Black Guns Matter: A Revolutionary Approach to Gun Rights
With the current and continual threat to our second amendment rights, we need responsible citizens willing to speak out and defend them. And at the same time, we need individuals to address gun violence that we are seeing in our communities.
One person going out and doing above and beyond the call of duty is Maj Toure, a 29-year-old NRA member and gun rights activist, who is bringing his message to some of the roughest areas in the United States with his new non-profit called Black Guns Matter.
Started in Philadelphia, Black Guns Matter brings a message of gun safety, conflict resolution, and second amendment rights to people of all ages and races with the main goals of protecting second amendment rights and reducing gun violence. He sees defending the second amendment and firearms as how we defend our other rights.
I had a great conversation with Maj a few days ago about Black Guns Matter and its message. He believes that it is key on the grassroots level to make our voices heard. In your choices, where you put your dollars, and not just in an election year. If you can't defend your rights you don't have them.
Here are a few questions I asked him.
Why did you decide to start Black Guns Matter?
"We founded Black guns matter because we saw that in urban demographics where we live we started to see so much misinformation and ignorance as far as firearm safety and second amendment rights go. And with us being "solutionaries" it doesn't make sense to complain about it. It just makes sense to figure out what the actual issues are and the present the solutions.
So we just said hey this is a problem wouldn't it be great if somebody could create a hub where people could have answers to their questions. So that's what we did. And a lot of people have been really helpful and excited and jubilant to actually have somewhere they can get the information or the answers to the questions that they have. It's been really helpful and productive for us."
Why did you name your group Black Guns Matter?
"Well, because they do, whether it's productive or negative.
Black guns can matter if someone in your community isn't informed and doesn't respect the tool and they have horrible conflict resolution skills and things like that and they happen to harm one of your family members. Then that black gun matters a lot to you, a lot. Because you might never see that family member or friend again.
If you have a situation where someone is being very responsible with their firearms, where they are able to defend themselves or just train, or just teach you how to be a better person or a better citizen, that black gun matters as well.
It can be productive or it can negative, but the reality is that we want to bring people to the productive side of it and make those firearms, those black guns, matter in the most constructive way."
What is one goal you hope Black Guns Matter achieves?
When it comes to guns, "the general public doesn't have the answers. I am a translator." The press and public, "try to make things convoluted. You have to get them before the heavy propaganda and misinformation. We have to reach out to the people so they can make a well-informed decision."
"If you could learn every single thing about one thing. If you train people to think technically what this piece does. What that piece does? You are training the person to think scientifically and mathematically. You are training them to think that way in other ways of their life. It is very hard to manipulate a well-rounded person. The negative powers that be are very aware of that."
Has there been a particular age group interested in Black Guns Matter?
"No, it's just a general population. Our demographic, we say the urban community, but that actually spans a bunch of different races and age groups. We have had 5 years olds and people as old as 70. Parents might have brought children they want to get involved in the shooting sport and older people might just want to try it. Once the get the shooting bug, it's fun. It's a stress release. A lot of people are just acknowledging what they don't know like this thing is called this and not that. It becomes a quest of being a little more technical."
What are the goals of Black Guns Matter in the next six months?
"Over the 6 months, our goal is to kick off a 13 city Black Guns Matter City Tour where we are going to take the things we are doing here and hit 13 cities.
We want to inform as many people as we can about their second amendment rights and dispel the myths and correct misinformation and inform people about safety. Safety is the key critical component, and between that and conflict resolution, before the firearm is even touched. If we can get people to understand safety and deal with better conflict resolution that puts us in a great space because we are able to help to quell some of the violence that is going on and a lot of the miscommunication. So that's really our six-month goal."
Have you chosen the 13 cities for your Black Guns Matter Tour?
"We have a broad stroke of where we want to go but that will change based on numbers. Homicides go up in urban areas during the summer. Robberies go up in the winter, but homicides are up in the summer so I would love to go to the worse places, the places that at the end of the year have the most homicides, the most firearm issues, and start there because that is where we are needed the most.
People in Tampa are really hitting us up saying we need you in Tampa. People in Chicago clearly need us. We want to go to the worse places. That way we can actually quantify how impactful we are in the worse places. And that really is our goal."
What are you thoughts on no gun zones?
"The big problem with guns in no guns zones is that there are no guns there. The first thing that pops into my head is the Orlando night club shooting. I can only think about all of those people during that time that were there that probably would have loved the option to defend themselves. That guy knew that he was going to place where people cannot defend themselves. To me, that is the problem with no gun zones. In situations where we have our children who are not defended, like Sandy Hook, those types of horrible situations, I wish there had been armed security there."
What kind of feedback have you gotten from law enforcement?
"They say one of two things. "Hell yeah, or what does that mean?" There has been no negative feedback. They commend what we are doing. We are making their job easier. If we can worry about our own homes and securities it gives them less to do. As far as law enforcement, we have gotten a thumbs up."
Have you gotten any negative press?
"They come in with their own agenda. But even then with how we communicate our goals and our logic, they have never been negative. Even anti-gun reporters said they got what we are doing."
Who funds your group?
"Our group is funded by individuals. We have a GoFund me campaign."
What guns do you recommend to people for home defense and why?
"The choosing of a firearm is like choosing a pair of jeans. First get training and then go into the gun range and see what feels best for you."
Is there anything else that you want to add?
"Let everybody know if they want to support what we are doing they can hit the Go Fund me page and donate to it. Every dollar makes a difference.
If they want a t-shirt they can purchase one.
Any questions about firearms safety and knowledge please pm and let me know.
These things are critical and I am here to serve the people if they need the help."
If you are interested in following Maj you can visit him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/blackgunsmattermajtoure/ or follow him on twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/MAJTOURE
Please make a donation at GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/blackgunsmatter
Elizabeth Hanson has been a gun owner and hunter for over thirty years. Her first passion is shooting black powder guns made by her father. She also enjoys shooting her Springfield Armory 1911. You can follow her on her blog at www.bullseyehuntingandshooting.com.