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According to gun rights advocate and attorney John M. Snyder, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. availed himself of his 2nd Amendment rights as well as his 1st Amendment rights . . .

“At one time, King applied for a permit to carry a concealed handgun, but was denied. He was concerned for his personal safety, just as are a lot of law-abiding American citizens. “

I do not find this the least bit remarkable (presuming it is true) nor in conflict with King’s non-violence policy in protesting against the government.  One can, as an individual, successfully repel an attack from a criminal.  To survive an assault from your Government requires different tactics, namely convincing your Government to change policies.

I do wonder if King applied for his permit early in his career or later, of if he ever changed his mind.

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    • This. He is also known for being against bigotry, all the while being a Protestant minister and being named after Martin Luther of the Protestant Reformation, who was known for writing papers such as On The Jews And Their Lies, in which he called for looting their homes, razing them, and casting the jews in to slavery. I always thought religion was a bastion of bigotry and racism. He was as well a fan of Gandhi, even tho Gandhi participated in wars to colonize and subjugate Africans, and being a supporter of the apartheid system.

      And before anyone brings up my views, at least I have the integrity to call myself a bigot.

      • And before anyone brings up my views, at least I have the integrity to call myself a bigot.

        Round of applause everybody!

      • You do know that the Lutheran Church considers Martin Luther a prophet and that he walked on water ( when it was frozen at any rate). What can I say? Martin had his good and bad days.

    • I am aware of MLKs deficiencies, as I am George Washington’s, Thomas Jefferson’s and most keenly , my own.

      If I had to wait until a man proved perfect before I found them inspirational, I would have nobody to admire but Jesus. But the all I know about Jesus comes from former a pretty unsavory lot.

      Matt, your comments about how Martin Luther King’s name somehow reduces him is so stupid that I have no idea what to say, other than to call it stupid.

      • The contention is that those deficiencies are generally not enumerated in the history books, he instead is elevated to the status of a saint.

        Think of it like this Tim, what if the prime minister (or president or whatever) of Israel was named Adolf Hitler who was also a national socialist. His name demonstrated that he and his father held Martin Luther in high regard. More evidence is he taking part in an extremely racist religion, and choosing a sect of which Martin Luther helped create.

        • You say “elevate him to the level of a saint” as though that’s not realistic. Saints have flaws too, you know. People are not perfect, that’s the point, if you ever need to remember it, a good read is The Confessions of St. Augustine.

      • The contention is that those deficiencies are generally not enumerated in the history books, he instead is elevated to the status of a saint.

        Think of it like this Tim, what if the prime minister (or president or whatever) of Israel was named Adolf Hitler and was a Nazi. His name demonstrated that he and his father held Martin Luther in high regard. More evidence is he taking part in an extremely racist religion, and choosing a sect of which Martin Luther helped create.

        • Wow you guys have a weird anti-spam system, when I made the above post with the proper name of the Nazi’s party, it was marked as being spam and was deleted, but if I call them Nazi’s its not spam.

        • You do realize, Matt, that if “his name demonstrated that he and his father held Martin Luther in high regard” that he could not have the name Adolf Hitler, yes?

        • Huh? Did you read my post? I gave a analogy, I never said he was named Adolf. I would phrase this better, but it keeps on being tagged as spam.

        • TTAG does not have an anti-spam system. It does have an anti-moron system that you seem to be able to circumvent.

        • See Ralph, every time you try to make something idiot-proof, someone will build a better idiot. You should know better, as it’s the fundamental flaw behind all gun control.

  1. Adam Winkler discusses this briefly in Gunfight. It was in 1956, after MLK’s house had been firebombed but before he had fully adopted Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence. He applied for a permit, but since the system in Montgomery was may issue, the sheriff denied the permit, even though he was a law-abiding citizen.

    I highly recommend Gunfight, by the way. It has a good discussion of the racist history gun control, centered around how fear of the Black Panthers led to Mulford Act, and a lot of other good stuff, too.

  2. Holy crap, the racism is already pouring in.

    Is everyone that has the letter “M” start their name (Mike, matt…) a blathering strawman?

    • Agreed. This is the aspect of pro-gun sites that I absolutely cannot stomach: the abundance of racist and sexist drivel. I would encourage more of my friends to visit sites like this one but the prevalence of this kind of commentary has always kept me from doing so.

      • welcome to the internet, you must be new.

        and if its wrong, how about you say why. and if your going to bring up ‘because its something you cant change’, you can change your race as easily as you can change your political ideology, although michael jackson and michael bloomberg both managed to do so. You never see this political correctness run-amuck when to has to deal with politics or religion.

        • It’s wrong (Which I did no directly say btw) because it is incorrect. There is more genetic variation between a random sampling of chimps than between ANY two humans.
          In fact Africa it self is the MOST genetically diverse continent, so you are probably more closely related to someone in Africa, then that person is to another African.

        • You didnt directly say, but Phil (who I was responding to) certainly implied so.

          Not really sure how genetic variation or diversity makes racism wrong, if anything it absolutely confirms that it is right. Keep in mind that racism doesnt have to be negative, it is simply believing that there are certain characteristics of races; although people often focus on the negatives. And variation isnt necessarily a good thing, cancer and birth defects for instance are caused by genetic variations. Care to elaborate?

          I’m quite sure that i’m more closely related genetically to people in Poland and Ukraine than I am to negroids. Keep in mind there are plenty of caucasoid Africans, we are talking about race, not nationality (or continentality).

        • If not rooted in genetics, then what is race?
          If any two chimps of the same subspecies (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) are further apart genetically than you and a “negroid” (I cringed typing that) also of the same subspecies (Homo sapiens sapiens) then how can genetics support racism?

          I know my arguments cannot convince you, like that nutjob from Ancient Aliens on the [Alternate] History Channel, you are far beyond help.

        • Huh? How are chimps having greater variations than humans relevant? Racism is the belief that there are differences and characteristics to races. If there are genetic differences, that how does that not confirm that racism (scientific racism in particular) is correct?

        • BS, matt, racism is a lot more than that, specifically that superficial differences between people justifies the denial of rights and other unequal treatment in society.

        • Well, if you have your own special meaning for the word “racism”, then have at it. In this reality, the rest of us know what it means.

        • In response to Carlos at 8:03PM. Its not my definition, its the number 1 definition Google provides, so clearly I’m not the only one who thinks so. But keep on ignoring the obvious, while you at it look up the definition of bigot.


          rac·ism noun /ˈrāˌsizəm/  The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races

        • Nah, Caucasians are actually more closely related to Asians. The split between the two was the last big split in humanity. It is interesting having DNA tests for Orientals and Europeans, common ancestors tend to pop up.

        • More closely is right, but still the difference is so small most scientists agree that race is only a social factor, not a major genetic one. Humans have some of the least variations (genetically) among Earth’s creatures, only losing to nearly extinct animals, or those that underwent an extreme bottle neck recently, like elephant seals.

        • “race is only a social factor, not a major genetic one”

          What? So your saying, that if two caucasoid people move to another society such as Ethiopia, and have a child, that child will be a negroid? Are you serious? I can only assume you misspoke.

        • Um, no. That would make it a geographic factor. By social factor i ment that most “racial differences” are due to each “race” having a distinct culture.

        • Is an “Uncle Tom” not a negroid? If a person attends a rock concert or NASCAR event, does that make them a caucasoid?

          Cultural differences certainly exist, but culture has nothing to do with race, although many racists like to confuse the two. Many “racist” arguments may have both race and culture based factors, such as negroid excellence in certain sport associations such as the NBA.

        • if anything your culture is determined more by parental upbringing and what cultures are popular (or not) in your society. The racial association is more of a coincidence. Consider a negroid baby raised in a otherwise exclusively caucasoid society (if such a thing existed) and parents. The negroid baby will most likely associate himself with a caucasoid culture.

          I suppose I misspoke as well in my previous post, instead of Ethiopia I should have said “otherwise exclusively negroid society”.

  3. It’s a mistake to put people like MLK up on a pedestal. There’s some good in the worst of us and some bad in the best. Of course this does not apply at three in the morning when somebody’s climbing in your back window.

    • That might be the most true thing you’ve ever said on this site, Mikeb- even the last sentence, though maybe not exactly in the way you meant it.

  4. Whatever his story or truth, I think there’s a lot of value in most of what MLK spoke of. He’s one of the few who spoke for true equality and even warned against trying to overstep that equality for gains of power. Obviously, plenty of people ignored that.

    Regardless, I respect what he had to say. I don’t elevate him to such degrees as media and history have, but still.

    • The problem is there is no such thing as equality. When was the last time a consensus was reached on any subject? And without a consensus, you can even begin to define equality.

    • This, you read my mind. Sure MLK jr had some faults, everyone does, but he was a freedom fighter, he did a lot of good and he deserves to be honored for that. Ultimately he gave his life for his cause, something that everyone should respect. And the man who took his life was a racist, dipshit criminal with a rifle.

      • “good” is really only in the eye of the beholder. Hitler was trying to do good for the German people, but what do you think of him? And people generally being against racism is only a recent development in our society, instigated a great deal by the holocaust, had the holocaust not happened, racism and eugenics in particular would still be popular ideas.

        And you can’t deny that MLK worshiped racism and bigotry. If you dont believe me, try reading the Bible sometime.

  5. Beneath the online article: “Smith & Wesson Military & Police Revolver: A gun’s
    autobiography” by Jack Burton I posted a comment. Beneath my own comment
    a Black American citizen responded in support of my own comment. Read for
    yourselves how a .38 Special protected his father from knife wielding assailants.
    Too bear in mind the 1977 T.V. mini series “Roots.” Following the end of the
    Civil War (1861-1865) night riders raided a plantation where freed Blacks
    (former slaves) resided. The victim was flogged by these nocturnal terrorists
    via a bullwhip. Afterwards the flogged victim (former slave) acquired a Colt
    Model 1860 .44 Army “cap and ball” revolver to defend himself and his household (family) from such savage cruelty. Revolver was wrapped inside
    a burlap bag and concealed beneath the wooden floor boards of their shack.
    This inspires free people on the importance of armed self defense.


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