Great story profiling Gerald Vernon’s work in the heart of the Chicago, educating inner-city residents on the proven benefits of firearm ownership.

He’s doing yeoman’s work there among Chicago’s working class residents, debunking myths of gun ownership perpetuated by the mainstream media, Chicago’s Democratic Machine politicians and community agitating clergymen like so-called Father “Snuffy” Pfleger.

It’s title says it all.

And when anti-gunners read it, it’s probably going to cause their blood pressure to go up and the urine to run down their legs.  It’s the stuff that makes Mayor Bloomberg wet his bed at night.

Gerald Vernon. Photos by Chicago Reader.

Dismantling the stigma of guns
Gerald Vernon believes conceal-and-carry laws and responsible firearm owners are crucial to keeping people safe—especially in the communities hit hardest by crime.

By Mick Dumke

(Chicago Reader) – he first lesson Gerald Vernon shared with his conceal-and-carry class is, to him, the most fundamental: “The only thing that stops bad people with guns is good people with guns.”

His ten students—eight men and two women, all African-Americans—were listening intently. They had gathered in a meeting room at a south-side social service center to learn about gun ownership and self-defense from Vernon, a veteran firearms instructor who was seated at the front of the room next to a table set with an array of revolvers and semiautomatic handguns from his collection.

The students didn’t appear to need any convincing. “I’m interested in protection,” explained Thomas Brandon, 57, when it was his turn to introduce himself. The others said they were there for the same reason.

Vernon, 57, has a full, round face that’s often locked in a look of earnest contemplation, even when he switches to a goofy, higher-pitched voice to make a humorous point. His movements are quick and strong from decades of martial arts, though he jokes about his ample midsection, and he’s walked with a limp and the assistance of a cane since a near-fatal car accident 15 years ago. He is polite and patient but will say exactly what he thinks.

“Over the last 20 years, I’ve been places I don’t think a lot of other black people have been,” he told the class. “I’ve spent a lot of time and a lot of money traveling the country and getting this training so I could bring it back to the community.”

He’s not kidding.  We’re proud to call him an alumni of the GSL Defense Training family!

…Vernon believes that African-Americans, of all people, should embrace the right to bear arms, even if they don’t want to carry a gun themselves. “Black people have been programmed to think that self-defense, our defense, is someone else’s responsibility—that good, honest, decent black people have nothing to do with guns, because guns are for white folks, police, and black criminals. I find it to be an absurd notion. The vast majority of gun laws in America have been aimed at trying to disarm black people.”

Fair warning, the last half of the article has a lot of anti-gun agitprop.



3 thoughts on “Chicago Reader profiles Gerald Vernon: Dismantling the stigma of guns”
  1. Great positive story! If we had more people like Gerald making a difference in arming the good honest citizens of their local communities, it wouldn’t be long until we’d see a drop in crime in those areas.

    1. Sam,

      I plan to attend IGOLD. Look for the Chicago Firearms Safety Association table at the convention center.

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