Is it safe for a black man to be the ‘good guy with a gun’?

Gun Rights

On Thanksgiving night, a shooter opened fire at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover, Ala. Police killed one man. But as has become increasingly clear, Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr. was one of the good guys. The military veteran and legal gun carrier from Hueytown, Ala., was likely killed while trying to protect his fellow citizens, according to eyewitness reports. And for that, his family says, he died ignominiously. Police arrested the alleged shooter Thursday. The Thanksgiving tragedy in Hoover, Ala., highlights an American problem: The deaths of black men, legally armed and who have committed no crime, at the hands of police. At a time when the president and guns rights activists have suggested that “good guys with guns” are a solution for stopping mass shooters, some black gun owners are wondering if “helping while black” is too dangerous. “Black heroes don’t get the same deference that white heroes do,” says Chad King, an African-American IT worker and co-founder of the Black Bottom Gun Club in Detroit. “In fact, I wish that wide latitude of deference was extended to African-American heroes and victims in the same way that it is extended to white American perpetrators of mass shootings [who have been taken alive]. That is a gap that is irreconcilable to me. It can’t work like that.” The killing of Mr. Bradford is not a stand-alone example. Three days before his death, a young man named Jemel Roberson was buried in Illinois. An aspiring police officer and legal gun-carrier, […]

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Is it safe for a black man to be the ‘good guy with a gun’?

Gun Rights

On Thanksgiving night, a shooter opened fire at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover, Ala. Police killed one man. But as has become increasingly clear, Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr. was one of the good guys. The military veteran and legal gun carrier from Hueytown, Ala., was likely killed while trying to protect his fellow citizens, according to eyewitness reports. And for that, his family says, he died ignominiously. Police arrested the alleged shooter Thursday. The Thanksgiving tragedy in Hoover, Ala., highlights an American problem: The deaths of black men, legally armed and who have committed no crime, at the hands of police. At a time when the president and guns rights activists have suggested that “good guys with guns” are a solution for stopping mass shooters, some black gun owners are wondering if “helping while black” is too dangerous. “Black heroes don’t get the same deference that white heroes do,” says Chad King, an African-American IT worker and co-founder of the Black Bottom Gun Club in Detroit. “In fact, I wish that wide latitude of deference was extended to African-American heroes and victims in the same way that it is extended to white American perpetrators of mass shootings [who have been taken alive]. That is a gap that is irreconcilable to me. It can’t work like that.” When the helpers get killed The killing of Mr. Bradford is not a stand-alone example. Three days before his death, a young man named Jemel Roberson was buried in Illinois. An aspiring […]

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