Thursday, February 08, 2007

Second Amendment Freedoms Aided the Civil Rights Movement

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.

The empowering freedom of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is particularly timely during Black History Month, for its role in the victory of civil rights for all is sorely overlooked.

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.

Unfortunately, these freedom fighters are seldom mentioned as an important part of African-American history. Even prominent civil rights movement chronicler Taylor Branch gives the Deacons only passing mention in his three-volume work on the movement during the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. years.

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.

More here.

Infamous D.C. Leftist finally sees reality -- sort of: "If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns. That's the argument of D.C. Council member Marion Barry, who on Tuesday proposed temporarily suspending the district's ban on handguns and allowing residents 90 days to buy and register guns legally. "We are in the midst of a gun-violence epidemic," Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, was quoted saying in The Washington Times. "We need to see gun violence as an emergency in the District of Columbia." Handguns in Washington, D.C., are illegal, but police managed to confiscate more than 2,600 last year. After the 90-day registration period, current gun restrictions would be reinstated, but Barry's proposal would up current penalties for illegal pistols from a maximum of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A second offense would double the maximum, according to the bill."

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