With guns in their lives, African Americans bear arms — and take lessons

With guns in their lives, African Americans bear arms — and take lessons

To some Americans, there is no image more frightening than a Black man with a gun. This point was graphically illustrated and discussed in 1962 when activist Robert Williams published his book “Negroes with Guns.” Hudson Valley Nubian Gun Club co-founder Damon Finch (l.) discusses firearms basics with a woman during a training session at Master Class Shooters Supply in Monroe, New York. (Hudson Valley Nubian Gun Club) Alarmed and angered by attacks mounted by the KKK and other racist groups, Williams decided to exercise his Second Amendment rights by making a call for armed self-defense − and that act, in Monroe, N.C., drew the attention of the nation. With this stand for freedom and democracy, Williams had a direct influence on the Black Panther Party, whose members often publicly displayed their arms. They certainly did so on May 2, 1967, when two dozen armed members entered California’s state Capitol. Malcolm X was also an advocate of armed self-defense. During one of his most famous speeches, “The Ballot or the Bullet,” he said, “Article No. 2 of the constitutional amendments provides you and me the right to own a rifle or shotgun.” Today, Black Americans have not lost their interest in owning firearms or joining gun clubs, according to the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA). Logo of the National African American Gun Association. Self-defense continues to be a prime motive for gun ownership for many Black Americans, particularly in view of the rise in neighborhood shootings and the […]

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