Defending Civil Rights

Lots of good stuff over at Volokh lately, this one a story of Four Black Men and a Gun.

As an American, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to many, many people who have risked and given their lives to defend our liberty. But as I reflect on the recent Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago, I thought I should take a moment to mention four Americans who have made a relatively uncelebrated contribution to the freedom I cherish and enjoy. I owe a special debt to four black men, and one gun.

The most important of these men, to me, was my father. When I was a boy, he and my mother moved our family of six from the Terrace Village public housing projects in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to a predominantly white neighborhood. While many of our neighbors welcomed us, we were not welcomed by all. I recall a brick through the front window, and other incidents. But burned into my memory is the Sunday evening when my father was beaten with a tire iron on the street in front of our home, and in front of us, his four little children. Those three young white men were never caught.

When my father, with his surgically reconstructed eye socket and jaw, was released from the hospital, he did something he never once considered when we lived in the projects. He bought a gun.

Every evening after that, before going to bed, I and my siblings would go out onto the front porch to say goodnight to my father as he sat in his chair, shotgun across his lap, with its black barrel glistening under the porch light. I never once felt unsafe. I never once had trouble sleeping. My sense of security did not come from the Pittsburgh Police, or from the law. My sense of security came from my father, and his gun.

There were no more incidents, at least not any that I can recall, after my father exercised his Second Amendment right. It was his contribution to “non-violence” in our neighborhood.

Read the whole thing. I can’t help but think the Brady folks think we’re full of crap when we try to tell the role that the Second Amendment played in the Civil Rights Movement. On the left they point to the public non-violence face to the movement, which was also very important. But it seems to me, given multiple anecdotes, that it’s hard to deny that the Second Amendment right played an important role.

2 thoughts on “Defending Civil Rights”

  1. I can’t help but wonder what antis such as MikeB, JadeGold, or Laci would suggest as a way for this man to protect himself and his family. If they had their way and guns were banned, they would probably celebrate the fact that violence involving guns was down, but totally ignoring the fact that overall violent crime stays the same or rises. Without the gun, this man would be a target for further beatings or worse, and gun control advocates seem perfectly fine with that.

  2. The Bradys would have a heart attack if required to accept the role and successes of the Deacons for Defense in the civil rights movement.

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