"[B]etween the Glock and the dog, you’re gone. If one doesn’t get you, the other one will"

In a city where houses sometimes sell for $500, buying and maintaining a gun is a significant expense. For those who choose to earn concealed pistol licenses, like Champion, the application fee is $105 and courses might set you back anywhere between $100 and $250. Purchased guns cost interviewees of this story between $450 and $700, with accessories; including ammunition, add another possible $200-$300.

“A good investment,”the retired grandmother says.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on around here. We watch the news, and every day it’s something,” says 37-year-old Tanisha Moner, a former hospital administrator.

When Moner was 17, she was raped and robbed at gunpoint at a pay phone in Detroit. Four years later, 21-year-old Moner was attending Wayne State University in the city and working as a manager at a Burger King on the side. One morning, while she was counting money in her Burger King office, she was once again robbed at gunpoint and left in the fast-food restaurant’s freezer. After that, Moner says she became petrified of guns and loud noises.

“Finally, two years ago I said, I’m either going to let my fear overcome me, or I am going to beat my fear. So I got my [concealed pistol license] in the event that something else should ever happen.”