MINNEAPOLIS — “I’m a reformed scumbag from North Philly that tryin’ to do the right thing,” was a powerful statement that quieted a small conference room in Hotel Minneapolis.
Maj Toure, the founder of Black Guns Matter, made his way to the Twin Cities for a long weekend to spread his message to black communities.
Appearing on the Twin Cities radio show, “Black Republican Black Democrat,” Toure said that he created Black Guns Matter because he was “tired” of seeing his friends die at the hands of police officers and the hands of one another.
His message is simple. Educating everyone, but especially people of color, about their second amendment rights, gun safety, and encouraging a community stigmatized by gun violence to own guns to protect themselves.
Monday night’s event in downtown Minneapolis brought together a room full of black men and women curious about the message of Black Guns Matter, especially in the wake of the Jeronimo Yanez verdict in the death of Philando Castile.
Emotions still raw from the verdict a few weeks ago, led to a few members of the audience questioning Toure on why he would ask a white man to teach them the technical aspects of gun safety and gun laws.
“I don’t care about the packaging,” Toure told the audience. Noting that he had reached out to a person of color before hand without luck, he also noted the number of black men and women certified to sell guns and be certified in gun safety was small.
The event gathered certified trainers, lawyers, and pro-gun activists from the area so people have resources to turn to after Toure’s presentations.
Toure told the group that lawmakers who call for additional laws in the name of safety and gun control were simply creating another form of slavery. “Free men own guns, slaves can’t,” Toure told the crowd.
He used the law to show that current talking points by anti-gun activists like new laws to mental health checks and background checks were not needed as current laws already accounted for these issues.
Zavier Bicott, Chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota contacted Toure back in February to host the event.
In a press release, Bicott states, “The goal of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota is that by continuing to reach out to urban communities with information about firearm safety, we are encouraging and promoting a safer society, while preserving liberty and constitutionally protected 2nd amendment rights. But this isn’t enough, we also need to encourage a change in culture and training of our law enforcement officials. We hope by fostering a conversation and bringing our communities together we have a better understanding of the duties and responsibilities of both parties involved.”
Bicott told Alpha News that he thought event was a success. “At the end of the day, this isn’t about Republican or Democrat, but it’s about creating a dialogue and conversation that is affecting a large portion of our community. This event was as much of a learning experience for me, as it was for those who came to hear Maj [Toure] speak.”