Young men and their obsessions with Guns

I have this theory that the Black Man’s obsession with the gun stems from their ancestral days in Africa when tribal leaders sold out their weaker neighbors into slavery for Guns and Ammunition. It is within my opinion that this is where the black’s man association with gun as an emblem of power began. This is probably the reason why all if not most black men believe that in order to feel truly powerful or validated in their societies, they must possess, boast of or handle a gun. Even in modern day civil unrest in areas such Somalia and Rwanda, it is shameful to see how black men readily in complete ignorance and barbarism unite under the leadership of a gun toting, narcissistic leader and kill their own. Gun as a symbolism of power is probably ” One of the Ghost in our Genes”. 

Perhaps  our men’s love for guns started on the Sugar plantation when they lost countless revolts because the militia had firearms and they did not. They somehow thought that if they had arms that they could overthrow the militia. Maybe if we browse through history we would see that in civil unrest, poor black people lose and chalked down their disadvantage to not having enough guns. Let us look at the Morant Bay Rebellion, Civil Rights Movement and recently Tivoli Gardens unrest. Somewhere in West Kingston some young thug is saying maybe, just maybe if we had more guns we would have won the war. It might explain the cycle of crime,” kill one today and next year ten more rise up. “

Why do so many black men have guns
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I have another theory that points to rumors of politically affiliated individuals arming our young men in garrison communities. These are merely supposition but when you bring guns instead of books to a community, you are not hoping to build knowledgeable, civil and unified people. We have pointed our children in the wrong way. 

Some hypothesized that our young men’s obsession and glorification of guns stems from a low self esteem and a need for social validation.  What does a person value most? His life and the man who takes life is feared and revered for he deals with a side of humanity that most find unthinkable. Gangsters are idolized in movies and maybe our boys want to be idols in their own worlds. It strange how each of us search for something to make our lives worthwhile. Some end up searching for purpose on the path to destruction. 


Guns seem to be aplenty in black societies more than food and books. I keep thinking how a place like Haiti is riddled by poverty and yet guns are there in plenitude. We know that guns do not kill people, people kill people. I can only imagine what a world we would have if more black men were obsessed with books or if the idea of going to school took precedence over hanging out on the corner. If our men did not think that the ability to be violent is the only way to identify and affirm their manhood. Black man have been brainwashed to seek substance in the wrong things. 

I once posed a question to a friend in a conversation about violence in Jamaica and in black communities around the world – what if we had a policy that made it mandatory for our boys to be enlisted in the army? Their enrollment would include a brief sting in some hostile region of the world. I would love to see how many of our so-call “bad men” would be interested in such a expedition. I bet some of these terrorists are only interested in brandishing guns on defenseless, helpless and unsuspecting people. They could not manage a real war but “real badman” have no disinclination about hurting unarmed citizens who cannot defend themselves. 

What can save us? 

is the most powerful weapon one can use to change the world said Nelson Mandela. I am not talking our miseducation that we chase in order to improve status and to boast on our less informed denizen. A philosophical education that seeks to transcend our societies. An education that liberates the people in our communities. Too many people pursuing education for the wrong reason and when  education does not brook ” the easy life” they envision, they revert back to their old ways. A man not educated in morals is no education at all. This “wash up” version of education we are receiving is the reason education has not engendered the results we hoped for.

Books by Crystal Evans - Every man deserves a good jacketMaybe if we could teach our youngsters that our people did not lose because they lacked access to guns but because they were disorganized, ill-prepared and sometimes betrayed in the past. Maybe if we taught them that no one wins in a war, that it is okay for someone to disagree with your opinion and that sometimes it is better to walk away from fight. We encouraged unity instead of competition and tribalism then we could finally get somewhere.   

Quote: To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.

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Crystal Evans

Crystal Evans was born in Westmoreland Jamaica. She is the author of several books centered on her experiences growing up in rural Jamaica and the Jamaican cultural nucleus. She is a voracious reader.

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