Gun ownership transcends identity politics.
Concealed-carry permits are on the rise, especially among women and black Americans. The changing of the gun narrative is underway.
As reported by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, there are now more than 500,000 valid concealed-carry license holders in the state. With Ohio’s population around 11.6 million, concealed-carry license holders account for 4 percent of the population. On a more local level, Hamilton County has seen 1,348 permits issued/renewed in the first quarter of 2017 alone.
After the 2008 election, many attributed the surge in the gun market to President Obama’s politics. The mainstream media created a narrative that democrats were pro-gun control, and therefore anti-gun. Due to scare tactics, many Americans rushed to purchase guns before legislation was passed that prohibited them from doing so. During this time, the NRA exclusively portrayed gun owners as white, conservative, and male. With certain demographics excluded from the anecdote, the right to self-defense has become a partisan/political issue.
However, even with a Republican controlled Congress and White House, America’s gun industry has yet to slow down.
Research from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that of all permit holders in the country, women only accounted for 36 percent. However, as shown from data gathered from 2012 to 2016, women began obtaining permits 326 percent faster than men. And for those states that keep records of concealed carry permits obtained by race — blacks obtained permits 30 percent faster than whites. Who do we have to thank for leveling the playing field?
Groups such as Black Guns Matter and EmPOWERed have set out to change the gun narrative by educating those typically understood as adverse to gun ownership; urban communities, college students, and women. Thanks to these groups, gun ownership is no longer about politics. Instead, gun ownership is about owning one’s rights. With women and black Americans obtaining firearms at a faster rate than white men, we see more demographics embracing their Second Amendment rights. The NRA has taken notice of the changing demographics and has implemented more diversity into their ads. The gun lobby is finally moving in the right direction by uniting all of its supporters, regardless of race, class, gender, or creed.
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