19 Feb #nomoreblacktargets – The New Low of the Anti-Gun Crowd
Recently, the hashtag #nomoreblacktargets has been trending on Twitter, pushed by the activists at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. The hashtag and the movement behind it is designed to state that black men are three times more likely than white men to be shot when faced by “trained professionals” (read: police). In this specific instance, it’s pointing out that typical targets used on shooting ranges are black, and that must lead to a bias in the shooters.
The movement is referring to the very standard B-27-PR NRA Police Target, shown below.
The B-27-PR target is the absolute standard for target shooting for government agencies, professional shooters, and recreational shooters alike. This is due to the ready availability, low cost, and ultimate effectiveness of the target.
Why Use the Black Silhouette Target?
You’ll note that it’s built for simplicity – black ink (the cheapest kind), on off-white, easily torn paper (again to reduce costs), and provides clear rings and scoring systems for competitions.
The target has been in use for years because it brings the most important thing to the table in regards to targets – it provides a clear contrast when a bullet punches a hole through the paper. Regardless of what you’re shooting against, in a well-lit shooting range or outdoor area, you can see clear through where your bullet hit.
Why not make them other colors?
As a matter of fact, they do. Check out the American Target Company’s selection – note the blue and tan options. These are also cheap, but not as much as a black model in bulk, and again, the contrast is not there. A white tear on light blue paper isn’t clear at 15 yards, or 25 yards, and certainly not in bright daylight. Black printed targets are simply easier for quick target acquisition and for scoring without having to walk downrange.
Why not use non-human shaped targets?
There are plenty of targets that are geometric – colored squares or circles on a black background. It gives you a wider variety to shoot, and assuming there are multiple colors (red, green, blue, yellow) it allows for multiple shooters to hit the same target.
These targets are inadequate for real-world training. In a shooting situation, you won’t be shooting at pixels or geometric shapes – you’ll be shooting at a man-sized figure… WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THESE STANDARD TARGETS PROVIDE.
So it’s not a racial thing?
No, of course not – it’s a cost thing. With the rising price of ammunition, the chance to save money at any point is a good opportunity. In addition to cost, it’s a matter of training. One could argue that it desensitizes the shooter against a human target, and yes, that may be the case… Because that’s the intention. It trains the shooter to hit a human assailant, because that’s what the users of these targets need to learn.
As an interesting sidenote, one of the second most popular targets at ranges happen to be this (rather stupid) print, which I’ve never seen a professional prefer:
The claim that this is somehow racist is as ridiculous as if I were to say “paper towels encourage people to disregard white people”. It’s making an issue out of nothing, and it makes me want to put my head through the wall.
In today’s culture, people are looking for reasons to be offended, and if this is the line in the sand that people want to draw, then that’s a new low. So I close with this simple statement:
Shame on you, “New York Society for Ethical Culture”. Shame on you for your ridiculous tactics and your idiotic #nomoreblacktargets hashtag. Most of all, shame on everyone for sharing it without doing even basic research which would show that twice as many white men were shot by police compared to black men in 2015.
I’ll keep using black silhouette targets in all of my training sessions, not as a statement, but as a practicality… And anyone who calls me racist because of that could use a reality check I’d be happy to provide.