“I think Martin Luther King would agree with me, if he were alive today, that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history,” Larry Ward, chairman of “Gun Appreciation Day (GAD)” and president of Political Media, Inc., said on CNN today. “And I believe wholeheartedly that it’s essential to liberty.”
His anti-gun counterpart, Maria Roach of United for Change USA, calls the claim “ridiculous,” but is it?
I always get a little uncomfortable when people start invoking historical figures, and what they might or might not have thought about some current topic of debate. Let’s not guess at what Martin Luther King would and would not have thought.
But it’s interesting that the roots of American gun control are firmly in certain constituencies in the south, including the Ku Klux Klan, wanting to keep blacks unarmed and vulnerable. Before and especially after the Civil War, southerns were very concerned about armed blacks.
The point is, populations that don’t have a right to self defense up to and including an individual right to keep and bear arms are vulnerable to tyranny.
That’s a hard point to articulate in that Americans have enjoyed stable representative government for so long that the idea citizens need firearms for anything more than hunting is foreign to them. But the slavery example illustrates it perfectly.
Who wants to live in a society where the only people who have guns is the government?