Maj Toure is posing an unpopular, yet important, question about guns to his fellow Philadelphians: “What if we stopped trying to get guns off the streets and instead started licensing young men in Philly to legally pack heat?”
Toure, 29, is an activist and artist who lives in the City of Brotherly Love. He advocates for changing the city’s culture not by getting guns off the street and out of homes, but by doing just the opposite through a campaign called “Black Guns Matter.”
— MetroPhilly (@MetroPhilly) May 20, 2016
“The stigma, especially in an urban environment like Philly, is if you have a gun, you’re either law enforcement or the bad guy,” Toure said, according to Bearing Arms. “What we’re trying to do is say that just because you have a gun doesn’t make you the bad guy. But while you have your firearm, which you have the right to have, you have to be a responsible, card-carrying good guy.”
Toure added that there is no difference between a white gun culture or black gun culture.
“Our aim is to try to get more people on the side of the informed gun culture,” Toure said during an interview with Fusion.
Toure grew up around gun violence in Philadelphia, but despite all of that, he has always been an advocate for gun owners. He owns a firearm himself and is an official member of the NRA, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I was 15, walking around with a gun I had no idea how to use and no real respect for,” Toure said. “In hindsight, I wish there would have been somebody to say, ‘Hey, this is a firearm, it’s not a game.’ So when I’m seeing other people living out the same scenario, I want to be that adult teaching them properly.”
Toure further recognizes that what he advocates for isn’t a particularly popular proposition, especially in the city where he lives.
“I’m probably going to be crucified for even suggesting it. But we have to do something,” Toure told the Inquirer.
Philip Smith, who founded the National African American Gun Association, echoed what Toure said.
“Let’s be honest, black people with guns are viewed like bogeymen,” Smith said. “We have to change that narrative.”
(H/T: Bearing Arms)
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