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David W. Loeffler, the owner of Loeffler’s Guns Etc in Grants, New Mexico(AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

The new gun buyer said the Zoom [training] session was part of his attempt to be responsible. [Trainer Chuck] Rossi, hefting his own high-end AR-15, recapped the principles of gun safety: always keep the weapon’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire. Be aware of what might be behind the target you’re shooting at. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded.

They did some troubleshooting: what should he do if an ammunition round got jammed inside his gun? How long would his military-surplus ammo be usable?

Ammo didn’t go bad, Rossi said. He was still “shooting shit” from the second world war and “surplus from the Korean war”.

While “white Americans tend to be more vocal about their gun ownership”, the new owner said, being a black gun owner didn’t feel special.

But it came with different concerns. He was more afraid a police officer might shoot him than that someone else might attack him on the street; he would “never” carry a gun in public.

If he ever had to call the police to his home, he said, he would emphasize: “The black guy with the gun is the homeowner.”

Owning guns had already shifted some of his political opinions. He said he still supported limits on larger-capacity ammunition magazines.

[Until he personally wants/needs one. They're selfish, and they aren't going to learn. - TB]

But when he bought his guns, he said, he had to wait 10 days to get them. “That was an eternity to me,” he said. “Are these really common sense gun laws?”

Rossi was encouraged to hear this, and said he’d try to persuade the new gun owner about why he actually needed larger-capacity magazines next. The two men made a plan to go shooting in person as soon as possible.

– Lois Beckett in Meet the gun safety instructor holding ‘office hours’ on Zoom