The Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club, based in Marriottsville, Md., focuses as much on discipline and black history as it does on shooting. (Courtesy of the Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club)

[NPR]

The Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club, based in Marriottsville, Md., focuses as much on discipline and black history as it does on shooting. (Courtesy of the Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club)

More than 200 people have been killed this year in Baltimore. Most of them were black, and most of them were shot to death, despite Maryland having one of the nation’s toughest gun laws. This comes two years after the city recorded its lowest murder rate in more than two decades.

Members of one of the few African-American social firearm clubs in the nation think teaching young people different ideas about guns might help deter them from a life of violence.

The Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club, based near Baltimore in Marriottsville, Md., is an African-American firearms club that focuses as much on discipline and black history as it does on shooting. It has 163 members and takes its name from the 9th and 10th Army Cavalry, an African-American regiment known as “Buffalo Soldiers.”

Ken Brown is a big man, and the Ruger Mark III .22 long rifle semi-automatic pistol he’s loading at an outdoor gun range looks almost tiny in his hands. He’s hoping the lessons he teaches and practices at the range where the Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club shoots are something he can pass on to young people in a larger context.

“See, the whole shooting discipline in and of itself is behaving responsibly, and that’s what we hope to give to our youth. [Behaving] responsibly can be a lot of fun,” Brown says.

READ MORE