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Are blacks treated differently when they open carry?

by Eric Vought

We have had media attention recently to two different types of open carry demonstrations, the members of Open Carry Texas and the controversy over Chile’s, Sonic, etc., and the Huey P. Newton Gun Club’s demonstration in Houston whose black members marched as a statement of post-Ferguson community-solidarity. Two different types of demonstrations… but are they or should they be?

When the Texas OCT issue was in the forefront, there was quite a bit of commentary on progressive sites about “what would gun nuts do if a bunch of black panthers started walking around with rifles?” Well, as Charles Cook points out in his blog post, not much apparently. No panic, no real outcry, no problem, and as that author ends his post, Good for them:

“What would happen if more blacks started open carrying now? Very little, I’d imagine.

Good.”

But, the response to an organized protest where police were engaged ahead of time and where the media is watching does not mean that minorities carrying do not encounter problems, especially when encountering law enforcement alone in out-of-the-way places, as the original Black Man With a Gun, Kenn Blanchard can attest, or, more recently, the one going by the_hustleman on the opencarry.org forum who has experienced standing next to a white open carrier and been accosted by police when his white companion was not. Reading the anecdotes and responses by white and non-white gun owners in that thread is interesting, including the Latino poster, ISRAEL.

In some places, open carriers are mistreated by law enforcement fairly universally, so race may not be an issue. In other places it seems that it is, and it absolutely should not be. In any case, rights should, no, *must* apply to everyone. Gun rights have been a part of the civil rights movement since slavery was outlawed and even today, black advocates of the Right To Keep and Bear Arms are called out by progressives for breaking with the “party line”. So, RTKBA advocates may have made a lot of ground in recent years (less so in New York and Connecticut…), but on some aspects, we have a long way to go, and racial disparity may be one of them.

Image courtesy of The Washington Times.

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