Good people stayed in their houses and didn’t speak up when there was carnage in the streets and the total violation of a fundamental rights of African-Americans as they marched in Selma, and they let Bull Connor and the redneck elements of the South and the Klan take over their culture in effect and become of face of it.
You know who really made a difference, Tom? They were people who didn’t stay in their houses. They were black men, many of them veterans, who took rifles and shotguns with them to watch over the civil rights marchers. They are the ones like the Deacons for Defense and Justice, who guarded the houses targeted by the Klan. Men like Condoleezza Rice’s father, who stood on their front porch with his shotgun against the Klan.
Let’s get right down to it. Gun control has racist roots in trying to disarm blacks and immigrants. It was no plainer than in the Jim Crow south, where gun laws were used to disarm men like the Deacons for Defense and John Wesley Rice. First was registration, and then when the lists were complete, confiscation.
The thing is, it never disarmed the Klan. Why? Because the Klan and the cops were often one and the same. This notion that the state should have some monopoly on force is insane, because the state is just People like you and me. They can be corrupt. They can be criminals. And they can damned sure be instruments of injustice. The Klan didn’t need guns. Their weapons of choice were rope, clubs and firebombs. They always had the numbers, and they were all big, violent men.
Their victims needed guns. Just like now.