If you’ve ever been to a shooting range, you know the drill: You choose a gun, load it with bullets, put on the necessary visual and hearing protection and then aim at a black silhouette, ready to shoot it dead. Now, one group is working to change that. Calling themselves No More Black Targets, this art collective is fighting to remove the black silhouettes that have been so popularized in tv and movies and replace them with art like this:
Why the change? Well, there’s science and statistics to back it up. With black men dying of gun violence — according to NMBT, they’re three times as likely to be shot than their white counterparts — NMBT feels that it’s both irresponsible and wrong to continue allowing gun enthusiasts and those who are just learning to shoot to constantly fire at black figures.
But hold your fury! NMBT isn’t asking that all dark colors be taken away (check the gif above, and yes, they know that a plain white target may create problems with contrast). They just want silhouettes that feel less reminiscent of African-American males.
An academic study published by University of Illinois researchers drew together findings from 42 different studies on trigger bias to examine whether race affects how likely a target is to be shot.
“What we found is that it does,” Mekawi told NPR’s Arun Rath, who covered the story.
“In our study we found two main things: First, people were quicker to shoot black targets with a gun, relative to white targets with a gun. And … people were more trigger-happy when shooting black targets compared to shooting white targets.”