HuffPost released a video that showcased the efforts of an activist unlikely to receive so much attention from such a liberal outlet.
Marchelle “Tig” Tigner-Washington — a national guard veteran and firearm instructor — graced HuffPost’s website, proclaiming her mission to empower 1 million women by teaching them how to shoot firearms.
Through her organization “Trigger Happy Firearm Instruction,” Tigner-Washington offers classes for women to learn about firearm safety and usage.
A sexual assault and domestic violence survivor herself, Tigner-Washington said she felt safer after working at a shooting range.
“When I started working at the range, I realized, ‘Hey, I feel more safe walking around now,'” she said.
She explained that most of the women in her class were “victimized in some way” and said they felt more powerful after her instruction.
“‘I don’t feel like a victim, I feel like a survivor,'” she said, quoting the women.
“I think a lot of women, sometimes, we have this mentality that, ‘Oh, someone’s going to save us,'” Tigner-Washington said. “And I try to inform the women that, ‘Hey, you can be your own protector,'” she added.
She also seemed to address how her identity as a black woman conflicted with the public’s perception of a shooting instructor:
“There’s these boxes that people put everyone in, and I wish we can kind of do away with them. In the textbook definition of a conservative, you’re pro-gun, and then in the textbook definition of a liberal, you’re anti-gun … It’s really tough trying to separate and look at people as just individual people and not, ‘I’m one group or I’m another group.’ I try to identify myself as just, ‘Hey, I’m Marchelle, that’s it. I like guns and I’m an instructor.'”
In the video, she said she served as the associate director for training at the National African-American Gun Association (NAAGA), which advocates “for the inalienable right to self-defense for African-Americans.”
The organization’s website described how the United States used gun control policies to “oppress and control African-American populations, especially in the Southern States.”
“The future is bright for active firearm ownership within our community now and for years to come,” the organization also said.
Nezida Davis, who serves as legal counsel for the NAAGA, said that black people need protection even if the perception is that they don’t own firearms.
“The minute you walk out the door, you’re automatically seen, because you’re a female, as a target,” Davis said. “And we don’t want to be a target. We don’t want to be victims. We want to be able to protect ourselves.”