America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 45

C I V I L

W

Mementos reveal yet another
story of a civil rights icon
protected by the right to keep
and bear arms.
by NRA Staff

e've chronicled many times in
these pages the racist roots of gun
control-how many early gun bans
in United
in the United States were instituted specifically to disarm freed
slaves. And while anti-gunners would have you believe it is those
on the pro-freedom side of the debate who are racist, history
shows that couldn't be further from the truth.

AP PHOTO/MARTY LEDERHANDLER

In February, the Library of Congress
made the Rosa Parks Collection available
to researchers. The compilation includes
2,500 photos and 7,500 manuscripts
pertaining to the civil rights icon.
Among those documents is a short
autobiographical piece highlighting
some of Parks' early experiences with
armed self-defense.
A Feb. 3, 2015, Washington Post
article detailed the "biographical sketch."
According to the Post, Parks explains
how her grandfather used a shotgun
to protect the family home in Pine
Level, Ala., from potential attack by the
Ku Klux Klan. One excerpt states that her
grandfather "would stay up to wait for
[the Klansmen] to come to our house. ...
He kept his shotgun within hand reach
at all times." Another portion notes that
Parks' grandfather "declared that the first
to invade our home would surely die."
Stories like Parks', where firearms
were used to protect against racially
motivated violence before and during the
Civil Rights era, are common. At a time
when law enforcement officials were
sometimes indifferent to acts of violence
perpetrated against African-Americans
(or in some cases even complicit in
them), those seeking any protection
at all had few other options.

R I G H T S

History certainly could have been
altered in dramatic fashion had the
Parks home been left undefended

Deacons for Defense and Justice formed
throughout the Deep South to protect
their communities from racial violence.
According to ucla Professor
Adam Winkler, Martin Luther King Jr.
unsuccessfully applied for a permit
to carry concealed in Alabama after
his home was bombed, and lived
surrounded by what was described as
"an arsenal." And in his book,
"Restricting Handguns: The Liberal
Skeptics Speak Out," Don B. Kates Jr.

Local NAACP leader Rob Williams,
author of the book "Negroes With
Guns," notably chartered a National
Rifle Association-affiliated club in
order to train and arm members of
his Monroe, N.C., community to
combat the Klan.
against the depredations of the Klan.
Thankfully, Parks' family had access
to an effective means of self-defense,
even as they strove to obtain other basic
human rights.
Examples abound of the beneficial
role arms have played in the struggle
for civil rights in the United States.
Local naacp leader Rob Williams,
author of the book "Negroes With
Guns," notably chartered a National
Rifle Association-affiliated club in
order to train and arm members of his
Monroe, n.c., community to combat
the Klan. Chapters of the heavily armed

recalls his time spent as a civil rights
worker in the early 1960s South, stating,
"The black lawyer for whom I principally
worked did not carry a gun all the time,
but he attributed the relative quiescence
of the Klan to the fact that the black
community was so heavily armed."
The story of armed self-defense
revealed in the Rosa Parks Collection is
a welcome and important addition to the
already well-established history of the
use of arms to deter and defend against
racially motivated violence. Those who
say otherwise are simply distorting
history and twisting the truth.
America's

1

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Freedom

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May 

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - May 2015

Contents
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 1
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - Contents
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 3
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 4
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 5
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 6
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 7
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 8
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America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 10
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 11
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 12
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 13
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 14
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 15
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America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 17
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 18
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 19
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 20
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 21
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 22
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 23
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 24
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 25
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 26
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 27
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 28
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 29
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 30
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 31
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 32
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 33
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 34
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 35
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 36
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 37
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 38
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America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 40
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 41
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 42
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 43
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America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 45
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 46
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 47
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 48
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 49
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 50
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America's First Freedom - May 2015 - 59
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - s58a
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - s59a
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - s58b
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - s59b
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - s58c
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - s59c
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - s58d
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America's First Freedom - May 2015 - s58e
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America's First Freedom - May 2015 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - May 2015 - Cover4
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