Black pro-gun groups are working hard to educate black people about gun rights as the community grapples with the Philando Castile verdict.
A jury of 12 cleared Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez of his fatal shooting of Castile, a black gun owner. (RELATED: Cop Found Not Guilty In Death Of Philando Castile)
Now, Black Guns Matter and the National African-American Gun Association (NAAGA), two prominent black gun organizations, are working to teach their communities about gun rights and gun safety.
Black Guns Matter head Maj Toure is hosting a firearms and safety training course in Minneapolis, the city of Castile’s shooting, to address Second Amendment rights and Minnesota gun laws June 26.
Toure will also focus on how to interact with law enforcement officers as a legal gun owner, planning to teach participants the phrase “How do you want me to proceed?” to ask police officers.
“We’re going to concentrate heavy on how to interact with law enforcement officers at traffic stops. We’re going to be very serious about that,” Toure told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Always ask: ‘How would you like to proceed?’ Because that may be the different between what happened to Castile, and whether you’re going home or going in a box.”
NAAGA is also reaching out to their members to remind them about necessary gun laws in various states and what their rights are, Philip Smith, the organization’s leader, told TheDCNF. The group is trying to reach out to spread information to people who might not already be a member of the group.
Both leaders disagreed with the verdict. “It’s bullshit,” Toure said to TheDCNF, adding “Castile didn’t do anything wrong. He should be standing beside me now.”
Smith pointed out that the shooting was troubling from both a personal and legal view.
“It is alarming that a person who had everything he needed, from a legal perspective: he had his license, his carry license, insurance, and wasn’t doing anything crazy,” Smith told TheDCNF. “I’m not saying the officer was a bad person, he just did a bad thing. I think he should have been punished severely.”
Regardless, Smith doesn’t think that the verdict will sway the black community from owning guns legally.
“I think this make a lot of people very angry. They’re already shooting us without guns,” Smith told TheDCNF. “We might as well have guns….we’re not going to stop carrying, we’re not going to stop exercising our Second Amendment rights. Our forefathers died for that.”
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