We know that black people are more likely to be stopped and more likely to be perceived as dangerous just by being. It has come to be known as doing something “while black” — walking while black, shopping while black, driving while black and now even bird-watching while black.

If it’s this difficult for black people to just be, imagine the barriers that prevent us from actually defending ourselves.

This raises some difficult but important questions:

Can black Americans exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms? Can they stand their ground? Can they claim self-defense in shooting someone who threatens them with physical harm? Does the castle doctrine, which grants a person the right to use deadly force to protect their home from an intruder, apply to them?