Black Gunowner Myth #3: Real Men (only) use their Hands

This is Mike Tyson. He's a bad dude. His hands are lethal weapons, but there are some situations that even he can't handle. Photo Courtesy of Pinterest
This is Iron Mike Tyson. He’s a bad dude. His hands are lethal weapons, but there are some situations that even he can’t handle. Photo Courtesy of Pinterest






Talking about going to the range with the guys at the gym…

Guy: Man, why you need a gun?
Me: You know, just in case something jumps off. You never know…
Guy: Real men settle shit with their hands…

This one is absolutely true…sort of.

It was spawned back in the days when crack was turning the inner city into a zombie movie, and fist fights were becoming gun fights.

People look at the days before crack as the good ole days. They weren’t. The street gangs in Philly and New York were no damned joke, but they weren’t afraid to swing. If they had beef, they handled it with their fist. Their code of honor valued the fair fight.

Now fist fights turn into brawls and videos on WorldStar, so not only do you risk an asswhupping, but you risk that asswhupping going viral. And kids are killing kids over kids stuff.

This happened outside of Augusta, Ga not too long ago. It started as beef between two girls. As you can see, it skidded left pretty hard. You see the girls fighting, but there’s also dudes fighting, some bats being swung and a Dodge Charger… Charging.

Before it was over, a bystander was stabbed in his neck by a guy who was supposed to be his friend. He died a few days later.

If you’re a kid, and you have beef, try settling that shit with your hands. No cameras, and no boys in the background trying to turn something minor into their next viral sensation.

No cars, no bats, no kitchen knives, no guns or anything else that could take a life and land you in jail until you’re in your forties. Just you and him or her. Win or lose, you’ll thank me.

kids boxing in yard in 70's
Kids boxing in the front yard in the 70’s. If you can’t use words, boxing gloves are a great idea.

But, why does the statement, “real men use their hands…” come up so often when grown, law-abiding Black men and women discuss buying a firearm? Part of it is beef. We spend so much time telling kids to settle beef with their hands, that it doesn’t occur to us that if you are a grown, responsible adult, you aren’t buying a gun to settle beef.

If that same person told you that they were going to get some Robitussin, would you immediately assume that they were about to get high on sizzurp? I doubt it. I think you’d ask “Who’s sick?”

Yet, when one reader told his uncle that he had a gun, the uncle replied, “Who you try’in to kill?!”

Come on, Unc!

Guns aren’t for beef. Unless the person you are talking to has a history of bad judgement and an explosive temper, don’t assume that he has ulterior motives.

Or, maybe you really mean that if a guy can’t fend off every violent attacker, then he isn’t a man?

Bruh, Mike Tyson can’t handle every attack with his hands. That implies that the criminal has gotten within arm’s distance and is willing to give you a fair fight. Criminals don’t do that. Their whole business model depends on limiting risk and maximizing reward. If, they square up for a fight, it’s because their associate is walking up behind you with a brick; not because they’re giving you a fair one.

I’m not saying that shooting is the only rational response to every attack. There’s a vast number of things you want to consider as you think about buying a gun. You want to develop awareness skills that will enable you to avoid the crazy situation. Skills that let you verbally de-escalate. Skills that let you distract the person and, yes, square up and fight. You’ll probably want to explore some non-lethal options like pepper spray. But there are some situations where a gun is the  best tool for the job.

How you look when you say you can handle every situation with your hands. In the words of Mos Def, "I get invincible, just aint sensible."
How you look when you say you can handle every situation with your hands.
In the words of Mos Def, “I get invincible, just aint sensible.”

If you think that you can fight your way out of every situation, you’re lying to yourself. No matter how bad you are, there is someone out there who is tougher, stronger, and better prepared. Being able to fight your way out of every situation isn’t a mark of manhood. It’s an impossibility.





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