NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Joel Jones, who helps educate the community about gun safety through Stop violent gun buying events organized by the Hampton Roads Black Caucus, has its own story to tell.
Jones is a firearms instructor at the Strong Arms Gun Club, which is a Hampton Roads chapter of the National African American Gun Club, also offers concealed firearms safety courses for gun owners and their families.
“What I’m trying to do is focus on the African American community where we’ve had an increase in violence, but we’ve also had an increase in gun purchases,” Jones said. .
The firearms industry trade association revealed that at least 5.4 million people bought a firearm for the first time last year. In the first six months of 2021, nearly 87% of gun stores nationwide saw an increase in the number of African American women buying guns, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
It’s a trend Jones says he’s also seen in his training classes.
“We talk about white supremacy, racism, and then there’s violence… What I found was that a lot of these women bought guns that they had had for a year or two , and never fired,” Jones explained.
He says the key to reducing gun violence is education, not only with men or women, but also with children.
“I can go anywhere, any neighborhood and find a gun. Criminals will not drop their guns. Taking the guns away from law-abiding citizens is not the solution. But if we start young, just like we teach our kids about seatbelt safety, the danger of strangers, and all those other little things they have to watch out for growing up, let’s start teaching our kids about gun safety. said Jones.
He says his goal is to certify 1,000 women. If you are interested in the courses he offers, Click here to communicate with him via Facebook or by e-mail.