Philadelphia Gun Range Owner And Activist Say ‘Black Guns Matter’Posted: July 28, 2016 | |
“No one can deny, with the things that have happened over the last few weeks, we’re being murdered by law enforcement — and in our own community — at alarming rates,” said Maj Toure.
“What I can say to the American people from whatever background you are, is exercise your Second Amendment rights. Be open-minded, be objective and learn.”
— Maj Toure
While some see the numbers as a reason to increase gun control, others see things differently.
Yuri Zalzman of North Philadelphia’s The Gun Range and Maj Toure of the activist group Black Guns Matter have come together to try to find solutions.
Both teach inner-city residents how to properly handle firearms and believe the effort to reduce the number of guns in the city would mean residents would be less safe.
Here & Now’s Robin Young visited The Gun Range and spoke with Zalzman and Toure about their efforts.
Interview Highlights: Maj Toure & Yuri Zalzman
On individuals and gun ownership
Maj Toure: “For one they should choose to exercise anything that will defend themselves. If someone has a firearm and you don’t, you lose. That’s it. No different than if someone has a knife and you don’t have the means to defend yourself, you lose.
So I think that the community that I’m from, I think that information is deliberately kept away. It’s made to seem that if you have a firearm you’re either law enforcement or you must be the bad guy. No one can deny, with the things that have happened over the last few weeks, we’re being murdered by law enforcement — and in our own community — at alarming rates.”
On police in Dallas being suspicious of black men who were carrying rifles
Toure: “That’s the police officers’ and law enforcement’s responsibility to balance that out. Because there’s one or two or a few bad apples, I wouldn’t say throw the whole bunch out. You cannot group and have a monolithic statement or blanket solution for everyone when people don’t fall in alignment with that particular… I don’t even think it’s even a level of confusion. That’s law enforcement’s responsibility to be better trained and execute their duties in a much more productive way.”
On gun violence statistics, including accidents and suicides
Toure: “How many were with knives? How many of them were by legal, trained, informed citizens? These are the questions, because those are horrible statistics, but at the same time what we try to do is inform and educate people to make better decisions. I also think that there’s no way to really quantify someone who feels more safe and is more safe in those high-crime areas.”
On Philando Castile and African-American men exercising their Second Amendment right
Toure: “Again, it’s not about arming more African-American men. It’s about informing more people. I think that that one officer handled himself improperly. Just like I don’t like getting hit with a blanket statement because I’m a young African-American male with tattoos and, you know, things like that, I’ll never make a blanket statement about law enforcement because of those officers…(read more)
Source: Here & Now