Sorry, I forgot to add some personal commentary on this story. I completely understand why any black man who is legally allowed to carry, either openly or concealed, would opt to do so and I certainly can understand why. Opinion | What becoming an NRA-certified instructor taught me about gun-owning while black I spent hours becoming so proficient that the National Rifle Association awarded me instructor status. Here's why I don't carry a gun in public. By RJ Young, author of "Let It Bang: A Young Black Man's Reluctant Odyssey Into Guns" When Emantic "EJ" Bradford was mistakenly shot in the face by an Alabama police officer in a mall earlier this month, I was reminded of what a friend told me when I was researching my book, "Let It Bang," about becoming a licensed gun owner. "Your book is always going to be timely because police not going to stop because they're not going to stop shooting black men," he said. That was years ago. 21-year-old Bradford was a black man just like Philando Castile; Castile was shot down in his car in the summer of 2016 after calmly and correctly notifying officers that he was a gun owner. Meanwhile, this summer, 17-year-old Antwon Rose II and 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean were shot and killed — both unarmed — by people sworn to protect and serve them. I'm also a black man, and all of these deaths terrify me. I don't carry a handgun because through the process of learning to become proficient with one, I learned just how dangerous being near one has become for a person like me. I'm lawfully licensed in the state of Oklahoma to carry a concealed handgun. I spent hours and hours at a gun range, becoming so proficient that the National Rifle Association awarded me instructor status. And yet I don't carry a gun in public. I don't even keep a loaded gun in my apartment. If not for the knowledge that the rights provided to me by the Second Amendment were once stripped from men who look like me, I would no longer even own my Glock 17 and Glock 26 weapons. These guns have already served the purpose I bought them for, which was to try to better understand and get to know the kind of people who loved them and used them — people I had little in common with. But most importantly, I don't carry a handgun because through the process of learning to become proficient with one, I learned just how dangerous being near one has become for a person like me.