I grew up in the inner city of St. Louis in a single parent household. We faced poverty, hunger, violence, and decay. It was a daily struggle that I assumed was the life of every black family in America. I didn’t know the world that existed outside of my neighborhood.

But by the grace of God, I saw a glimmer of light in the distance and chose a different path. I joined the St. Louis Police Department’s Prisoner Processing Division. There I learned about the true threats that plague our society, what public safety really means, and why we should hold our constitutional rights — especially the Second Amendment — close to our hearts.

After 16 years, I left the police force, but never lost focus of protecting people. So, I continued training individuals in self-defense and started an organization called Aiming for The Truth to focus on changing the underlying factors that drive violence in our communities.

A critical part of my job — as both a firearms coach and someone who is trying to generate wholesale change in impoverished communities — is showcasing truth while dispelling lies surrounding violence, firearms, and the Second Amendment.

Thanks to the anti-freedom people and organizations, most of us grow up seeing firearms as a tool for chaos, not a means to peace. But here’s the truth: Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens create safer communities. But you don’t have to take my word for it — the data prove it.

In a recent paper from the Firearms Research Center at the University of Wyoming, senior fellow K. Alexander Adams assesses the research surrounding “Constitutional Carry,” a law under consideration in North Carolina that 29 other US states have adopted. In short, this legislation allows qualified citizens to carry a firearm without a weapons permit.

“The relationship between constitutional-carry laws and homicide is negative, which is the opposite of what gun-control activists have predicted,” wrote Adams. In fact, “Constitutional-carry laws were associated with about 6% lower homicide rates. The doomsday scenarios of constitutional-carry opponents are not supported by social science.”

Adam referenced a study published by the Center for Justice Research earlier this year that affirmed his national research.

“Beginning June 13, 2022, Ohio became the 23rd state to allow its citizens to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. In the year following, crime involving guns dropped across Ohio’s eight largest cities as a whole and in six of the eight individually.”

Adams also name checks the John Locke Foundation, quoting from a column published in Carolina Journal, “When analyzing violent crime rates of constitutional carry states (with enough data) in years since enactment, the states either reflected the national trend in violent crime or showed a relative decrease in their violent crime rates.”

As lawmakers in North Carolina contemplate passing gun rights legislation, it’s vital for them to seek and vocalize the truth. We know the gun control lobby is lying — and will continue to lie — about permitless carry and the Second Amendment more generally. We know they largely do it because they want power. If they can convince citizens that their rights can and should be compromised, freedom diminishes as the ruling class consolidates control.

So, considering the facts, figures, and future of this great nation, let’s endeavor to spread and amplify the truth — even when it doesn’t fit neatly into a political party or ideology.

Let’s talk about the Black Wall Street Massacre in Tulsa and why gun control is simply Jim Crowe 2.0.

Let’s share the stats about Gun Free Zones becoming the choice location for mass murder and expose the detrimental impact of “assault weapons bans,” as they threaten the safety and civility of our communities.

Permitless carry boils down to individual responsibility — the ability to exercise your rights without government intervention. While some try to paint these laws as a recipe for disaster, the data tells another story, a story that young men and women who grew up like me deserve to hear.