Most people would be shocked to learn that Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a license to carry one of the many weapons he kept to protect himself and his family at his home, which has been described by one eyewitness as an “arsenal.”
And as reported in the Miami Herald in 2016, Charles E. Cobb Jr., former field secretary of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and author of “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Kill: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible” said, “If you went to King’s house (Montgomery, Ala.) in 1955 or 1956, there were guns. When they bombed his house in 1956, his first instinct was to apply for a license to carry weapons … “
In that same Miami Herald article, Adam Winkler, UCLA law professor and author of “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,” noted, “There is nothing in the story. which suggests that Martin Luther King felt that firearms were not useful for self-defense. Obviously, guns were used to protect (the king)… (he) could not rely on the government. “
Firearms were used by the Deacons for Defense, which were founded in 1964 in Jonesboro, Louisiana, to protect themselves from KKK attacks. In fact, the US National Archives and Records Administration points out that Defense Deacons were “made up of black World War II veterans who believed in armed self-defense.” About 20 chapters were established across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama … (They) provided protection to those participating in the protest marches in Mississippi in 1966, including the March Against Fear which began on June 5 when James Meredith marched to rally black people to exercise their newly acquired rights resulting from the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Defense deacons, who essentially acted as a black militia, as “militias” were defined by the drafters of the Second Amendment in 1791, understood the need to protect themselves against racist brutality initiated, sanctioned by the state and / or tolerated by the state. . Not much has changed since (and even before) 1964. This is precisely why black men and women in 2021 and beyond need to protect themselves. The results would have been very different for James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman in Neshoba County, Mississippi in 1964, for James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas in 1998, for the nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. , SC in 2015, for Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Georgia in 2020, and for hundreds (if not thousands) of other blacks since the 1960s only if they had been as prepared as deacons were for defense.
I am prepared. Very prepared. And that’s only because I recently joined the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA). Initially, I must state NAAGA Rule # 1 as stated in its Code of Ethical Conduct:
Members may NOT engage in activities that OPENLY encourage violence against members or the public … Members may NOT engage in discussions or verbal statements advocating acts of violence against the police, l army and / or government officials. Members may NOT engage in discussions or verbal statements advocating the overthrow of the US government. Violations of this code of ethical conduct will not be tolerated and will constitute grounds for immediate dismissal of the offending member … “
On its website, NAAGA meticulously exposes the history of gun ownership in the United States by exposing the fact that even before the founding of this country, gun ownership rights were freely available to everyone, to the except blacks. In fact, even before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, “Beginning in 1751, the French Black Code required settlers in Louisiana to arrest all blacks and, if necessary, to beat up any black carrying a potential weapon. , such as a cane. “Further,” If a black refused to stop on horseback, the settler was allowed to ‘shoot to kill’. “
This enlightening website also reveals that “when the first American official arrived in New Orleans in 1803 to take over this new American possession, the (white) planters sought to disarm the existing free black militia and otherwise exclude the “Blacks free from the positions in which they were required to bear arms.
It was not until the mid-1960s, following the nationwide abolition of Code Black laws and ordinances, that blacks finally joined whites in being able to freely own firearms.
On September 2, I interviewed Jerel Crew, president of the Philadelphia Chapter of NAAGA, with his lovely wife Karise Crew, founder of “That Gun Talk” (which actively promotes the mission of NAAGA), and asked them the questions. following and I received the following responses:
1. Why was NAAGA founded?
“It was founded to provide African American gun owners with an organization that zealously represents their community and their point of view, that thoroughly trains them in the safe use of firearms, that effectively teaches them how to use guns safely. history of black guns in the United States, and which makes them globally aware of the relevant state gun laws.
2. What can people expect when they join NAAGA?
When you join, you will be part of “the most unique brotherhood and brotherhood in the history of the firearms industry.” You will be able to interact, meet and train with African Americans as you learn how to shoot a firearm safely and legally. It’s an experience that has never been made available to the entire African American community in such detail. “
3. If there was one thing about NAAGA that you could tell the public, what would it be?
“The NAAGA is not monolithic and the African Americans who join it are very diverse. We have doctors, nurses, lawyers, university professors, teachers, police, military, secretaries and others. We have rich, poor, straight, gay, etc. members. Everyone is accepted and respected for who they are. We are the gun organization of the future.
For more information on the national chapter of NAAGA, log on to naaga.co. And for more information on the Philadelphia Chapter of NAAGA as well as “That Gun Talk,” email [email protected] or log on to thatguntalk.com.
In Malcolm X’s profound words, “I don’t call it violence when it comes to self-defense. I call it intelligence.
And in Michael X’s deep words, sincerely yours, “Be smart.”
Michael Coard, Esq. can be tracked on Twitter, Instagram, and his Youtube canal as well as AvengingTheAncestors.com. His program “Radio Courtroom” can be heard on WURD 96.1 FM or 900 AM. And his show “TV Courtroom” can be seen on PhillyCAM / Verizon Fios / Comcast.