Recently, 29-year-old Philadelphia activist and artist Maj Toure posed a thought provoking question to his hometown:
“What if we stopped trying to get guns off the streets and instead started licensing young men in Philly to legally pack heat?”
Toure is the founder of Black Guns Matter, a campaign aimed at that educating young people about guns and gun safety while teaching respect for firearms in an effort to curb gun violence.
“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. “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.”
In an interview on NPR last month, Toure said, “In our community especially, maybe even deliberately, there’s a lot of misinformation and ignorance. And if we continue down that same path, we’re going to keep getting what we’ve been getting.”
Toure hopes his BGM campaign will educate others on what it takes to become a legal gun-owner and the responsibilities that go along with it.
“I was 15, walking around with a gun I had no idea how to use and no real respect for,” he 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.”
This week, Toure was featured in an informational video on Fusion where he said people in Philadelphia should not only have guns – they should know how to use them.
As the BGM Facebook page states, “There Is An All Out Assult On Our Second Amendment. Protect Your Weapons With Your Life, Or Your Life With Your Weapons. #ShallNotBeInfringed”