Although I understand the sentiment, I’m still puzzled over what you think it’ll resolve. Your 5'11, 11-year-old son — unless you plan on following him around — won’t just be exposed to racism when he’s around you. Unless he’s somehow the luckiest black preteen on Earth, these kinds of microaggressions will follow him for the rest of his (very long, ’cause I’m speaking it into existence) life. Same for the other three. I think people believe that a gun will somehow change what’s been programmed into people’s minds for centuries. Shooting one person doesn’t change the minds of the million others just like him/her. The only part that gets murky is you, as a white man, may have a better shot for not being put in prison for defending your child against another racist person, versus a black man (or black child) doing the same.

On a separate note, I’ve been to a shooting range. I’ve operated them. I’m just not particularly impressed with ending anyone’s life. I feel braver knowing more about my history and culture than I ever would with a gun on my waist. Reading Malcolm X’s autobiography made me feel far more at peace with myself and understanding the world around me than learning how to load a chamber. You’re going to do what you’re going to do, but I just want those four children’s education to be kept in mind.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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