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Chicago Sun-Times’ Glowing Profile of Guns Save Life’s Alfreda Keith Keller

April 17, 2017


Guns Save Life’s Chicagoland Regional Director Alfreda Keith Keller takes a turn at the head of this year’s IGOLD parade. We’re so proud of her! The Chicago Sun-Times just posted a glowing story on Alfreda and her advocacy.

The winds of change have come.  The Chicago Sun-Times wrote a glowing piece on a gun rights advocate.  The Chicagoland tabloid newspaper covered Guns Save Life's Chicagoland Regional Director Alfreda Keith Keller. 

We've known she is delightful and wonderful for years now.  Now, the self-admitted anti-gun bigot Laura Washington admits that she found Alfreda every bit as much of a great person as we have.

Here it is.  From the Sun-Times.

A delightful advocate for legal, responsibly owned guns

I write, often harshly, about The People of the Gun. I harbor a dim view of Second Amendment advocates.

With each new shooting in Chicago, I have become more terrified of guns and the people who carry them.

It’s time I actually met one.

Alfreda Keith Keller did not fit my cynical view of a gun lover. She doesn’t wear horns. She doesn’t drive a pickup truck.

Keller, 63, is an African American, retired Cook County juvenile probation officer. The south suburban resident is hyper busy, tutoring school children, substitute teaching, volunteering with at-risk youth.

And, as she proudly asserts, “a Certified Instructor with the Illinois State Police to teach the Conceal Carry Classes for Illinois.”

We met for coffee in Bronzeville on a recent Saturday morning. Keller arrived wearing a black beret and a winsome smile.

Her gun was in the car.

What’s a nice lady like you doing teaching people how to shoot?


It was an urge deeply rooted in her girlhood, in downstate in Springfield. Dad had served in the military. He “would take me to the state fair every year and to the shooting arcade, so it was like a skill thing, shoot the duck and win the prize. He kinda guided me in techniques,” she recalled. “I didn’t realize he was kind of preparing me then, for guns later on.”

In 2005, as she was preparing to retire, she started taking self-defense classes, then classes to get a gun permit, then learning conceal carry laws, eventually qualifying as an instructor.

Now other black women seek her out for lessons. Some have inherited guns from fathers or husbands, she said. “A lot of women are fearful. They’re fearful of like, now, the shootings on the Dan Ryan. Of being in the car, going out.”

Keller is a zealous evangelist for making them feel safe, by using guns responsibly. Her wallet is packed with gun permits, licenses, certifications. She totes a black leather portfolio is stuffed with detailed lesson plans, rules, study guides.

She owns six guns, which she keeps in a safe at home. Her favorite: her “357.” She practices shooting every day.

Keller loves to hit the road on her on her Honda VTX, another later-in-life acquisition. She keeps her gun in the saddlebag. “I have a patch on my motorcycle vest that says, ‘I may look cute and cuddly, but I’m locked and loaded.’ ”

Look at the headlines about street crime. Don’t we need fewer guns, and more gun control?

“Those are illegal guns,” she replied. “Most of those, you know, 90 percent of those are illegal guns. You can’t fault the people who have honestly gone and taken safety classes.

“They don’t run around shooting up people, but it’s the gang-bangers, it’s the people who aren’t versed in firearm safety.”

I connected with Keller via Chicago Guns Matter, a group of African Americans who, their web site declares, “are here to share with the urban community how to exercise their fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

She rejects the “stigma” that guns are associated with bad guys. “We have doctors, lawyers, eye doctors, all kinds of professional people that have been shooting for years. Who now are embracing the fact that they can conceal carry. And that they maybe can reduce the bad actions that happen in their neighborhoods.”

Keller is a delightful and passionate advocate for legal gun responsibility and safety. We need that in our neighborhoods.

Now, I salute Laura Washington.  She calls herself out as a bigot.  Good for her.  Recognizing a problem can serve as the first step in confronting one's own learned prejudices.  Now, if she would only work harder to make herself a better person by rejecting bigotry and prejudice full-time.

Imagine for a moment if she started her piece with:

I write, often harshly, about black people. I harbor a dim view of African-Americans.

With each new shooting in Chicago, I have become more terrified of black people and the criminals among them.

It’s time I actually met one.

Or this:

I write, often harshly, about Muslims. I harbor a dim view of followers of Allah.

With each new terrorist attack, I have become more terrified of Muslims and the terrorists among them.

It’s time I actually met one.

Laura Washington would be drummed out of a job faster than she could gather her stuff at her desk.  But harboring  baseless bigotry and prejudice against gun owners, there's no direct fall out.  Nobody's calling her into her boss' office and counseling her to be more "tolerant" or "open to diversity" when it comes to the scores of millions of good guy gun owners across America. 

Now, the overall attitude of Ms. Washington and her fellow scribes certainly serves as one big reason for the declining circulation of mainstream media publications.  However, little Laura doesn't see that except when subsequent rounds of layoffs come, or in the many unfilled positions when people leave the sinking ship that is the Sun-Times.

Anyway, thank you Laura Washington for coming to that interview with a halfway open mind.  We think you would find a lot more People of the Gun are delightful advocates for legal, responsible gun ownership.  The horns you perceive us wearing are a figment of your prejudiced imagination.  Keep writing like this and maybe the public will see the Sun-Times in a whole new light and start subscribing once again.

9 Responses to Chicago Sun-Times’ Glowing Profile of Guns Save Life’s Alfreda Keith Keller

  1. JPD on April 17, 2017 at 11:01 am


    'Keep writing like this and maybe the public will see the Sun-Times in a whole new light and start subscribing once again."  Uhmmmmm……no.

  2. Seamus on April 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I'll comp Ms Washingtons 16 hour concealed carry class if she's willing. 

  3. Morning Rush on April 17, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Wow.  Good job to Miss Guns Save Life.  Congrats.

  4. David Deplorable on April 17, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Why didn't the author mention GSL?

    that's right…  we have horns and tails.  Good for Alfreda.



    • Alfreda Keith Keller on April 21, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      In doing the interview with Laura Washington, the first bit of information that I sent to her was the GSL Newspaper of January 2015. It was a piece on me when I went to speak at the GSL meeting in November  of 2014. I also gave her the History of GSL and several of our lastest newspaper publications. Laura Washington was given my name and contact information through a group in Chicago, Chicago Guns Matter. I even invited her to attend a meeting of the GSL Chicagoland meeting and I would even go and pick her up! I also told her that whenever she was ready, I would give her the 16 hour class that I teach, as complementary on me! So she was aware of my involvement and commitment to GSL! You never know how a writer is going to write from a interview. My heart, and dedication is to GSL! We want to get the word out about The Second Amendment and how Honest Respectable Gun Owners feel about our rights! I will continue to be committed to this cause. I do thank Chicago Guns Matter for giving my information to Laura Washington in order to let the world how it really is….continue the journey!!!! Thanks for your continued support!! Alfreda Keith Keller, Chicagoland Regional Director

  5. Dyspeptic Skeptic on April 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Bravo for Alfreda.  For the Sun-Times?   Not so much.

  6. Thirdpower on April 19, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    and then they post this editorial: http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/stop-congress-from-trashing-illinois-concealed-gun-protections/


    W/ a link to a donation page for Bloomberg's everytown. 

    • David Deplorable on April 21, 2017 at 11:10 am


  7. David Deplorable on April 21, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Congrats to Alfreda.  She's proven a great advocate for gun owners and civil rights.

    The Sun-Times still sucks though.