Black Gun Owners Unite: The National African American Gun Association

Monday, February 22
4-5:30 pm
Zoom Meeting: Link will be sent Sunday, February 21

In the year’s first opportunity of listening to different voices, we’ll learn about the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA), launched six years ago this February in honor of Black History Month. NAAGA now has chapters in almost every state in the country including both Kansas and Missouri.

We’ll hear from a panel of four NAAGA members from the Missouri chapter including its president, Jeff Maple. Speakers will cover the organization’s highlights ranging from the history of guns for self-defense and its educational efforts for training and safety.

In brief conversations with Mr. Maple, we quickly found areas of shared beliefs and common ground. This opinion piece by columnist and author Charles Blow is an excellent way to prepare for this program.

Last month’s program provided a helpful introduction to our Year of Listening to Different Voices. Over 71 attendees learned some excellent techniques and enjoyed a role-playing example of handling a difficult but ultimately productive conversation with someone of differing viewpoints. Access a recording of the full meeting on the GAGV website or read the Meeting Minutes.

Advocacy Action

Join us in these proactive advocacy projects:


Something sweet  Dreary days during the pandemic can lead to much stress, particularly for essential workers doing their best to make life as normal as possible for the rest of us. Think about the check-out clerk at your grocery, your pharmacist, the trash collectors, mail carriers and of course, first responders. How about doing something sweet for them?

GAGV member Marilyn Cohen began her acts of kindness last summer, giving popsicles to people working outside in the heat. Now she’s been joined by Sherry Seligson in assembling small bags of candy with a GAGV logo for anyone you’d like to thank while spreading word of GAGV at the same time. Just email Marilyn to arrange details.

A sweet suggestion: as many of us get COVID-19 vaccinations, bring a bag or two for the medical workers helping you. Keeping a small supply of bags in your car is very helpful!

As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”


      GAGV has adopted a project to acknowledge homicide victims in the metropolitan area by reading their names out loud at monthly GAGV meetings and posting their names on Instagram and Facebook. GAGV members Rusty Leffel and Carol Gee have followed an example set by Father John Spicer at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Brookside where names are read weekly. We hope many GAGV supporters will suggest this idea to their own church or synagogue. If you’re interested or need more information, contact Carol Gee.


      Once again this company has taken a principled stand on a number of issues including gun violence prevention and sensible gun reform: Letter from Chairman and CEO Ed Stack.

      We encourage GAGV members to write thank you notes to DICK’S at its corporate headquarters at 345 Court Street, Coraopolis, PA 15108. Or visit a DICK’S store and let a manger know you appreciate the company’s efforts by having chosen to shop there.


      As legislative sessions in Kansas and Missouri continue, we’ll update you on relevant news. We also encourage you to share your thoughts directly with your legislators. Find them here.

      Missouri: Lawmakers want to nullify ‘unconstitutional’ gun laws if they come from DC?

      Kansas: House members are considering HB 2058, which allows reciprocal recognition of out-of-state licenses for concealed carry. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt supports the bill.

      Membership News

      Thank you and welcome to these GAGV supporters!

      New and Renewing Members: Rudena Mallory, Carolyn Pitts and Sheryl Porter

      Special thanks to our Grand Members who joined at the $100 level: Ann Nelson and Barbara Kessler

      More thanks: Last month we asked you to send us names of five potential new members. Morrie Pitluck did, and won a Starbucks gift card!

      And welcome to new member Nancy Kalikow Maxwell!

      Nancy Kalikow Maxwell is an award-winning humor writer (though she knows that sentence isn’t very funny). The author of six books, her work has appeared in several national magazines. Her latest book, Typically Jewish, was published by the Jewish Publication Society in 2019. After living in Florida for the last 30 years, she has returned to her native Kansas City. You read that correctly. She left Florida for Kansas, unlike normal people who do the opposite. In addition to Nancy’s undergraduate degree in Library Science, she holds a master’s degree in Catholic Theology. Another fact of note: she’s the daughter of Betty Kalikow, a well-known, well-loved cookbook author and caterer in the Kansas City area. Nancy looks forward to learning more about GAGV.

      Mark Your Calendar

      February 14 
      Third anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland FL., that killed 14 students and three adults.

      Monthly GAGV Meetings
      Mondays, 4-5:30 pm  

      • February 22: Black Gun Owners Unite – The National African American Gun Association
      • March 22: Urban vs. Rural – Their Gun Landscapes Are Different
      • April 26: The Gun Gap – Understanding Attitudes of Owners vs. Non-Owners

      On average, every 8 hours someone in Missouri is killed with a gun; in Kansas, one person every 23 hours. That’s according to statistics compiled by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco.

      Grandparents Against Gun Violence is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Kansas City, Missouri, that focuses on issues related to gun violence in Kansas and Missouri. We are working with community partners on strategies such as distributing gun locks to help gun owners protect the children in their homes from tragedy.

      P.O. Box 11193, Overland Park, KS 66207  |  [email protected]

      Donate to Grandparents Against Gun Violence

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