Hmmmm where to start? EDUCATION. SAFETY. PERSONAL DEFENSE. RESPONSIBILITY.
In case you are wondering how I became acquainted with firearms and why I feel it’s important to be a resource in this area, here’s some context. I am from a city where gun violence was the norm in my community. I’ve witnessed a multitude of friends lose their lives to gun violence, and am a survivor of Intimate Partner Violence. I have been at the receiving end of gun violence, where my abuser used them against me many of times. Firearms have always been used to control, intimidate, and keep me in fear – until the day I addressed those fears associated with firearms, and became a permitted gun owner myself. Initially when I began publicly advocating against Intimate Partner Violence, I was fearful and felt I needed to protect myself from further abuse, but my fear evolved into something else.
I came to learn that there was more to owning a firearm than just shooting and the trauma that can be associated with it. I realized owning a firearm was a massive responsibility (that’s often ignored); extreme accountability and knowledge is required. Shortly after getting my Concealed Carry Handgun Permit (CCH), I decided to become a CCH Instructor. I obtained other certifications in firearms training (pistol and rifle instruction) and added gun safety to SYS’s training curriculum as well. My personal history and instruction in firearms inspired me to educate individuals about guns and safety.
I believe lawful gun ownership is missing in communities of color, assumedly because of biased fear. Its extremely unfortunate that, in minority communities there’s a negative connotation associated with firearms. There’s more to our community than just criminals and “gang bangers” with guns; there are law abiding tax paying citizens with rights to own and carry, but unaware (or afraid) of the stigma attached to people of color and gun ownership. My vision to be this type of resource in the community isn’t based on a belief that people of color should take up firearms and arm themselves. Instead, when I noticed a recent trend in statistics that said – of the current spike in gun sales in the U.S. – 58.2% of those buyers are African American, my goal was to navigate and educate them through their ownership safely and lawfully.
I also noticed a state of urgency in people surrounding firearms during the 2008 primary elections where many felt they needed to overstock on guns. I witnessed firsthand how inexperienced, careless, and uncomfortable people were with their own firearms. Here lied the opportunity to teach gun safety, responsible ownership, and lawful possession of firearms as guns are not toys, and possessing a firearm isn’t a game. Also dear to me is the soon to come the SYSterhood Foundation. SYS is dedicated to teaching survivors of violent relationships about lawful possession, gun laws, gun safety, and personal safety.
Well, enough about me; let’s get you situated! Need my services? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I definitely look forward to speaking with you!
Rashida G., Owner
SYS Firearms Training