Protection vs. Guns?

In the Blackish episode Rock, Paper , Scissors, Gun Dre, explains his need to have a gun in the house as protection from recent neighborhood break-ins. He says, “Protecting my family is very serious that’s why I’ve been talking about getting a gun for years”. Bow thinks this is a bad idea because she says guns are dangerous. Dre returns to work and talks to his coworkers about getting a gun and one of his coworkers says, “Get a gun your a man”. Implying that’s what men do. Another coworker has an open carry permit to carry his gun everywhere he goes. Dre then goes to the gun shop, fills out paperwork and the gun arrives.

Bow hears strange noises as they are going to sleep and then the kids bust into their bed room saying somebody’s in the house. Dre panics and Bow tells him to grab the gun only to find out it was Pops, sleep walking around the house drunk. Bow and Dre talk about what happened and he says he always looks over Bow’s shoulder when they talk because growing up in his neighborhood him and his brother would always be worried about drive-by’s and shoot outs. Dre says the only why to keep yourself from being a victim is to have a gun. Pops and Dre have a discussion and Pops tells Dre he has done good because he doesn’t have his kids around gangs, violence or any other potentially dangerous activities.

Like the many other episodes of Blackish, Pops is always there to guide Dre in his decisions as a man. In this case the gun as protection for the family Pops says to Dre, “We’ll keep it locked up so that way nobody gets hurt”. According to R. L. Jackson “Cultural mandates on Black masculinity have historically been centered around being a good provider. As a result, a Black male who cannot take care of his family almost immediately loses his ‘rights to manhood’ or is viewed as not being a man.(p. 86,2006)”. In the show when the family finds out that Dre doesn’t have a gun in the house they feel like he was not protecting them. The kids were panicking because they didn’t feel safe and they felt like they had to go to extreme measures to protects themselves. Bow on the other hand didn’t think a gun would be a good idea until the occasion arose when Dre needed a gun. Between him and Pops the gun is kept safe in the house because Dre felt the need to have it.

Barris, K. (Writer) (2015). Rock, Paper, Scissors (Season 2 Episode 2). Blackish. Location: ABC Studio.

Jackson, R. L. (2006). Scripting the Black Masculine Body : Identity, Discourse, and Racial Politics in Popular Media. Albany: State University of New York Press.

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