If you are a YouTube fan of Mr. Colion Noir, Hank Strange or Aargo Jay you may wonder where are other Americans of African decent online or in the community. Believe it or not, we as a nation are in a new place today as growing numbers of people under thirty are realizing the hyperbole of gun control and the people that promote it. I have been intimately involved in the gun community since 1991 and have learned a lot about the heroes and the “zeroes” in this movement.
Today, it is not unusual to see a person of color, in a gun shop, show, or even on new media sharing his or her opinion about the sport of shooting, the racist roots of gun control or some cool new firearm. It wasn’t always this way.
People of color have a history of persecution and oppression when it comes to firearms in North America. The first gun laws in this hemisphere barred the ownership and possession of guns by Africans, the Chinese and indigenous peoples of North America as early as 1634. It is in our DNA not to promulgate, promote or show that we are armed or support the right to self-defense. A black man would be hung, shot, whipped or maimed for even being found with a musket ball in his possession. We have been conditioned to fear the government and at the same time seek its help, approval and protection like a well-mannered slave.
Our parents have worked hard at ignoring selected parts of our history and urging us to learn about everything except survival. There are generations of us however that because of careers in the military, law enforcement, education or circumstance buck “the system” and have operated as gun owners despite the stigma, and cowardice of the status quo. The so-called leaders in the black community have denounced self-reliance and embraced victimology. They have become more racist in their promulgation than our ancestors during the Civil Rights era. They expertly use fear and tragedy to make headlines, promote their own agendas and stay on camera.
The “old heads” in the gun community are not as active online so it is harder for the younger people in the community to connect but we are here.
The national organizations that fight for the rights of gun owners do not publically promote support of any group, especially black ones because it’s a Catch 22. They would be damned if they tried to promote a grassroots recruiting programs in the inner cities. The black community has been thoroughly brainwashed into believing that the gun grabbers are friends and groups like the NRA is an enemy. I am not happy it is like that but it is what it is.
And I have been here long enough to know that a group of just all black gun owners isn’t cool either. It’s a good starting point though. It will allow for learning to happen faster, because its comfortable but it can also create a wall that we don’t need anymore. America has enough walls.
In 2000, I created a website called the Black Man With A Gun. It was used to sell my first book and be a guide for people of color looking for resources and a friendly face. I took the name from the last book I found on the subject by Robert F. Williams, “Negroes With Guns” published in 1968.
I am not, and was not, the first black man with a gun nor will I be the last. Today you are seeing more and more activists, entrepreneurs and “urban shooters.” I would like to introduce you to some folks I know.
Before there was a Kenn Blanchard, they’re James Farmer, and a Roy Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Roy was the first black person I met on the Board of Directors of the NRA.
The first activist I saw trying to do something with the NRA after I started working with them to change concealed carry laws nationally, was a former police officer named Aquil Quadir from Buffalo, NY. He had written a proposal for funding for his gun club. Aquil is a retired Buffalo police officer that had seen his share of violence. This club is still active.
There are college professors like Dr. Robert Cottrell and Dr. Nick Diamond that write and teach on the history of Africans and gun rights, that I still steal from liberally.
There is Rev. Anthony Winfield, a NYC hospital chaplain, a USMC Viet Nam veteran, that wrote a little book about self-defense and being a Christian, a long time before I wrote my first book or became a minister of the Gospel.
There are 100-plus members of a gun club I founded called the Tenth Cavalry Gun Club. I started it in 1991, and it grew with a chapter in New Jersey under director of Percy Bennett. Today only the Maryland chapter has survived but it is doing well.
There is Rick Ector in Michigan, the hardest working firearms instructor in Motown. He has taught hundreds of people, especially a large number of black women.
There is the Black Gun Owner Forum,
and bloggers like N.U.G.U.N.
I am proud to know journalist like Chicago Defender’s J. Palmer that are pro-gun and behind enemy lines.
There are now three NRA directors, J. Kenneth Blackwell from Ohio, former FBI agent Carl Rowan Jr., the former NBA player Karl Malone.
The National Sport Shooting Foundation has a sharp and super nice person in charge of First Shots program, named Tisma Juett. Another woman I have been blessed to meet is California attorney and documentary star, Bobbie Ross as seen in the movie, “Assaulted: Rights Under Fire.”
You’ve probably heard of Otis McDonald out of Chicago, and maybe Andy Queen also of Illinois.
There are hunters and entrepreneurs like the folks at DCcoverscents.com, and guys like Baraka James that lead a diverse group of shooters called MASF. Diversity is where its at, actually. We are stronger together than we are apart.
We are out here. Numerically our numbers are still small in comparison to the overall population of both blacks and whites but we are growing. We are a niche within a niche. We are overcoming four hundred years of oppression and generations of misinformation. The gun community is inclusive, powerful and knowledgeable. The people in it are outstanding. We shall overcome.
Picture above shows, Rick Ector, Kenn Blanchard, and Mr. Colion Noir
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