Let it Bang!


The debate on guns seems to be between those who claim Second Amendment rights, and those who think guns are terrible. For guns, or against guns.While those camps are stuck in place, RJ Young is not. In his book, Let it Bang: A Young Black Man\’s Reluctant Odyssey into Guns, Young traces the history of guns in America alongside his personal journey with the deadly weapon. He learned how to shoot in order to get close with his soon-to-be-father-in-law. He became obsessed and then an NRA-certified marksman. However, he now keeps his gun locked away in his closet, and never plans on using it again.Wait, what happened??If you\’re curious to learn how he got to this point, then I highly recommend the book. Young sets a good example for all of us because he suspended his default judgements in order to get uncomfortable, ask questions and learn something. His story is unforgettable and got me asking big questions about how we can possibly heal our collective relationship with guns and the critical condition of our country.Young explains that the number of American gun owners is growing. He himself is one of those people, yet chose to live his life with better tools. I know how he got there, but I am less sure of why he got to that point. His \”why\” would be just as enlightening as the rest of the book, and I finished the book wanting just a little more.Nonetheless, I got a lot out of this book. Here are some of my notes and quotes from Let it Bang:

\”Of all creatures that breathe and move upon the earth, nothing is bred that is weaker than man\” – Homer\”A person with a gun tends to feel a lot like Superman with x-ray vision, laser sight, and Hulk-smash strength. Which is why telling that person not to use those super powers will generally result in the person looking at you like you\’re the lunatic\”\”The number of police shootings in that year [2011] – and certainly today – is nearly equal to the number of Black people who were lynched in this country [per year between 1890 and 1965\”The US holds a double standard for gun-owning men. White men with guns are protectors, providers, heroes. Black men with guns are evil criminals\”I will never live safely in the world without the sacrifices of those whose birth certificates and driver\’s license say this: white.Owning a gun increases the odds of using one

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