Solomon Jones bought his first gun in 2020.

I bought my first gun because I no longer feel safe in America

In the first half of 2020, gun purchases by African Americans increased by 58% over the same period last year. That’s a bigger increase than any other group, according to a study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearm industry’s trade organization.

I’m not surprised. I’m one of the Black people who bought a gun for the first time this year.

Though I spent my teen years in North Philly during the rise of crack-driven violence in the ’80s and ’90s, I’ve never been a proponent of guns. Not because I was against their use. I just never believed I needed one.

But that’s changed over the last few years.

I still believe I’m fairly safe among Black people. I think my family is, too. However, in a time of economic and medical strife, with a president who regularly engages in racial rhetoric that paints Black and brown people as the other, I’m concerned about what the future may hold. To be blunt, President Donald Trump has emboldened America’s racists, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be irresponsible to leave my family defenseless.

I didn’t come to this decision easily …

Click here to read the rest of the column in the Inquirer

Photo by Solomon Jones

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