Valerie Rupert raised one arm slightly, slightly shaking, as she pointed at the target on paper. It could be a burglar, a criminal, or even a serial rapist.

Detroit grandmother, 67, pulled the trigger. The sound of her shot blended into the chorus of blasts from other women at the small gun range walls.

Rupert was one of the 1,000 mostly Black women who took part in weekend gun safety and shooting lessons at two ranges in Detroit.

According to gun rights advocates and industry experts, black women like Rupert are increasingly considering gun ownership as personal protection.

One driver behind the trend is fear of crime, particularly as murders and shootings have increased in large and small cities. A new driver is the public’s anger over the past 15 months, which began with confrontations following George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis. This was under the guidance of Derek Chauvin, a police officer.

Both the anxiety about COVID-related restrictions as well as the outrage at the results of the 2020 presidential election are contributing factors. Michigan saw this anger lead to a plot against the governor and instances when armed protesters gathered at the Capitol.

In April 2020, hundreds flocked to Lansing’s Michigan Capitol to protest the Democratic Governor. Gretchen Whitmer’s “stay-home” order. A few demonstrators, mostly white supporters of President Donald Trump, entered the building with guns. This is legal in the statehouse.

Rupert still remembers the sight of white men in body armor holding guns at Capitol.

“They brought all the guns up to the Capitol. She said, “You need to be prepared.”

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, approximately 8.5 million Americans bought their first guns in 2020. According to the trade association for firearms, gun sales by Black men and women grew by more than 58% in the first six months of the last year.

According to Daniel Webster, professor of American Health in Violence Prevention and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy, gun ownership tends increase when people lose faith in the government and police.

Webster stated that white nationalist violence has been on the rise. “A lot of Black people have gotten involved because of the lack of faith in police protection and hatred groups.