Geographical Persuasion: Black, Feminine & Armed

by Krishana Davis

Geographical Persuasion: Black, Feminine & ArmedI never had a desire to own a gun.

I was born and raised in the inner sanctum of Baltimore, where possessing a gun always came with a negative connotation. Guns belonged to the hooded, pants-sagging, Timberland-wearing drug dealers who occupied the front stoops of corner stores that I passed on my way to school each morning. Guns belonged to the faces of countless suspects wanted for murder and robbery, which flashed across the TV screen when I watched the 11 o’clock news with my mother at night. Guns belonged on the waists of trigger-happy police officers who lined the streets of “Bodymore, Murderland” and were present at every block party, high school football game and summertime congregation of just “too” many black folk.

But no, guns did not belong to me … until I moved to South Florida.

To me, Florida was not the “South.” Fort Lauderdale was not lined with the dusty, dirt roads I encountered when I made bi-yearly trips to the Carolinas for family reunions. There were no bonfires or dirt bikes. There was no southern drawl or reminder from cousins to slow down on the highway. They knew that I did not want to end up in jail in the South for speeding or any other minor infraction.

No, the east coast of South Florida was lined with sparkling clear water, topless beaches, Star Island and a cool, up-and-coming eclectic art scene that included Art Basel, Second Saturday art walks and impressive Art Deco homes.

After living in the Sunshine State for a few months post-graduation, I soon saw that it was about so much more.

In Florida, a simple “What are you doing this weekend?,” on a slow Friday in the office morphs into a full-fledged eight-person conversation of the best shooting ranges to check out near Sunrise or that new shop that popped up overnight to buy gun magazines.

Then there’s the time when a shady guy starts eyeing and hounding you and your home girl in Starbucks. You quickly suggest that it is time to leave, only to hear some surprising words from your friend: “Girl, don’t worry! I’ve got my Glock in the glove box of my car outside.”

I had never openly talked about guns with anyone outside of my immediate family in the confines of our home and was shocked to discover that the majority of my co-workers, of all races, and others whom I befriended all owned guns.

In Florida, if you did not own a gun, you were in the minority. In Florida, I was a double minority.

I was a young, wild-curly-hair-wearing 22-year-old African-American woman, who had moved to a state where, less than six months before, a young black boy, Trayvon Martin was gunned down while heading to the home of his father’s fiancée. Trayvon was armed with only a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. However, he looked “suspicious” and the state’s Stand Your Ground Law was in his killer’s favor.

Even after living for more than 20 years in a city with a high crime and murder rate, it was not until my trek down to Florida, that I developed a heightened sense of awareness for my own protection and self-preservation.

Recently, there was an uproar from the black and liberal communities when black YouTube sensation and self-proclaimed “urban gun enthusiast” Colion Noir became the new face of the National Rifle Association, urging blacks to arm themselves because “Obama” and “the police” may not always be there to protect you.

But a perusal of Noir’s videos, especially one uploaded earlier this month, depict a consciousness seen in the ideals of many civil-rights and Black Panther leaders such as Malcolm X, Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton. In his video Concealed Carry Life: Importance of Situational Awareness, Noir said, “My gun isn’t a death ray. It is a tool that may or may not give me the fighting chance if something were to ever happen, just like my brain, my legs and my eyes.”

I’m no advocate of violence. The senseless murders in Aurora during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and of the children and staff who were slain at Sandy Hook Elementary were alarming and create a need for gun-reform laws.

However, as a black, feminine woman, I am no longer willing to put my life in the hands of others, by being a person who is not armed … legally, of course.

Clutch aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to black women by presenting a variety of opinions, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

  • Lissette

    Not sure which crowd you run with in South Florida but I lived in Miami for 20 years and the only gun-toting individuals I met were the triggy-happy 2nd generation Cubans who wanted to be cops. Perhaps it’s time to broaden your scene and meet some peaceful hippies further south.

  • Perspective

    Wise decision.

    I do take issue however with this “innocent me” – the whole world is BAD and EVIL persona you give off.

    Also – what is with black women always having to STATE that they are feminine.

    DAMN that is a really bad sign. Picture a black man saying, I’m tall, handsome, AND MASCULINE!

    I mean the fact that it has to be STATED just goes to show how jacked up things are in the black community with all this ROLE REVERSAL and other issues I do NOT care to get into.

    A smart person doesn’t have to state that they are smart, they just are.

    A pretty person doesn’t have to state that they are pretty, they just are.

    But black women have to PROFESS their femininity to the world?!?

    “Oh thanks for REMINDING ME, I almost FORGOT that black women were women?!” Say what!?

    Yea… we’re in pretty bad shape as a community and its always the littlest things that really show it that people overlook.

  • Mia

    I live in NYC and own a registered weapon under a premises license and I got it because as a single woman living alone the reality is ish happens and when you least expect it. I’m not out there showing it off or being reckless, but it does give me a certain peace of mind as I sleep at night. And to make sure I know how to properly use it I became a member of a local gun range in the city…safety first!

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Black women are likely to be the victims of violent crime through the hands of Black men.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    please don’t shoot me….i’ll be good

  • Come On

    I bet you’re even more annoying in real life.

    Maybe this writer said feminine because she is a girly girl. Anyway where is her “innocent me” persona? The majority of the article was about Florida and guns. Her last sentence was the only place she mentioned being feminine.

    And how many black women go around “professing” their femininity. As someone said yesterday, you DO live in your own little world.

    It’s just amazing how you make every freaking article about black women and matriarchy. It’s amazing how you can go through this site saying the same things over and over even when they have nothing to do with the topic at hand. I don’t know how you can go through a whole article that was mostly about guns and Florida and write a response like that. It’s just proof that you come to this site with the intent to post the same thing over and over even if it has nothing to do with the article. It’s pathetic.

    Yesterday, you wrote that black women never address your points. They talk at you. That is because people have addressed your points and slapped them down, and then you didn’t address them back, so most people on this site just ignore you. You don’t add anything new to the conversation. You just come on preaching about patriarchy as if we really live in a matriarchy. The fact that you can’t even see that the black community is patriarchal says a lot about you. Women heading households is not a matriarchy.

    Anyway. I will go back to ignoring you. I shouldn’t have given in, but sometimes your posts are so ridiculous. As for what you say about black women talking at you and ranting and raving instead of addressing your points, just know that most of us think your points are a simplistic view of the black community that is too silly to address. That is why we ignore you.

  • GeekMommaRants

    As long as women outsource our safety to others, there will be no safety. This is our responsibility.

  • NCR

    @Shango Yah sure…. The 17 year old Anene Booysen who was gangraped and killed in South Africa chose her perpetrator? and the african american girl in special education who was gang raped while the teacher was in the SAME ROOM also chose them? Do us all a favor and eat dirt and die.

  • Trisha

    I think women should own guns for their own safety. However, with owning a gun, I think we have to become very confident in using it first.

    Also, we should take a self-defense class. If not, depending on who the perpetrator is, they can easily overpower us if we don’t know how to fight and/or if they sense fear. I’m not an advocate for violence, but it just that I really don’t know how women are to protect ourselves. Even if married, your husband is not going to be with you 24/7. Right now, I don’t own a gun. If someone was to break in my house, I wouldn’t know what to do. I have self-defense skills, but Im not sure if that is enough.

  • lol

    Clutch I thought you guys banned this fool?


    So is that why innocent babies keep getting killed by guns men can’t aim?.

  • Come On

    LOL. He really just dropped that “black women like thugs” argument so he could victim blame.

    And then he tried to make Zerlina Maxwell a thug lover.

  • NCR

    @ You don’t even see your own scewed logic. Do us all a favor and read up on domsetic violence/rape. MOST women OF ALL RACES KNOW their attacker or trusted them. For example family members, cousins, step fathers, uncles, friends. Now either most women are just plain idiots which i don’t believe or rapists/ murderers are smart enough to TRICK women into thinking they’re harmless. Get a clue. Most abusers/ rapists don’t announce they’re going to abuse/ rape until it’s too late.

  • NCR

    @ comeon

    Yes this is classic victim blaming. Yet what Idg is why a man who thinks black women are stupid thug loving B**** would he even come on this site for black women.

  • Come On

    @NCR – There are a lot of bitter, angry boys that come on this site to deal with their mommy issues or some woman rejecting them (for thugs apparently). They need to get counseling.

    This dude says that Zerlina Maxwell is liberal and dumb because she doesn’t think having a gun would have stopped her rapist even though there is evidence that shows her to be right (and not dumb). Most women are raped by people they know and trust. How would having a gun help in these situations? Most rapes are not committed by strangers that you can prevent because your gun is in your handbag. I mean seriously these women would have to have a gun on them at ALL times to prevent these incidents.

    You’re sitting on the couch with a buddy. Better keep your handgun on you. This is one of the complaints that men have against feminists that they are man haters telling women that all men are potential rapists. I don’t agree with that, but if most women are raped by men they know that means they would have to be wary of all men and carry a gun at all times. When men start victim blaming and telling women to do things to prevent their own rapes, they are supporting what the man-hating feminists said.

    The woman in the article mentioned that her friend had her glock in the car. How does this keep you safe when some 200 lb. man is in your face right now? At the beginning of the video, the woman talks about how arming women doesn’t actually lead to a decrease in rapes by strangers. It many times leads to them getting shot.

    This whole thing is just a way to sell more guns. Fox News is all about putting fear and paranoia into its audience. I am not completely against guns. I just don’t think civilians should be allowed to buy certain guns. If you want a gun to feel safe, buy one. I just don’t like Fox News trying to help their buddies at the NRA by telling women to buy a gun for their own safety.

  • MamaB.

    If legally owned, properly trained to use it and responsibly kept away from the kiddies or people otherwise incompetent in its use, then I have no problem with it. In fact, as a birthday gift to my husband I gave him a professional gun trainer–you can find them at most gun ranges (it’s an offered service). It includes learning about different guns, gun safety and of course how to shoot. This is something I would recommend to all mentally competent women.


    Tough subject to analyze.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    FWIW : at one time i did carry a gun. i found that it changed my behavior somewhat and i was much more aggressive. i did not like what i saw in myself and i STOPPED carrying.

  • apple

    because you felt more protected..people are much braver/riskier when they feel protected

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