase form.