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Why Most American Blacks Say Private Gun Ownership Is Good

Rick Ector, Detroit firearms instructor and gun range owner. Photographer: Martin Kaste/NPR


Jeff Moran | Geneva

In December 2014 the much respected American Pew Research Center declared in a report that

“For the first time in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, there is more support for gun rights than gun control.  Currently, 52% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, while 46% say it is more important to control gun ownership.”

Of the many population segments Pew studied, the greatest change in opinion was among black Americans.  One key finding: whereas in 2012 just 29% of blacks reported gun ownership does more to protect people from being crime victims, today that number has nearly doubled to 54%.


A piece just published today on the American National Public Radio (NPR) website offers some clues by conveying the views of some black community leaders from Detroit, Michigan.  For those of you less familiar with this American city, Detroit was listed by Forbes magazine as America’s “Most Miserable City” in 2013.

Notably, NPR provided insights from  Detroit’s own Chief of Police, James Craig.  Craig suggests that a key driver in was the  liberalization of gun laws over decades, which made it easier for blacks to obtain concealed carry pistol permits.  [In 2001, Michigan firearms law changed so that it was mandatory for authorities to issue concealed carry pistol permits to applicants if they met the statutory requirements.]  And while it took some adjustment from a law enforcement point of view, Craig was reported to have enthusiastically endorsed the trend of issuing concealed carry pistol permits to private citizens.

Craig’s endorsement of concealed carry pistol permits was framed as a practical and realistic response to the actual situation in Detroit.  On this Craig is quoted as saying,

“It was a well-known fact here in Detroit. People didn’t have a lot of confidence that when they dialed 911, that the police were going to show up.  In fact, we know they didn’t.”

NPR reported that local church leaders have encouraged concealed carry pistol permits too.  And while this fact may horrify many in the more gun-adverse regions of the United States and perhaps most living throughout Western Europe (except maybe for those in Switzerland), the church leaders’ point of view isn’t all that surprising when one realizes, as NPR reported, that church congregations in Detroit have been robbed at gunpoint.

For example, Rosedale Park Baptist Church used to have trouble with drug dealers and car thefts.  Then Pastor Haman Cross Jr. reportedly told his congregants from the pulpit that they should consider getting concealed-carry permits.  Now such troubles are gone.  The Pastor’s view:

“I love the Lord; I’m a Christian.  But like I told the congregation, let’s send a message right in front. I want the word out in the community, if you steal any of our cars, I’m coming after you.”

To that, this author says “Amen.”


About the Author

Jeff Moran lives in Geneva, Switzerland and is a consultant specializing in the ethical and responsible development of the international defense, security, and shooting sports industries at TSM Worldwide LLC.  Previously Mr. Moran was a strategic marketing leader for a multi-billion dollar business unit of a public defense & aerospace company and an American military diplomat.  He completed his studies in international weapons law and lawmaking process within the Executive LL.M. Program of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in 2015.  Mr. Moran has an Executive Master in International Negotiations and Policymaking from the Graduate Institute of Geneva, an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and a BSFS from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

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