COLUMN: White gun owners: defend black gun owners from the police

Noah Pearson
Opinions Editor

When shootings occur in kindergarten classrooms, movie theaters, mosques, black churches, high schools, gas stations, hospitals, and all the other places monsters target, the NRA and countless white gun owners are quick to defend themselves, their right to bear arms, gun manufacturers, and in some cases, the shooter.

When black gun owners are shot by the police in front of their family after disclosing the fact that they have a gun, the NRA and countless white gun owners rush to defend the officer, and criminalize a law-abiding citizen.

This discrepancy needs to stop, and it starts with white gun owners.

While there are a number of reasons officers have no right to shoot and kill completely innocent black men, armed or otherwise, it just becomes extra preposterous when the same body of people that defend racist mass murders refuse to defend black men trying to access the same rights they claim for themselves.

If you are white and believe in the right to bear arms, ask yourself if your race has ever influenced who and what you support or believe in.

If you do support the NRA, ask yourself if you could do the same if you were black. Without suggesting that your right to bear arms is jeopardized, ask yourself if the NRA or NRA-backed politicians and policies are truly just.

At some point you have to ask yourself: does being a gun owner mean you have to be racist? Does the NRA treat everyone the same? And are you accidentally supporting the execution of other gun owners at the hands of police?

The conversation about guns too often revolves around how to purchase them, what kinds of guns are allowed to be owned, and who is allowed to sell or own them. However, we rarely have the conversation about who is actually held accountable for an abuse of their right to bear arms.

Although we see a trend of white men causing mass shootings, police do not approach white gun owners with their guns drawn. Black gun owners are held to a higher standard of safety/caution.

If you are a gun owner and believe that to be a right all Americans to have guns, then you need to step up and check yourself as well as the organizations and politicians you support. If everyone has an equal right to bear arms, that means more than their right to buy them.

Black people cannot be criminalized for exercising a constitutional right. While guns are a problem in this country, if anyone has the right to own a gun, then we cannot allow some people to die while doing it.

Philando Castile, Korryn Gaines, and even falsely accused children such as Tamir Rice (shot by a police officer who misidentified his toy gun) do not deserve to have been killed for using a right white men use to kill 5-year-olds.