New Visions Commentary

The National Leadership Network of Conservative African-Americans

 

Whose Gun and Under Whose Control?

By Jimmie Lee Hollis


A New Visions Commentary paper published January 2001 by The National Center
for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Ct., N.E., Washington, DC 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax 202-543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web
http://www.nationalcenter.org. Reprints permitted provided source
is credited.

A nation employs arms in order to defend itself. Enemies are less likely to attack a nation with that capability.

The American family is like a nation, and it must also be able to defend itself against its enemies. This is especially true for black families since not all attacks against them are propaganda. Some enemies of the black family used and even now are prepared to use physical violence against it - even to the point of (in their own words) massacre.

The Second Amendment to our Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to bear arms to provide for their defense, but not everyone believes citizens should have that right. The police cannot be everywhere at once, and racial uprisings, riots and mob actions have and can occur. And those precious moments between the start of such action and the arrival of law enforcement can and has meant the difference between life and death for black families in the past. Plus, history teaches us the police sometimes participated in the uprising. This is not an indictment of law enforcement officers. It is only a statement of historical fact that must be woven into the whole issue of families providing for their own defense.

Gun control, gun bans, gun buy-back schemes, national gun registration and attacks on the Second Amendment are incremental steps by left-wing activists towards the goal of totally disarming law-abiding families. They use "the children" and rampant crime as diversions to hide their real goal. None of their solutions hinder the ability of criminals or racist hate groups to get guns. As an American of African ancestry, the willingness of so many black "leaders" to rally with those who would take away the means for black families to defend themselves causes me great concern.

I could detail numerous examples why black families should support the Second Amendment, but I hope the following two examples will suffice.

On New Year's Day in 1923, a white woman in a small Florida sawmill company town claimed a black man attacked her. For three days, angry white mobs attacked and murdered the black families in the nearby town of Rosewood in cold blood. Historical accounts do not delve into whether or not those black men in Rosewood had arms to protect themselves and their families, but the outcome indicates few - if any - guns were available. Would the outcome have been different if armed black men and women had met the mobs? Maybe the outcome would have been the same, maybe not. But the case for self-defense is very strong when you consider the tragic events during those dark hours.

Prior to Rosewood, there was another tragic two-day massacre of black families by angry white mobs in the 1917 riots in East St. Louis, Illinois. The death toll would have been even worse had it not been for the armed black men who fought and died defending their wives and children and white citizens who hid blacks from the mobs. Local newspapers purposely stirred up white anger against blacks by repeatedly printing lies and stories of blacks taking jobs from white men and lusting after white women. Racism, hate, alcohol and ignorance made a volatile mix, and mobs of white men took up arms and attacked black neighborhoods. After the riots were over and the trials were held, many white rioters said they avoided neighborhoods where residents were armed. The case for self-defense was truly served here.

Clearly, these examples show acts of barbaric racism. But my main point isn't the racism. It is the constitutional right for Americans of all races to bear arms and defend themselves. The threat could easily be rioters, terrorists or an overzealous government from which both black and white families might need a defense.

History clearly dictates that black families must never give up their rights under the Second Amendment. I say this to my fellow Americans, especially my fellow black Americans. The next time some left wing politician or firebrand activist raves on about gun control, ask him "whose gun and under whose control?" Lessons learned!


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(Jimmie Lee Hollis, a retired U.S. Air Force Senior NCO, is a member of the National Advisory Council of the African-American leadership network Project 21. Comments may be sent to [email protected].)


Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.


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