One of the common misconceptions about gun owners is that we’re all old, white men. It’s an image that is frequently perpetuated, especially when the anti-gun Left attacks Americans for wanting to protect their right to keep and bear arms.
For years, Second Amendment advocates have been outspoken about the diversifying demographic, with women leading the change. In fact, data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, indicates new gun ownership soared to an all-time high last year. The NSSF estimates that 8.4 million Americans became new gun owners in 2020, which accounted for roughly 40% of all background checks last year.
“The expectation of who is today’s gun owner was shattered in 2020. That was a trend the industry saw coming for many years before, but the events of last year showed that gradual drift of gun ownership away from ‘old, male, and pale’ into overdrive,” NSSF’s Director of Public Affairs, Mark Oliva, told The Daily Wire. “Todays’ gun owner is younger, more urban, and includes more women. We’ve seen tremendous growth in gun ownership among African Americans, Hispanic America, and Asian Americans. Today’s gun owner looks more and more like the rest of America and that’s making it difficult for gun control groups to try and compartmentalize gun owners into a box that they can vilify. The truth is that today’s gun owner looks just like you and me and they are our next-door neighbors.”
While this trend is not new to those of us who are gun owners, it’s suddenly apparent to the gun control groups and the media. In fact, CNN published an article about the “firearms industry and its GOP allies” taking a “more inclusive approach” to fighting gun control legislation. The article’s entire premise is that Second Amendment supporters need new organizations to step in to fight anti-gun legislation that the National Rifle Association (NRA) — which is currently undergoing a bankruptcy fight — is traditionally seen spearheading.
“In its place, gun rights supporters have found additional political allies among minority-led, pro-Second Amendment groups such as the National African American Gun Association and the DC Project, a women-centered firearms education organization that also trains domestic violence victims to safely and legally defend themselves,” the article stated. “Republicans have invited leaders from these groups to speak on Capitol Hill to counter emotional testimony from the families of gun violence victims invited by Democrats.”
CNN highlighted a handful of organizations geared towards specific demographics of gun owners, like:
- The Pink Pistols, which trains LGBTQ gun owners.
- The DC Project, a group of women who lobby Congress to support the Second Amendment.
- The National African American Gun Association (NAAGA), which educates and trains black women on how to properly use a firearm for self-defense purposes.
Even though CNN believes these organizations are suddenly popping up out of nowhere or to fill a void the NRA can’t address, that thought process is severely flawed. Not only have many of these organizations been around for years, but they’ve been doing important work, especially in America’s inner cities. A prime example of that is the Black Guns Matter organization, led by Maj Toure. Toure crowdfunds and partners with gun dealers to hold events in urban areas to teach black Americans conflict resolution and how to safely handle firearms.
While the outlet acknowledged the various groups’ safety concerns and need for self-defense, especially after rioting across the country last year, they failed to look at the bigger picture. Safety and security is a human necessity that transcends all.
It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Democrat, or Republican.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman.
It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, bi, lesbian, or transgender.
It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Jewish, or Muslim.
It doesn’t matter if you live in rural America or an urban city.
What we all want and need is safety and security. We want to have the ability to protect ourselves and our loved ones. It’s part of our natural survival instincts.
But instead of recognizing that human instinct, something that transcends all identities, CNN tried to paint this as a Democrat vs. Republican issue.
“The gun control debate has become increasingly partisan in recent years with the vast majority of Democrats supporting added protections such as universal background checks and limits on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to an April Pew Research poll,” the article stated, noting that Americans’ approval of gun control legislation dropped 5% over the last year.
Gun ownership, especially in 2021, transcends all preconceived notions of who and what a gun owner should look like and identify as. CNN can try to dwindle this down to a Left vs. Right issue but it’s far more complex than that. More Americans are realizing they have to take their safety into their own hands. The riots last summer, along with the COVID lockdowns, reignited that thought and that movement. That is something that impacts every single one of us, regardless of our race, sex, creed, or religion.
The diversity of gun owners isn’t a new phenomenon just because the media suddenly decided to wake up and pay attention to something many of us have talked about for years. The difference is they can no longer ignore what’s right in front of their eyes.
Beth Baumann is a Political Reporter and Editor at The Daily Wire. Follow her on Twitter @eb454.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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