Maj Toure, founder of the Second Amendment advocacy organization Black Guns Matter, highlighted on Friday the “hard conversations” that would need to take place in order for conservatism and firearm ownership to continue to expand into the black community.
From left-wing establishment media attacks to a perceived lack of support from the National Rifle Association, Toure told The Western Journal during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference that such outreach has long been “neglected,” with the community too often viewed as “undesirable” when it comes to issues of the Constitution.
That black community received an olive branch in recent years, as the Trump administration sought to expand the conservative coalition — but without a willingness on conservatives’ part to take stock of what worked and what fell flat when it came to messaging, the organizer seemed uncertain the gains would persist.
“We do basic firearm safety and conflict resolution in areas that have been neglected by leftist media for, I don’t know, since its inception,” Toure said. “We do basic firearm safety for people in areas that have been presented to me as, in essence, undesirable in regard to the Second Amendment.”
“We’re here to talk about spreading that conservative movement through, you know, America. We saw some great push among black, male millennials during the Trump era,” he added.
“Right now, we have to ask the hard questions about how did that translate? What do we do with conservatives where it didn’t continue to spread? So in essence, that’s why we’re here.”
— Maj Toure (@MAJTOURE) February 22, 2021
A black Philadelphia native himself, Toure has dedicated years of his life to traveling the nation in an effort to inform Americans from inner cities about their constitutional right, and responsibility, to keep and bear arms.
Since its founding in 2016, Black Guns Matter has led the charge in educating black Americans and firearm-averse individuals about the racist underpinnings of modern gun control policy.
On a bipartisan basis, high-profile legal studies experts have long pointed to the Southern Democratic strategy of black disarmament during Reconstruction as the origin for modern gun control literature and common law. In an August 2017 piece for The Hill, David Kopel of the libertarian Independent Institute and Joseph Greenlee, who now works for the pro-Second Amendment Firearms Policy Coalition, cited the post-Civil War South as the “racist origin of gun control laws.”
At the other end of the political spectrum, Slate published a piece by Fordham University professor Nicholas Johnson in February 2018 on “The Arming and Disarming of Black America,” which again cited laws in Southern states aimed at keeping black Americans from owning guns as the source of current gun control laws.
Crafted explicitly for the purpose of keeping freed slaves unarmed, gun control laws left an untold number of black Southerners entirely at the mercy of the Ku Klux Klan.
As decades passed and overt legal discrimination was done away with, however, strict firearm licensing and registration laws deeply restricted legal firearm access in America’s largest metropolitan areas and made the process of procuring a firearm more expensive — policies that the experts argued hit hardest among black supporters of the Second Amendment.
As a result, Black Guns Matter has made its presence known in inner-city communities around the country following some of the most high-profile officer-involved shootings and resulting riots of the last decade. While operating on the ground, Toure and his team provide hands-on firearm instruction and education.
In all honesty, the “controversy” surrounding my panel @CPAC put more eyes on conservatism in the young Black demographic than EVER.
MILLIONS of dollars worth of advertising all because of my moves.
You’re welcome America. #MajIsMostlyRight
— Maj Toure (@MAJTOURE) February 25, 2021
But prominent conservative groups like the National Rifle Association have not been a substantial part of those efforts, often avoiding such moments to reach out to the black community and forward the Second Amendment, as it did after the shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota, Toure said.
“The NRA is going to do what the NRA does. As the founder of Black Guns Matter, we know that there’s an area where we’ve been light — we’ve been light on the Second Amendment, and this is in urban centers,” he said. “And that’s exactly why the Second Amendment has been effectively eroded to a certain extent.”
Toure, a lapsed NRA member, was anything but closed off to the idea of returning to the organization, however. In fact, the organizer said Friday he would happy to link up on inner-city firearm education, particularly with the American left looking to capitalize on recent bouts of similar disunity among conservatives.
“I would love to reach out to the NRA again. You know, I was a member for a very long time. I would love to reach out to them again to figure out how they can assist in our work right now, because we’re splintered. The left or extreme left — still our American brothers and sisters — are attacking it, or outside entities are financing people to splinter further our separation. And that’s very important that we work together in that regard,” he added.
“We have to make urban centers powerful in regards to the Second Amendment. We don’t use those rights, we will absolutely lose them. So, we have to make sure we support people doing the work of responsible gun ownership.”
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