Phil Smith, the President of the National African American Gun Association, is an unlikely candidate to lead a movement advoating for Black people to exercise their 2nd Amendment Rights. Smith, a graduate of the University of California at Davis, became a gun enthusiast a few years ago and turned around and founded NAAGA. NAAGA wants “to have every African American introduced to firearm use for home protection, competitive shooting, and outdoor recreational activities,” according to the group’s mantra. The group is unapologetically pro 2nd amendment organization, but also has roots deep within the community. To put it bluntly, they want Black people to legally exercise the right to be educated gun owners in order to build a stronger community that is able to protect itself.
With members in every state in the U.S.A., tens of thousands of Black people are on the same frequency as Smith and his aim to “expose, educate, and motivate as many African American men and women.” As for the membership, he also says that the largest group of members consists of Black women and he has women like Kia Glenn in key positions. “We have a strong desire to become proficient with firearms – training and education. We want to become well-versed with the laws in our respective states in order to protect our homes and our families,” Glenn said. “We want to walk to our cars alone, or at night without the feeling of being helpless should someone attempt to attack us.”
Phil Smith of NAAGA talks to Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur about a myriad of topics surrounding the issue of gun ownership. He talks about reaching out to Hip-Hop heads, talking to kids, what guns truly mean to Black people, and even the not-so-nuanced differences between other organizations like the NRA. Moreover, he talks about recent headline-topping topics like the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and Kyle Rittenhouse. Smith lays out his plan for his organization, including adequate training for potential gun owners.