Maj is running under the guise of the Libertarian Party, but exaggerating his grassroots and solution-based style. Maj’s appearance as an outsider separates him from the “self-interested, politically corrupt posers” who he says currently run the city.
By Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury
Maj Toure is founder of the firearms and safety training organization Black Guns Matter. He is a passionate advocate for gun ownership and education. In the past few years Toure has become a leading voice for second amendment advocation in the cities of America. He is currently on a 50 state tour to spread his message. 71 Republic’s Spencer Kellogg spoke by phone with Mr. Toure last week:
Who Are You & What Do You Do:
I am the founder of Black Guns Matter, we are a firearm and safety training organization. I’m from Philadelphia and that’s where we’re based out of. The birthplace of America. We go to urban areas in the country where there are high levels of gun control and inform people who want to know how to safely, responsibly and lawfully own firearms. We also give them information on the second amendment and how it applies to them. A lot of times, people in urban areas don’t think the second amendment applies to them and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. We are trying to make the hood great again.
On Gun Control
The root of gun control is racist. All forms of gun control come right after emancipation because you had black people that had the ability to be full citizens. That’s where Jim Crow comes from. We couldn’t have black people that were just slaves having the means to defend themselves. That’s why people of color in America have a strong history with firearms because they were used for the same reason that any other person uses them for; to defend their life and to protect their liberty. After emancipation large pockets of African Americans go to Detroit, Chicago, LA, Atlanta. That’s where gun control followed. Gun control is not necessarily about gun control. Gun control is about people control. If I have the means to defend myself just like the founding father’s did (and you do), and I know that… It’s much more difficult to control me.
On Evil & Mass Shootings
There is evil in the world. People always tout Australia or The United Kingdom for their limitations on firearms but they also don’t factor in that they’re stabbings are through the roof. They leave that part out. There are evil people in the world. The questions becomes, If they have the tool and their intent is to fuck shit up, do you at least want the fighting chance to defend yourself from the people with the evil intent? If I’m the person that’s in that school. That teacher. That assistant. Those children. At that moment, they would’ve given all the money in their bank account for one firearm to have the ability to defend themselves or their children. The person that’s doing this may be a psychopath on one level, but they’re not stupid. There’s never a mass shooting at a gun range or a police department because you know there are people there to return fire.
We talk about respect for our veterans but a lot of our veterans are homeless, don’t have jobs & don’t have insurance. Imagine if there were two or three armed vets at that school along with certain teachers that decided they wanted to take the training and have a biometric safe in their class as a last line of defense.
On Guns In The School
50 years ago, firearms safety was a class in public schools in America. Crime was down. Those people who say “I can’t imagine a school with a firearm in it,” they’re crazy and they don’t know history. Time magazine has done reporting on this. This was a class in American Public Schools but we get very short termed on our memory and the media make it seem like an insane thing that could never happen because the media is in league with people that do not want you to have the ability to defend yourself.
On The Second Amendment
When the founding fathers wrote the second amendment, it’s very clear that it was there to defend against a tyrannical government. Not just for hunting. Some say “you live in an urban area, you don’t need to hunt.” That’s not what the second amendment is for. When they wrote it, our governing body had just come from a tyrannical situation in Britain. They were the felons, per say. If they had lost the Revolutionary War, they would’ve been sent back and hung. When they wrote that, they were thinking about having a system of checks and balances that said we the people run things.
Do You Trust Your Government?
It’s not about trust – it’s about knowledge. I know that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I also know who I love and care about. It’s not about distrusting anybody else, it’s about the trust and love that I have for my friends, family and way of life. That’s what these firearms are for. If someone is trying to stop my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, my firearm will defend those things. I think that people are too dependent on government, and because of that don’t even feel like they should fight back against certain things. The government works for you. You do not work for the government.
What Is Your Political Affiliation?
I have to exist everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I don’t stand anywhere politically.
On Black Lives Matter
No we’re not affiliated with them at all. Not in a negative way but for me, they advocated ‘hands up don’t shoot’ and that’s a very submissive position. I don’t take that position. I will never fucking surrender, ever.
What Are Your Opinions On The NRA?
I think the NRA is the largest civil rights organization in the world. I don’t think they do a good job showcasing some of the support they’ve had for the minority community. They don’t promote what they did for Ottis McDonald enough. McDonald fought back successfully. Chicago was trying to stop firearms and handguns in the inner city and the NRA supported McDonald with his case. I think they’re not doing a good enough job explaining how they helped out that and that’s where I think they’re dropping the ball. We could end “the NRA is racist talk” if they just make certain moves. The money they spend on food budgets and flights, they could finance the rest of our tour. We could end the racist conversation immediately. I was at the annual meeting last April and I’ll be at the one coming up in Dallas on May 2nd.
What Has Been The Biggest Success As An Organization?
Getting firearms training in the public schools and working on the curriculum to try and get that into all the schools in America.
On The Founding Fathers
The founders of those documents were from the hood. They were hood, just like us. Over time, we’ve deified them but they were the poor dudes. They turned into something else but they were the original boots on the ground. I read everything that people in different demographics tell you ‘don’t read.’ If someone says ‘oh, that’s not for you,’ then I’m reading it.
On Guns & Philly:
I’ve always had guns. I’m from North Philly. I can get a gun quicker than I can get a soda. There are guns everywhere in Philly. There are guns in ever major city and there is supposed to be! The problem is, the information is marketed that only the bad guys or cops have firearms. Now you have this mentality of fear and that you’re doing a bad thing when you really just have a firearm for the same reason the police have it – to protect themselves and their loved ones from the bullshit. Then they make laws where you get 5 years for not filling out this piece of paperwork and you’re a felon. Nobody wants to be open about it. How can we do this without getting trapped? How can we inform people from the beginning so they understand their fundamental rights? Every single city that I’ve gone to, everybody’s got a possession charge. Not that they shot someone, not that they robbed a liquor store, not like they were knocking over old ladies. They’ve got a possession charge and are staring at 5 years for even having it. Then you see that it’s a highly organized phenomena and you start organizing against it. We’re gonna overturn the bullshit just like our founding fathers did. It’s people expressing their voice and it’s the American thing to do! So, we’re doing it.
By John Liu | USA
Last year, Phoenix surpassed Philadelphia as the 5th largest city in the US. I live in Houston, Texas, where it is the 4th largest city in the US, and that got me thinking, what makes a city a city. What is the minimum population required to be a city? What is the classification of a city? What makes some cities so special?
Before we talk about cities today, let’s talk about what it means to be a city and places before the Industrial Revolution. Merriam-Webster defines a city as a place where people work and live and cities are bigger than towns. This definition is very vague and does not specifically states the criteria for a city. In order to be a city, the minimum population needs to be around 1,500 to 50,000. That is just the minimum population. Size is not all; it also has to have some kind of political importance. Cities also have taxes in place to help support the local government.
So what makes Houston a bigger and more complex city then, let’s say, West, Texas?
First, proximity to water. The ten biggest cities by population in the USA are located next to a water source. It has always been the best way to trade goods because it is so cheap to transport the goods. Today, shipping is still the cheapest method of hauling enormous amounts of goods. It is also a transportation station. Back in 1892, Ellis Island was the best way to get to the US and by the time it closed in 1954, 12 million immigrants called the United States home. Many Asian immigrants made it to the US via San Francisco and there is a strong number of Asians in this country.
Secondly, food and potable water. It is our basic need that has to be achieved and you cannot survive without water after three days. So getting to a water source is important. There is also food that you can get from the water like fish.
The third aspect is resources. This is probably the most important reason why cities are where they are at. Most major cities are not located in the mountains because they are far away from a water source. (with the exception Denver; they are located near the rocky mountains because it has a large amount of silver in its deposit and minerals that are crucial). These cities need resources to sustain themselves.
Lastly, the jobs and affordability. The Sunbelt area, where Houston is located, is one of the fastest growing cities along Phoenix, is one of the most affordable areas to live and it is an area where most elders want to spend their days after they retire. But why do so many people still live in North, especially that San Francisco and New York City is so pricey to live? Both of these places have a lot of jobs to offer. In Houston, we have the largest medical center in the world so many scientists and doctors live over here. In San Francisco, it is the tech giants like Twitter that many tech geeks live over there.
So as cities continue to grow, the futures of millions are on the line finding jobs in these big cities and continue to grow the local urban economies of America.