Concealed Carry as a Young Minority

Six pack or a revolver? That was an easy choice for me. When I turned 21, the last thing I wanted to do was spend my day at a bar. I wanted to spend my day at my local firearms dealer. My father accompanied me when I purchased my first gun, the same place he purchased his first gun. Together we spent months looking at all the handguns. I saved my hard earned cash up and couldn’t wait until I was able to purchase my first handgun. I have been around handguns since I could remember and been shooting since I was 12. I was even on the high school rifle team, but this was my own gun. With it not only came great responsibility but also great fear. I brought my concealed carry permit that same day, but was I ready to carry?

Life changes when you carry a live gun on your hip and you’re out in public. It’s different from getting your first car. You get your first car and drive off the lot. You can’t wait for your friends to see you in your new car. Your excitement is running through your body but you buy your car and forget about what it is capable of doing. You forget that your new car can instantly become a weapon and can take you or someone else’s life. When I carried my gun for the first time I felt it on me. It was awkward and heavy.

I reminisce at times when I recall my first time carrying a firearm. It felt weird and wrong because I was the first person my age who I knew that carried a gun and in the beginning I felt like I was breaking a law. As a minority, I felt even more cautious. I never saw stories of black concealed carry people defending themselves in the newspaper or television but I saw black people committing crimes with firearms. It also illustrated a stereotype that black people who had a gun were criminals. I knew that wasn’t true but most people see a young black male carrying a gun as trouble.

Most firearms related crimes committed in my city involve minorities killing other minorities (black on black violence.) Other than my father my godfather, and a few minority policemen, I didn’t know any black people who carried a firearm in my city. I live in a city with a population of about 14,000 people and an increasing amount of violent crimes and a drug epidemic.

As a young boy, I rarely saw anyone except police, military, or criminals with guns and was taught in school guns kill people. It wasn’t until I became a teenage and my father started to educate and teach me about firearm education, safety, and marksmanship, I knew that school was spinning me an incorrect narrative. In high school, I joined the rifle team and continued learning marksmanship. The rifle team furthered my firearm training but I also learned that there was a lot about shooting I still didn’t know. I found out that in the urban high school I attended, the vast majority of the team never shot a rifle in their life. The suburban teams we played against the majority of the team had been exposed to firearms before joining the team. I realized that minority families were less likely to expose their children to firearms. My school and my community were not educating young minorities about gun safety.

I carry a firearm daily and educate myself on laws. I train consistently and love exploring the firearm culture. I recently brought a precision rifle to start training long range shooting and I plan on going deer hunting for the first time. Since carrying my first handgun, I don’t feel awkward anymore. I just wake up, take a shower, get dressed, put my gun on and head out the door. My conceal handgun has become an extension of me. With the increase in violence and the backwards politics in my city, I fear that people will restrict firearms from law abiding citizens but not restrict the criminals from obtaining firearms. I plan on being a firearm activist and to be a positive influence in the firearm community. I plan on trying to bring gun education to the inter city schools and working with pro gun groups to get young minorities.

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Gun Confessions of Musician and Writer Hugh Izzey

Finding My 2nd Amendment Voice

Why Can’t I Be Quiet?

So when did I become a “gun” advocate? That’s a funny question because I think I’ve always been an advocate I just didn’t have the training and knowledge that I have now to actually be in a position to share that information.

When I was younger, I was an eager enthusiast, watching passionately as my revered icons shot up the silver screen. I idolized those camera cannons as if they were characters themselves. As much as I dreamed about what I would do with my gold plated Desert Eagle. I knew I’d probably never own one.desert eagle

In my youth, I lived a transient lifestyle, moving often as a musician and post break-up artist which wasn’t very “safe” for owning a firearm. Although, still enthusiastic, most of what I’d learned about firearms was from movies or non-legal carriers. The problem is everything thing I’d assumed and learned up to that point was wrong. I actually believed that there was such a thing as an accidental discharge.

9/11, I awoke that morning to what I that was a movie trailer for a new action movie. As I watched the news footage of an airplane crashing into one of the twin towers, I look over at my pregnant girlfriend and tears welled up in my eyes. My thought was that before my son was going to be born things were going to change drastically. Even though I was afraid, I buried my fear and continued on.
A few years later my mother moved out to the “country” and I decided to try out “the simple life”. A friend of hers decided to give me a crash course in deer hunting. I, clad, in my bright yellow parka (hunters orange was not in the wardrobe) and an aged 20ga shotgun. He handed me the long zipped pouch and walked towards the hunting shack laughing at my jacket and lack of vest. After the second shot, I rested the button against my shoulder. D’oh!!!

My first New Years celebration after turning 21. I was excited, I had planned on hanging out all night with my new “friends” across the street. I’d spent the the afternoon drinking vodka and lemonade which only led to a early evening nap. I awoke to a headache and the sounds of war from outside my window. Remembering an invitation to shoot anything that took brass, I ran (OK, I  walked to the door and as I looked out all I saw was the fast flash, from a small automatic uzi being shot loosely into the air. I wasn’t afraid to go out and stand with my neighbors. I was terrified. The sounds coming from the back yard weren’t echoes, they were the other blocks responses.

Columbine 1999, Sandy Hook Elementary 2012 and San Bernardino 2015? We’re not getting better.dylan-klebold

I, out of my own reasoning, started to wonder Why”. Is it because there are guns? Do assault rifles make people violent? What would happen if guns were banned? Would a ban stop violent deaths?     I (who, is an expert by no means) have never seen a gun fire itself, nor have I found any cases of assault rifles bullying anyone into forced discharges (they’re kinda lazy that way, I guess). The current laws aren’t stopping criminals from getting their hands on even the most rare firearms so isn’t it safe to say the gun laws only disable law abiding citizens from protecting themselves their home and their families.
I’m not saying that I think firearms are for everyone (that’s not my decision to make), but statistically, these types of criminals seek out victims. How often do you hear about a 35 year old Marine or off duty L.E.O. getting attacked? Hardly, if ever. The examples are usually, a woman with children, the small guy with his hands full the unsuspecting employee, who are accosted. Shouldn’t a  hardworking, taxpaying constituent have more rights and legal abilities than a recidivist felon who wants to challenge his/her God and state given rights?

If there were more trained (this isn’t a natural skill, it does requires training) advocates walking around then this type criminal would be forced to change his m.o. because the law of averages would start to catch up.

Isaiah 54:17, states that no weapon formed against me shall prosper,

well in my opinion neither will a family forced to accept the loss of a provider.

Btw, my first firearm purchase was a Magnum Research MR9 Eagle…my last name is Griffin and it seemed appropriate (cats have 9 lives and eagles, well they fly!!!).

Hugh Izzey

Terrell Griffin aka. Hugh Izzey. As a musician and writer for over 20 years, I have always been inspired to write about my passions both musically and as a journalist. After years of “living in fear”, I finally decided to make a conscious effort to improve not only myself and others. In 2015, I received my F.O.I.D. card yet still procrastinated in my efforts to stop being a victim. In order to fulfill, my upcoming New Years resolution, I put my “Baby Desert Eagle” on online layaway. As an actual firearm owner, I got thirsty for more gun knowledge and turned to the internet. As I prepare to update my training and upgrade to CCW, I turn to advocates like Kenn Blanchard, the Black Man With A Gun. Now, no looking back (except to check my 6).

Www.HughIzzey.com
http://www.hughizzey.com/look-hughs-talking-n.o.w.–in-other-words–1.html

Editors note: One of the goals of this movement is to find and inspire people like Hugh. Will be looking for contributors to share their stories as well. We are making history.

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