In a city torn by violence, Black Philadelphians are buying guns to respond to crime, racism

In a city torn by violence, Black Philadelphians are buying guns to respond to crime, racism

‘Why would you want the racists to be the only ones with knowledge of firearms?’ Philadelphia gun advocate and founder of Black Guns Matter, Maj Toure, recently asked a reporter. Members of the Train 2 Fight and Defensice Unicorns Black gun clubs learn to use firearms, saying training helps to avert accidents and the abuse of weapons (Photo via Train2Fight/The Philadelphia Tribune). By Dwight Ott PHILADELPHIA — Essence, who preferred not to use her full name, was reluctant to talk as she descended the steps of the Gun Range on Percy Street in North Philadelphia. The whap, whap, whap of gunfire reverberated in the hallway as she walked down the long flight of stairs and onto the street. She and her male companion had just exited the Gun Range, where paying customers sharpen their shooting skills. Behind a bulletproof glass, a fusillade of bullets from a wide range of rifles, revolvers and pistols explode out of muzzles and rip into paper targets. “I’m torn,” Essence said as she stopped for a quick chat. “I know that guns are killing us. Blacks are shooting each other. But I need a gun to protect myself and my family. I’m forced into a corner.” Essence posed a question that a growing number of Blacks in Philadelphia and the nation are asking and answering the same way she did: They’re buying guns. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, gun sales among Black men and women increased by 58% in the first six […]

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