With last year’s protests and uprisings, then this year’s riot at the capitol, more Americans are choosing to purchase firearms to protect themselves and their loved ones. Among them are women, and Black women. Earlier this month we shared the story of the Pink Posse, a Kansas City-based group of Black female gun owners.

Now, we share the story about an online Black female gun group, the Black Gun Initiative. Although the group organizer Marlisha Kearney is Wichita based, the online presence of the group allows more Black women a way to organize around safe firearm ownership. The group, organized last June, group has only been around since last June, has about 70 members who ask questions and give tips about owning firearms just about every day. The group does not yet meet in person, but Kearney hopes sometime in the future they will be able to organize in-person Black Girl Gun Initiative activities.

Kearny, who is also an NRA certified pistol instructor, reminds the group members and all firearm members of the importance of gun safety, including de-escalation.

“With everything going on, I think people should also know that a firearm is not always the first form of defense,” said Kearney.

She said in some cases, you can de-escalate a situation by removing yourself and walking away.

“And that comes from training and just having the right attitude when carrying a firearm,” Kearney said. “The attitude of a person can change the outcome of a confrontation or conflict in a split second. People have to develop a mindset to understand that not every conflict is a gun situation.”

When Kearney started training to become an instructor, she didn’t see any other Black women who were trainers, at least not in Kansas. That’s why she targets other Black women to give them the space to converse and learn about guns from someone who looks like them, in an inclusive environment.

“If you can see her, you can definitely be her,” she said.

Kearney’s firearm training business is offering virtual and in-person gun safety classes. She’s offering her next virtual gun safety seminar covering how to safely handle, store, and clean a firearm Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. for $15. You do not need to have a gun to attend. To find out more, visit www.anomalyfirearmstraining.com.

To join Black Girl Gun Initiative, visit: www.facebook.com/groups/1631528670345468.

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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