‘‘I Am the ‘Good Guy With a Gun’’’: Black Gun Owners Reject Stereotypes, Demand Respect

Kyle Doheny and Michael Anderson are licensed gun owners who live in different states but have a few things in common. Both are black men who have worked in public safety or national defense. And both say that when they carry their guns, some people don’t respect their Second Amendment rights. The two were among the more than 100 people who responded when we asked black gun owners to tell us about their interactions with law enforcement, other authorities and the general public. Since July, at least three black men in the United States have been shot by police in separate incidents while trying, according to witnesses, to stop an active shooting. A quarter of black men and women in a 2017 Pew survey said they own guns. Some of those who wrote us said they have had no issues with authorities or the general public. Others said they have faced fearful store owners and had confrontations with law enforcement over guns they carried legally; and explained why, despite the stereotyping and sometimes outright hostility they face, they still carry a gun. Here is a selection of their stories. They have been condensed and lightly edited. Protecting and serving while black Michael Anderson Image Michael Anderson As a retired airman, I feel as if I am not entitled to the same rights I defended. I am scared of being shot by police, or even notifying an officer that I have a weapon. I carry myself as a professional. I […]

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