More Black Women Are Carrying Guns Than Ever Before. But Could I?
After we were both shaken by the killing of Philando Castile, I promised my father I'd learn to shoot.
Illustrations by Wenjia Tang
Two days before Philando Castile was killed while informing a police officer of his concealed carry permit, I learned my father had one, too. I was home for the Fourth of July weekend, happy to be in the wide expanse of Ohio when my mother informed me that my father carried a gun. She told me there had been a problem at the Elks club where he was a member and she’d only learned of my father’s weapons after he had to brandish a pistol for protection. My first concern wasn’t whether he always carried a gun. My fear was what would happen once people knew, specifically a police force in a small town slowly dying.
I could only think about my father coming out of the club after closing, the silver of his Jaguar glinting under a small strip of streetlights, a train blaring in the distance. Thought of a cruiser slowly making its way under the MLK Memorial Viaduct, taking the small bumps of gravel beneath its tires and casting them into the darkness before the brakes…
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