There is no denying the problem of illegal guns on city streets and the heartbreak that comes along with it. One North Philadelphia man is trying to curb the problem through fire-arms education and he wants to change the way people think in the process.
FOX 29's Hank Flynn was at The Gun Range in North Philadelphia the other day when he ran into Maj Toure, founder of Black Guns Matter.
His self-imposed mission is teaching gun safety and the pathway to legal gun ownership. Though he's happy to teach anyone, Maj does focus on communities that he says are under-informed on gun law. In other words, he says… the Black community. “I think a lot of times other organizations may have judged, or even ignored our demographic,” he says, watching as Gun Range instructor James Kelly and I took turns shooting at a target. “We’re going to use whatever resources are available to make sure that this group of American citizens are handled properly and are very well informed.”
But here's the thing: it's not all about guns. As Maj puts it, guns are a commonality that spark a larger conversation, one about perceptions. In the eyes of the law, there's no difference between a legal gun owner in North Philly -- a black man like Maj, for instance -- and a legal gun owner elsewhere. But people have preconceived notions. “The person that has that bias, especially if they're into firearms… we already have that commonality. Because if I say "Hey, I want my firearm and I don't want anybody to take it," they already feel that exact same way. Now we can deal with the fact that why me having a firearm -- if it does make you nervous -- why does it make you nervous?”
Maj says he gets death threats on a semi-regular basis mainly, he adds, from people that don’t understand what Black Guns Matter stands for. Since, as Americans, we know that the same laws are supposed to apply to everyone, why is it that a guy from North Philly preaching legal gun ownership is causing such a stir. We welcome the conversation @fox29philly and @hankfox29.