(Originally published in 2014, with a few edits)
We at BCN and CURE stand firmly opposed to gun control. The government has a long history of keeping guns out of the hands of certain groups. During the post-Civil War era, the government violated black Americans’ right to bear arms. Today, only 24 percent of black Americans say they own guns. Cities that restrict gun rights, like Chicago, have some of the highest murder-by-gun rates in the country.
Even if the government hadn’t shown favoritism back in the day, why would any citizen of any race or creed want to be defenseless, while only law enforcement and the criminals had guns? The right to defend ourselves isn’t a constitutional one. No man can grant or take away this right. It’s God-given.
NPR interviewed Professor Charles E. Cobb Jr., who has a new book out about protecting our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible. I doubt anyone would call Cobb a conservative. Perhaps black conservatives and liberals will find common ground in protecting the Second Amendment. An excerpt of the interview (emphasis added):
On the role of guns in the movement…
“I’m very much concerned with how the history of the southern freedom movement or civil rights movement is portrayed. And, I’m very conscious of the gaps in the history, and one important gap in the history, in the portrayal of the movement, is the role of guns in the movement. I worked in the South, I lived with families in the South. There was never a family I stayed with that didn’t have a gun. I know from personal experience and the experiences of others, that guns kept people alive, kept communities safe and all you have to do to understand this is simply think of black people as human beings and they’re gonna respond to terrorism the way anybody else would. …The southern freedom movement has become so defined, the narrative of the movement has become so defined by non-violence that anything presented outside that narrative framework really isn’t paid that much attention to. I like the quip that Julian Bond made…that really the way the public understands the civil rights movement can be boiled down to one sentence: Rosa sat down, Martin stood up, then the white folks saw the light and saved the day.
The video below contains highlights from a 2013 Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) press conference by blacks against gun control. Among those featured are Harry C. Alford, Niger Innis, Stacy Swimp, and Rev. William Owens, Jr., founder of God, Guns, and the Constitution.