Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we celebrate what our country has come to call "Martin Luther King" day. We remember a hero of the Civil Rights movement shot to death in his pursuit of civility and justice. There are, of course, many lessons discussed annually on this day. One is the non-violent solutions to solving problems.

Colbert King, Washington Post writer posted an example of the kinds of comments and letters he receives from his readers. This is not uncommon, as he writes, and when you are making commentary you have to expect that people will disagree with you. But do we really have to accept hateful and threatening comments like the one he posted? Words can turn into action. When people threaten other people with words, it is meant to intimidate. It is hurtful. I, too, have experienced hateful and very personal attacks on this blog. I have written posts about this very thing. What happens to someone when they are personally and threateningly attacked? They can retreat and melt away which is one of the intentions of that kind of attack. Or they can fight back with their own words.

In the actual words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: " We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools." Our country seems on the verge of a national rift that will damage our democracy if we don't start acting like adults and change the way we do business. Our President is leading the way in his calls for bi-partisanship and civility. Others who have been on the wrong side of using violence for their own cause have come forward. Mark Rudd, founder of the Weather Underground, wrote this reflective piece about Jared Loughner and the shootings. He understands that the movement in which he was involved was wrong headed and he paid the price as did others.

Yesterday, on the day before the Martin Luther King birthday celebration, my minister spoke about hope. King had hope. He inspired others to be hopeful in the face of violence and intolerance. Dr King is our model. What has happened to that model? We lost it somewhere on the way to extremism. David Brooks in his New York Times column recently suggested that it is possible to get that back if we only but try. And by trying, I don't mean say a few words and then get along with how we were before. I mean really try. This from Brooks' article hit home for me: " But every sensible person in public life also feels redeemed by others. You may write a mediocre column or make a mediocre speech or propose a mediocre piece of legislation, but others argue with you, correct you and introduce elements you never thought of. Each of these efforts may also be flawed, but together, if the system is working well, they move things gradually forward."

None of us is perfect. None of us say exactly what we want to say or write. We try to do our best. I am trying to seek common ground with those who seem bent to destroy my ideas and pick away at details or my imperfectly written ideas. And then they tell me I am ignorant or naive because I didn't get it just right. So then I wonder, do they always have it right? Is their side always right and mine always wrong and vice versa? Of course not. I just wrote an answer to someone who wondered why I get upset with some of the commenters and questions since she, if it is a she, thinks they are being polite and that I am sometimes abrupt or rude in my replies. She may have a point. Since I am attacked daily for my ideas and deceived, teased, personally attacked, called names, provoked and harassed, it is too easy to slip into doing the same back. I sometimes feel like  we have regressed to acting like a bunch of teen-agers and I long for the adults to show up. And then every once in a while, someone who may disagree but disagrees civilly, agrees with me or offers a reasonable suggestion. When that happens, I know there is hope.

That is how Martin Luther King Jr. must have felt. He was a target. He provoked people but he did so with words of non-violence. He was threatening because he was suggesting to change the order of the country and bring people out of their comfort zones. Such is the way of our country. If we disagree with someone who we have decided is a threat to us, the way to do so is often with violent words, violent behavior and sometimes death. John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., all gunned down in a short span of years. I will never forget where I was when I heard about their tragic shootings. All of them were seen as a threat to some one's views of the world. Crazed people with guns have killed or attempted to kill more than a few elected leaders in our country. Common sense tells us that in the name of peace, justice, love, freedom,compassion, happiness and survival as individuals and as a country, it is time to set aside the extremes and get down to the business of making our country a place where violence is not the answer. " We must work unceasingly to uplift this nation that we love to a higher destiny, to a higher plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness." Martin Luther King Jr.


  1. "it is time to set aside the extremes and get down to the business of making our country a place where violence is not the answer."

    Absolutely. We need to ensure that all potential victims are as dangerous as they can be.

  2. jedge- What exactly do you mean by that?

    Dear readers, please- this is a day to honor a great man. Can we just leave a few things alone?

  3. One of the things that is routinely ignored in the civil rights struggle is the role of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, and other armed defenders.

    Nonviolence works only under ideal conditions--primarily against a civilized, mostly nonviolent opponent. It worked against the governments of the US, and the colonial government of India, but would be useless against a more repressive regime or against violent enemies like the KKK.

    The notion that defense will only escalate the violence is not supported by the facts. The KKK was fond of drive-by shootings--until they started taking return fire. At that point, the KKK decided that maybe drive-by shootings weren't a good idea.

    It is immoral to use violence to achieve political goals. However, it is also immoral to stand by and allow innocents to be harmed when you have the means to effectively resist--I would much rather see the instigator of a drive by killed than their intended victim injured.

    It is also immoral to take the means to resist away from decent people.

  4. Whoa there, Sevesteen. Are you sure you want these comments committed to writing? They seem pretty anti-government and leading to what?? " The notion that defense will only escalate the violence is not supported by the facts. The KKK was fond of drive-by shootings--until they started taking return fire. At that point, the KKK decided that maybe drive-by shootings weren't a good idea. " I don't think that is why the KKK stopped shooting people. Where is your evidence for such a statement? I wouldn't bring the KKK into a discussion about Martin Luther King- totally inappropriate and possibly incendiary. Please do not reply. You simply cannot justify what you said to having guns for self defense. Be careful what you are saying.

  5. Maybe I was not as clear as I should have been, but even re-reading my comment I think you've had to try hard to come up with an anti-governemnt interpretation. I am not advocating violence against the government, or even instigating violence against a group as awful as the KKK. It would be immoral to go hunt down the KKK, to instigate violence against them.

    However it is NOT immoral to shoot back at someone in a KKK costume who is shooting at you, your family or your neighbors. There is a vast difference between immoral terrorist violence as practiced by the KKK, and proper, moral defensive violence.

    If I am unwelcome here, I will abide by that, but to misconstrue my comment and then to say I'm not welcome to clarify? Of course it is up to you whether you allow this post.

    Unless you specifically say that you want me to continue, this will be the last comment I post on your blog. I am saying this to keep me honest, and I will be posting a copy of this on my blog, whether or not you approve this post.

  6. I'm glad you clarified your comments Sevesteen. I have not said it is "immoral" to shoot back at someone who is attacking you, whether dressed in a KKK costume or not. I think that bringing that group up on a day like this was not a good idea. Your ideas about self defense evolve into protecting yourself against an insurgent government-" Nonviolence works only under ideal conditions--primarily against a civilized, mostly nonviolent opponent. It worked against the governments of the US, and the colonial government of India, but would be useless against a more repressive regime or against violent enemies like the KKK. " Here you mention a repressive regime. What else can be construed by that? You attempted to explain that above. But I have a strong feeling that some of you have taken the second amendment to a different level when you discuss "needing" your guns in case they will be required against an "oppresive regime" I argued about this with someone else. The recent Supreme Court decisions did not discuss that as a justification for the individual right to bear arms. Those cases were about the use of guns for self defense in the home. The minority opinion, in fact, was the one that supported the right to bear arms for a "well regulatee militia" but then suggested that in this modern time, those words mean something else than they did at the time of the writing. What worries me is that guys think you are that well regulated militia. We could go on and on about that one and have had that discussion before so I don't intend to re-open that debate on this post. Maybe another time. No need to come back with another comment. No one has suggested that your guns cannot be owned by you for your own recreation and self defense. Continuing to asssert that is fallacious. But you take it to a different level with talk about oppressive regimes.

  7. Japete,

    We do forget that the reason Martin Luther King was non violent in his efforts was that if you were not the even in self defense the local law would treat that as a criminal action. I'll repeat that for clarity, If you
    defended yourself in then using any means you were likely to be convicted for injuring a white man, you had no right to self defense or self preservation as a result.

    The KKK was an real life expression of what Martin Luther King was the opposite and opposing. It was (the KKK) extreme expression of anti civil rights by way of intimidation using threats, beatings, hangings and shootings.

    Yes the KKK was counter intimidated, by laws recognizing their acts as criminal and by people acting in self defense. I may add that when the law recognized those defensive actions as legal the KKK aggression was

    Martin Luther King was a honorable man and lost his life to those convinced he was the very devil.


  8. Martin Luther King said, "By our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim... we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes."

    He also owned guns, and applied (and was denied under the racist gun laws of Jim Crow) for a Concealed Weapons permit.

  9. Does it occur that your use of "oppresive regime" can easily include corrupt
    local officials that do not prosecute thugs or criminal bands?

    Also the usage of "well regulated" when applied to the 17th to early 20th
    century English and expression means to assemble, calibrate, train or adjust. As in a well regulated clock keeps accurate time or a well regulated police will effectively carry out law enforcement.


  10. State and local government in the South, up until 1950, often was an oppressive regime. The guys under the sheets often were local law enforcement.

    It was the armed resistance that created the space in which non-violent protest was possible.

  11. Is there criteria or a test that determines when a regime is oppressive enough to warrant a violent response?

  12. His accounts are substantially correct. Keeping "uppity"(a despicable term) Negros in check was the primary push behind most of the sixties anti gun statutes. Even in Minnesota. Middle class white people saw uncle Walter on CBS showing Watts, Detroit, and other places burning and the clashes in the south and said yes to gun laws. The term Saturday Night Special comes from "Saturday night in N_____ town "' referring to the other side of the tracks.

    Supporting gun control was supporting racism. Still is in many minds.

  13. Anon- "Yes the KKK was counter intimidated, by laws recognizing their acts as criminal and by people acting in self defense. I may add that when the law recognized those defensive actions as legal the KKK aggression was
    slowed." I cannot take anything you wrote here seriously. To think that black people had a lot of guns in self defense is pure and simply false. Read the book "The Help" to know how afraid the Black people were in the South of being shot by those who hated them for their color, including, and most especially, the KKK under hoods as cover for their anger and hatred. Are you defending the KKK here? I must know this in order to determine if you can be published on my blog.

  14. Thank you, anon, for providing proof that Sevesteen is off on the wrong trail and anonymous, above, may be bordering on racism. We all know that Black people were not armed- or if they were, they were few and far between.

  15. " Does it occur that your use of "oppresive regime" can easily include corrupt
    local officials that do not prosecute thugs or criminal bands?" What the heck are you talking about, anon? Ridiculous. That is called corrupt public officials and not an oppressive regime.

  16. Again- jedge, anyone who is justifying anything done by the KKK on this blog will be considered suspect and not published. Please do not send me more comments along this line.

  17. Come on Sean. What a stupid and provactive question. I've about had enough of these inane comments. Give it a rest and keep your thoughts to yourself. Maybe you should answer your own question since I have no intention of getting into that with you.

  18. P- WHAT????? What are you saying here? I am becoming increasingly alarmed by the comments coming in. So supporting gun control is supporting racism? Who believes that? Provide me with proof? Do you believe it? If you do, don't bother with any more comments.

  19. Defend the KKK, never, not on my life. In my eyes they were a criminal band and subject to criminal penalties. I cannot see how you could interpret my comments as supportive of them in any way. They [KKK} were evil but, you also seem to miss that the KKK was part of the oppressive regimes and their actions were often conducted while the
    law looked askance. Now if you consider that as your wont to say "Rediculous." then I haven't made an adequate case for how horridly criminal they were or the regime they were able to propagate in.

    In the case of people living in a local area an oppressive regime could be
    local rather than federal. I'm not advocating offensive overthrow or any act but I am pointing out that places like Selma, Montgomery and the like were highly oppressive to those that were not white. In this case
    the KKK operating in the night and with the local law not aggressively prosecuting would be an oppressive regime?

    I'm old enough to remember Selma, the riots and lived in a mixed neighborhood where it was part of my life.

    you asked for a response. please post.


  20. Thanks, anon. Did I write "Rediculous"? Sorry if I made a keyboard error- not intentional.

  21. "Again- jedge, anyone who is justifying anything done by the KKK on this blog will be considered suspect and not published."

    I find it astounding that anyone could read anything I wrote as in any way justifying the actions of the KKK.

    It was _because_ the KKK was so strongly connected to local law enforcement that the early civil rights workers could not look to the law for their protection.


    When the regenerated N.A.A.C.P. branch, under the leadership of Williams and another remarkable young Negro leader, Doctor Albert Perry, began to press for desegregation, or, in the swimming pool matter, for some elementary justice and humanity, the Klan began its classic role of terror. Cars have replaced horses but the tactics are as childish as ever. Hooded men in white robes, purchased from the Klan's official supplier, a famous mailorder house in Saint Louis, sitting in cars with the domelights on, with engines racing and horns blowing, rode through the streets of Newtown, shooting into the windows of homes, grills, barber shops, poolrooms and stores. Just to think about it gives one the old sick doubt in the pit of the stomach that man himself is ever going to get out of the muck and filth of his own complacent bestiality.

    This had always worked before; for a hundred years men with guns and the right to use them at will, had forded it over people without them and no rights at all. The Klan rode in Monroe, North Carolina in 1867, and by its incessant and officially winked-at brutality, had been able to reverse the agony and blood of the victory at Appomattox and put a whole people back into a bondage, by terror and abuse, even more humiliating than the legal one ... the one the Emancipation Proclamation was supposed to erase. A public policy of violent threat followed by violent reprisal had worked in Nazi Germany; it was working now in South Africa. For those who want separation of the races, there has never been a better tactic.

    Because of the supra-official status of the Klan in Southern life, the laws concerning the carrying and the shooting off of weapons of death are loosely drawn. Williams decided to take advantage of this contradiction. He wrote away to the National Rifle Association in Washington, D.C. for a rifle club charter. He explained that he was a Marine veteran and had organized a group of ex-service men committed to the active preservation of their own, and their country's freedom. This is true, of course, in every respect. The charter was sent with alacrity as it always is to any group making such a request, and no one would have given it a second thought if it had been a group of Southern white men.

  22. Well here is one example of a racist gun law from history. This is from the Wiki site Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturday_night_special

    History of regulation attempts
    Colt Army Model 1860 revolver
    Colt Model 1861 Navy reproduction
    19th Century laws restricting handguns to the Army and Navy pistol were the first "Saturday Night Special" bans

    The earliest law prohibiting inexpensive handguns was enacted in Tennessee, in the form of the "Army and Navy" law, passed in 1879, shortly after the 14th amendment and Civil Rights Act of 1875; previous laws invalidated by the constitutional amendment had stated that black freedmen could not own or carry any manner of firearm. The Army and Navy law prohibited the sale of "belt or pocket pistols, or revolvers, or any other kind of pistols, except army or navy pistols," which were prohibitively expensive for black freedmen and poor whites to purchase.[5] These were large pistols in .36 caliber ("Navy") or .44 caliber ("Army"), and were the military issue cap and ball blackpowder revolvers used during the Civil War by both Union and Confederate ground troops. The effect of the Army and Navy law was to restrict handgun possession to the upper economic classes.[6]

  23. Also interesting, Anthony. Thanks.

  24. Japete,

    re: oppressive regimes and when to resist

    Since you asked me to answer my own question, I shall do so.

    I believe there are numerous contemporary examples where a prepared, armed citizenry may have prevented, or at least limited crimes against humanity from oppressive regimes. Africa alone has had a handful of such regimes that have practiced genocide and other atrocious acts against unarmed civilians in the past decade. No need to bring up Stalin or Hitler from the past, when we have Laurent Gbagbo today.

    If you feel a violent response is never appropriate in a political situation, I respect that as your opinion.

    If there's never a justified time to kill, then it logically follows there's no need to possess the ability to do so either.

    I was only hoping to learn where you were coming from.


  25. I agree with your whole post, violence is never a way to change society in a democracy. That's why we are a democracy.

    But that doesn't mean one party or another can't push for extremist ideas, like nationalizing healthcare or something, and the rest of us can't oppose it. Or that one person can fight for a near ban on something (like firearms) and the rest of us fight for more open laws.

    That's why we are a democracy; to reconcile such divergent views without killing each other.

  26. Yes Stephen, an open and honest debate is a good thing for the country. I hope we can have such a debate.

  27. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed after legislatures were panicked by the ghetto riots of 1967 and 1968. The tax to own a machine gun made it difficult for poor people (usually black) to own them. Robert Sherrill, an early advocate for gun control on the Gun Control Act of 1968 stated that the act would "...shut off weapons access to blacks...while leaving over-the-counter purchases to the affluent." You can also find laws prohibiting transfer of firearms to Indians in the older versions of Colorado and Arizona statutes.

    More recently, this Illinois bill was going to enact gun control specifically on a black neighborhood, based on zip codes.

    Reverend Kenn Blanchard, author of the book "Black Man with a Gun" has several podcasts that describe the racist roots of gun control laws. Here in Portland Oregon, a similar set of gun control laws were enacted recently. This black newspaper reports concern over the very real racial impacts of two of the new laws. The racial profiling concerns are so real, that the mayor has created a task force to monitor it.

    According to Otis McDonald, the black man who challenged Chicago's anti-gun laws, Chicago's new gun taxes, which echo the Gun Control Act of 1968, make it difficult for poorer black people, the ones who most need it, to own a gun.

    Martin Luther King Jr. was an incredible man. I believe in his dream, but I also know that we aren't there yet.

  28. I strongly disagree with your views and your position on guns and gun ownership in America. I do, however, hope that every American has taken today to take stock of what they feel they can do to keep America a great and wonderful place to live with freedoms that we all should cherish.

  29. I had a longer response typed up but Firefox crashed and dumped it. In short, some gun control laws have a racist past, just as some voting laws, property laws, and other laws also have racist or sexist histories. I think that Justice Thomas wrote a fairly powerful summary of such discriminatory laws in his McDonald opinion; the most relevant sections are II-B & C and III-B.


  30. "I believe there are numerous contemporary examples where a prepared, armed citizenry may have prevented, or at least limited crimes against humanity from oppressive regimes."

    More from Robert Williams:

    In Williams' view, this episode is highly unique and important to the segregation struggle. In an interview in Chicago, February, 1961, he made the following points "There was less violence in the Monroe sit-in than any other sit-in in the United States. This is because we showed the willingness to defend ourselves. We didn't appear on the streets of Monroe as beggars depending on the charity and generosity of the white supremists. We appeared as people with strength. And it was to the mutual advantage of all parties concerned that peaceful relations be maintained. For that reason we had less violence. But this is the sort of thing that the supporters of non-violence never tell. In other communities there were Negroes who had their skulls fractured. But not a single impolite word was passed. This all means that we've had less violence because we've shown the willingness and the readiness to fight; because of this fact, we've not had to fight; there's been no cause to fight. And we believe that this is a deterrent against violence. "

  31. Just want to share a few of MLK's quotes here: "‎"How could I serve as one of the leaders of a nonviolent movement and at the same time use weapons of violence for my personal protection? ... I was much more afraid in Montgomery when I had a gun in my house ... Had we become distracted by the question of my safety we would have lost the moral offensive and sunk to the level of our oppressors." - Martin Luther King, Jr."

    " ‎"By...our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim; by allowing our movie and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing...we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.” - Martin Luther King, Jr."

  32. JaPete.

    My post stated that many see gun control as an attempt to prevent the down trodden from defending themselves. Most of the early gun control laws grew up out of fear of uprising by both the black and in the case of 1934 law, those farm peoples who had been run off their land by the banks, black or white. 1934 was the pit of the depression. Armed insurrection was not only possible but likely.

    I can take you to many many places in this land where gun control is seen as a means of "pacification" of the minorities.




    They are not afraid of well to do white folks whippin' out a" G Fortay" and shooting up some rival country club. Think about the real undercurrents.

  33. jdege seems to think that the Civil Rights Movement was made possible thanks to armed resistance. What a hoot.

    And P., thinks the gun control laws were all about oppressing the blacks in the 60s.

    And, as if they're not enough, Sevesteen brought up the Deacons for Defense and Justice as, I suppose, an integral but forgotten part of the Civil Rights era.

    What do all these things have in common? They are carefully selected and narrow-minded pieces of evidence that supports the mistaken concept that guns are good for us.

  34. "dege seems to think that the Civil Rights Movement was made possible thanks to armed resistance. What a hoot."

    Talk to anyone who was involved in the civil rights movement, prior to 1959. The non-violence movement existed only because the prior self-defense movement created a space in which it could exist.



  35. Interesting articles, Jedge. I think I would take them more seriously though if they were not from this perspective: " Reason provides a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity." In addition, in doing some checking about the Reason Foundation, it appears to be a libertarian group and it's Board of Trustees are mostly from large banks and corporations. One of those on the Board is David H. Koch, Koch Industries, New York, NY. From this: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer--- a quote- " But Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”"

    So pardon me if I am skeptical of any information coming from this group. Justice Thomas is thought to be the most conservative justice on the Court and has certainly made his presence known about civil rights and his own thoughts on guns during the civil rights movement. They are his views and he does present them with conviction and intellectual brevity but I don't agree with some of what he says here. I am just amazed that you guys are trying to rewrite commonly held American views on what happened during the awful period with the KKK and civil rights. It is disconcerting that you actually believe this stuff and you are not in the majority. You can keep trying to send me things and convince me otherwise, but I would suggest you stop. It will do no good.

  36. I am just amazed that you guys are trying to rewrite commonly held American views on what happened during the awful period with the KKK and civil rights.

    We celebrate MLK in part because he was a martyr. He recognized that there was a threat to his personal safety, decided that non-violent resistance was the best course of action for his cause, and eschewed tools of self-defense. He could have had bodyguards or hid behind a bulletproof glass "popemobile" screen or not made public appearances. That's heroic by anyone's measure; it is the very definition of a martyr in the example of Jesus or the saints to suffer persecution and death for a righteous cause.

    However, I don't think that most religious or secular leaders would be disturbed at the idea of self-defense -- including armed, lethal self-defense -- especially in a case where the death of the innocent is irrelevant to the cause. For example, if a white policeman's attack dog tears out the throat of a protestor on national TV, then that is martyrdom. If that same policeman puts on a white robe and pays a housecall with his buddies at night when there's nobody watching and lynches the victim, then what has that accomplished for the cause? God has given us bodies and minds and intends for us to use them and take care of them (1 Cor 3:16-17). There was debate and discussion within the civil rights movement about this, and I think it would also be worth differentiating the aggressive indiscriminate violence advocated by some groups such as the Black Panthers and the measured self-defense advocated by other groups (Deacons for Defense).

    Some people -- likely a minority -- who were in the civil rights movement or who lived under Jim Crow persecution clearly chose armed self defense, despite the laws that prevented them from lawfully acquiring and carrying weapons. Anecdotally, there are many stories that describe lives saved. The number of armed blacks in the movement was less than 100% but greater than 0%. Given that even under laws like those in Alaska only around 65% of people own firearms and only 2-5% actually carry arms on a regular basis, a "WAG" (wild arse guesstimate) of 2-10% of African-Americans regularly carrying in the 1960s is probably in the ballpark (could be on the low-end due to highly restrictive laws that suppressed gun ownership and carry, or on the high end due to the breakdown of the justice system and extraordinary threats faced by African Americans).

    This isn't just right-wing gun nuttery, either; "Remember the Titans," a major film (and a great movie about an inspiring story) depicts the black football coach as swiftly responding to an attack on his house with a shotgun. Daily Kos, a left wing progressive blog that normally strongly supports gun control, even points out many of these things:

    MLK was a martyr for his cause, but not everyone is called to be a martyr. There was a role for non-violent resistance, and a role for armed self-defense. The efforts of each group probably aided the overall cause in a synergistic manner.

    Chris from AK

  37. PS -- I'm not saying that Coach Boone -- the real world actual person -- actually got a shotgun. His house was vandalized but he didn't own a firearm. I'm just saying that a major Hollywood film made in our times chose to depict the incident as involving armed self defense. I don't know much about the director, Boaz Yakin, or his political views but just a quick skim of his bio and his filmography doesn't make me think that he's a right-wing extremist.

  38. Joan, how about an article over at Huffington Post regarding Rev. Dr. King's guns?


  39. LC- yes I had heard something about this. I did find a few things interesting from the article. MLK could not get a concealed carry permit even though his life was in daily danger from threats. That law that did not allow him, a Black person, to get that permit, was supported by the NRA. I am not sure what your point was in sending me this other than to try to discredit MLK for his talk about peace. I would not be against him having a permit to carry given his circumstances. The likelihood of him being able to have defended himself from a sniper standing a fair distance away who took him totally by surprise, is of course the question to be asked.

  40. "That law that did not allow him, a Black person, to get that permit, was supported by the NRA."

    When the National Firearms Act was proposed, to effectively ban machineguns and short-barreled shotguns, it included revolvers and pistols among the weapons controlled.

    The NRA opposed this, and as an alternative proposed a model state law that would require a permit to carry a concealed handgun. The National Firearms Act passed, without including handguns, and the proposed Uniform Firearms Act was passed by a number of states. Including, I believe, Alabama.

    But that the NRA backed the law does not imply that the NRA approved of the abuse of discretion that was so often a part of how it was applied in all-too-many states.

  41. My intent is not to in any way discredit Rev. Dr. King's work, philosophy or legacy. He was a great man and deserves his seat in the pantheon of great Americans. You simply stated that you did not want to hear about armed self defense of civil rights activists that were sourced by magazines like Reason.

    As you said, "So pardon me if I am skeptical of any information coming from this group. " I simply wanted to reference a source you might find more palatable.

  42. Would Condoleezza Rice be a little more palatable? In her bookpublished in 2010, aimed at middle schoolers "Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me" about her life and growing up in Birmingham, Alabama. She recounts how her father "sat on the porch with his gun in his lap" and how "Daddy and the men of the neighborhood formed a watch" she then goes on tho say "Had my father and his neighbors registered their weapons, Bull Connor surely would have confiscated them or worse. This, and more, is all on page 94 of her book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/038573879X/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=18B2WVGMQXNMKF7E26YS&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846