Suppose for a moment that you’re 21 again. It’s late at night and you’ve fallen asleep in a chair in the living room of your duplex apartment. You have an 18-month-old daughter who’s sleeping peacefully in her bedroom. You’ve never been arrested and have no record of violent behavior, but you’re black, you’re poor, you’re unemployed, and you live in a “bad” neighborhood.
Picture yourself in this situation, now aroused from a sound sleep by the noise of someone trying to break down your front door. Men are shouting. You’re startled and disoriented, but your first instinct is to defend yourself and your child. You race to the bedroom, grab your pistol and wait there, tension mounting, in the dark.