I’m not sure who hijacked NPR, but I’m glad they did. This article on a community-minded African-America gun club is uplifting:
The Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club, based near Baltimore in Marriottsville, Md., is an African-American firearms club that focuses as much on discipline and black history as it does on shooting. It has 163 members and takes its name from the 9th and 10th Army Cavalry, an African-American regiment known as “Buffalo Soldiers.”
Ken Brown is a big man, and the Ruger Mark III .22 long rifle semi-automatic pistol he’s loading at an outdoor gun range looks almost tiny in his hands. He’s hoping the lessons he teaches and practices at the range where the Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club shoots are something he can pass on to young people in a larger context.
“See, the whole shooting discipline in and of itself is behaving responsibly, and that’s what we hope to give to our youth. [Behaving] responsibly can be a lot of fun,” Brown says.
Brown says the club proudly focuses on teaching people about what he calls the deep history of blacks and firearms. One of his favorite examples is Salem Poor, a Massachusetts slave who bought his freedom in 1769 and fought at Bunker Hill in 1775.
Brown thinks knowledge about this history will help steer kids away from drugs and gangs: “We have something that will give them a stake in this country.”
I think Mr. Brown is dead-on accurate. Crime among urban youth is the result of anomie, the breaking down of social bonds between individuals and their community. I’ll refrain from attacking LBJ’s “Great Society” in detail, and simply note that we are living with its effects.
Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club seems well-grounded in the sort of community involvement and responsibility building, and respect that we need in this nation, regardless of our individual histories. Our nation’s motto is, after all, E pluribus unum, which means, out of many, one.
They are a GOA/NRA/CMP affiliated club, and I hope that these organizations can offer them support to meet some of their unique needs. As we’ve noted repeatedly, the fastest growing segments of the American gun culture are young, female, and urban shooters. They are our future, and we owe it to ourselves to help them grow and perhaps branch out to other communities.