Breitbart News recently had the opportunity to visit with Philip Smith, founder of the National African American Gun Association and an ardent supporter of the right of citizens of all races to keep and bear arms.
Smith discussed numerous topics, but his comments centered on the Second Amendment and how he is watching a change sweep over the black community by which eyes are opening to the value of a gun at the ready for self-defense.
Smith–an African American–said he founded his group after going to a gun range with a friend “8 or 9 months ago” and realizing he was the only black person there. He went to a range with another friend “a few weeks later and pretty much saw the same thing” and decided it was time to form “an African American gun association” to provide an outlet for the growing number of black citizens who realize the Second Amendment protects their right to defend life and liberty.
So Smith founded the National African American Gun Association–an association he uses not only as a gathering place for black citizens who value having a gun for defense of self and family but also for those who simply want to shoot or want to learn how to shoot. Smith describes himself as a facilitator, and as people come into his association he makes connections for them based on where they are in their shooting experience.
There is a marked shift toward the value of guns for self-defense, concealed carry, etc. in the black community. Breitbart News reported on this shift in April as NPR reported a nearly 50 percent jump in the number of those in the black community who now see a gun as “something more likely to protect than harm.”
Smith’s association is there to welcome black citizens and direct them when they are ready to make that leap from non-gun owner to gun owner, and he wants to do it with “a cultural mindset” that keeps those citizens comfortable as they learn.
We stand for the Second Amendment–we stand very firmly. We are very proud citizens. We love the country. But in terms of protecting ourselves things are changing–the country is becoming more violent, threats like home invasions are real, and this makes every one more nervous; generally nervous.
You need, at some point, hopefully, an organization that reflects your culturally mindset as they connect with you. Even if it’s the same message being presented by other prominent gun rights groups, when it is delivered a little differently it resonates a little bit more with folks.
It is interesting to note that 10 percent of the members of the National African American Gun Association are white, and Smith is proud of that. He stresses that his group “is not monolithic” in their approach to membership.
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