This is just sad and pathetic, and as an American culture, I demand that we do better:
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.
This point was so striking, in fact, that I decided to count the faces in the ads and stories, figuring arithmetic would refute a lazy first impression. Including illustrations and photos, here’s my tally:
Combat Handguns Magazine, November 2013
Interestingly, both the (light-skinned) black guy and the Hispanic guy are wearing uniforms — don’t worry, folks, they’re on our side! The Asian is dressed in a suit and tie and is clearly presented as a law enforcement or high-end security professional.
Guns & Weapons Magazine, October 2013
Blacks: 2 (both law enforcement officers, one of whom is accompanied by 4 whites)
GUNS Magazine, September 2013
Asians: 2 (Does it still count if they’re Japanese soldiers from WW II in an ad for military surplus?)
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.
It’s not “hard to know exactly what to infer” at all. Gun magazines are racist, and so are the rest of the media, just for very different reasons.
Gun magazines (and perhaps more tellingly, their advertisers) are terrified of having any minority presented in even the slightest possibly offensive way, and so, in their fear, they present almost no minorities at all. It’s apparently safer to exclude them, than it is to include them and risk offending “someone.”
How is this good for us as a shooting culture, or for us as a Republic?
The author of the article is racist in the different way, like most of her peers in the media: she can’t help but assert that when a person of color has a gun, it is because a criminal act is imminent.
Both of these messages are offensive, and are in need of reform. The simple fact of the matter is that there are many minority shooters that are just as enthusiastic about guns and shooting as we are. Colion Noir is not as much an anomaly as some would like you to think. We work with minority shooters, and count them among our neighbors. We can’t allow the gun media culture to be monochromatic out of fear that some slimy racist progressive activist is going to gin up outrage over manufactured slights. Messaging is subtle, but powerful, and we can not afford as a culture to unfairly discriminate, for any reason.