Guns are for white people
THIS PIECE by Francis Wilkinson is pretty interesting:
Everybody’s white. That’s the conclusion from a survey of gun magazines I bought the other day. The survey, I admit, was not conducted in accord with the best research practices: I asked the guy at the subway kiosk for as many gun magazines as he could give me before the #4 train pulled in. He handed me three for $17.
All the magazines have ads for, well, guns, and loads of accessories (love the “Sneaky Pete” concealment holster). Naturally, they have stories on guns — whether “intimidating, big-muzzle looks” or a “Tank-tough Recon Tactical with added strength and reliability for patrol.” In addition, there are features on gun life, such as columns in Guns Magazine called “Campfire Tales” and “Odd Angry Shot.”
There are pictures of guys with guns, gals with guns, animals with guns, ammo with guns and guns with guns. Curiously absent are pictures of black people with guns, brown people with guns or Asian people with guns. The good guys are white. The bad guys are white. In the Gunworld depicted in these pages, pretty much everyone is white.
It’s hard to know exactly what to infer from this blizzard of white. Gun politics is always racially fraught. Blacks commit firearms offenses at a much higher rate than whites. In 2010, the rate of firearm homicide for blacks was 14.6 per 100,000 compared with 4 for Hispanics, 1.9 for whites and 1.0 for Asians and Pacific Islanders. In general, blacks also support gun control much more strenuously than whites.
Whether the gun magazines figure it’s politically safer to make everyone the same color, or whether they’re simply catering to a monochromatic readership with a strong hankering for all-white cultural nostalgia — or both — is impossible to tell. There is, of course, a hardy strain of racial paranoia coursing through some corners of American gun culture. So it seems unlikely that the overwhelming whiteness is mere coincidence.
(NOTE: The photo above is from Guns & Ammo magazine.)