Second Amendment Freedoms Aided the Civil Rights MovementAmen Brother!!
Prominent and indispensable among our rights is the "right of the people to keep and bear arms." Second Amendment rights, never to be infringed, were posited by our nation’s founders as among the most essential tenets of the free and just republic they sought to establish.
As the nation reflects on the struggles and achievements of our African-American citizens, we must celebrate the actions of heroic civil rights activists known as the Deacons for Defense. In the fight for equality, these brave men utilized their right to bear arms to protect their families, possessions and liberties.
In his 2004 book, The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement, Tulane University history professor Lance Hill tells their story. Hill writes of how a group of southern working class black men advanced civil rights through direct action to protect members of local communities against harassment at schools and polling places, and to thwart the terror inflicted by the Ku Klux Klan. He argues that without the Deacon’s activities the civil rights movement may have come to a crashing halt.
As legendary civil rights leader Roy Innis recently said to me, the Deacons forced the Klan to re-evaluate their actions and often change their undergarments.
That gun rights have played such a pivotal role in racial equality makes the historical correlation between gun control and discriminatory policies unsurprising. From their beginnings, gun control measures have worked to create legal disparities, granting unequal rights to members of various socioeconomic groups.
In fact, restrictive gun laws have long been employed to the benefit of a select elite while circumscribing the liberty of populations less popular or less powerful.
As Gun Owners of America President Larry Platt shared with me this summer and wrote in 2004 regarding the Deacons, the history of gun control appears to have been one of controlling people rather than reducing violence.Examining both our nation’s constitution and the history of gun rights in America, the right to keep and bear arms has been at the forefront of our nation’s march to liberty and equality. The Second Amendment, which empowers Americans to embrace all of the freedoms and responsibilities their citizenship entails, has been the catalyst of tremendous social progress. While some may dismiss the centrality of gun ownership to “progressive” ideals, groups such as the Deacons for Defense have shown us that a citizenry understanding of their rights to bear arms is one likely to understand and defend our basic civil rights and the principles of equality and freedom.
From the comments section after the article:
It isn't Hollywood, but I've made a movie which has a large segment on the right to arms, the civil right struggle, and the Deacons. See http://www.secondamendmentdocumentary.com .