While Chicagoans rang in the New Year, the homicides continued to pile up, as five more people were killed and 30 injured in shootings throughout the city last weekend. Some say stricter gun laws can end the bloodshed, others call for more aggressive police action, but a few enlightened gun owners say that gun education must be the first step in a city already flooded with guns.
In a recent editorial, host of NRA News Cam Edwards proposes a focus on gun education as a “better” way to do something about gun violence in Chicago, one that could “provide the foundation of something desperately needed in Chicago—a responsible gun culture.” Edwards suggests this focus on gun education could also lead to better relations between law enforcement and crime-ridden communities. In this argument, Edwards echoes the lessons of Maj Toure, leader of the gun activist group Black Guns Matter and one of the few leading voices advocating for gun education within the inner cities of America.
Toure brought his passion for responsible gun culture to Chicago last fall, where he led a session focused on explaining the basics of firearms and gun safety. During the session, Toure also spoke on the positive social effects that can grow out of simply learning the legal requirements of owning a gun and how to declare gun possession to law enforcement in ways that could avoid further bloodshed.
Although Toure’s voice clearly rings out as a beacon of hope for gun owners throughout the country, such activism is hardly the majority and often can barely be heard amid the myriad others that seem to either be clamoring for more police action or stricter gun laws.
Those Chicagoans advocating for stricter gun laws, a group that includes Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, often point to the fact that, according to a 2014 report from the Chicago Police Department, approximately 60 percent of crime guns in Chicago came from states outside of Illinois, many of which have less strict gun laws. States like Indiana are often mentioned in this argument, as approximately 19 percent of Chicago’s crime guns have reportedly come from the Hoosier state.
Then there are those who say that only through more aggressive police action and federal assistance will Chicago see a decrease in gun violence. President-elect Donald Trump and his nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, have been very vocal about their desire to try and help the situation at the federal level.