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Lest we go a day here at TTAG without pointing out some of the blatant hypocrisy of Moms Demand Action, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bloomberg Industries, here’s a fun one. The above photo was tweeted from the official Moms Demand Action account earlier today with no explanation. While it’s beyond my skillset to tease out the true meaning of this, I was just pleased that they’ve finally gotten onboard with shall issue carry…

As I assume all gun owners know that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was denied a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He applied for the permit after his house was firebombed, a fact detailed by Adam Winkler in his book, Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. Dr. John Lott was no fan of Winkler’s book, but it appears that the fact remains that Dr. King applied for and was denied a permit to carry a gun. That denial, according to Winkler, was based on the color of Dr. King’s skin.

It is worth noting that Dr. King got rid of the gun he owned and encouraged others to follow in the steps of nonviolence as he conveyed in his writings about the firebombing, his denial of a right to carry, and subsequent embrace of nonviolence.

After the bombings, many of the officers of my church and other trusted friends urged me to hire a bodyguard and armed watchmen for my house. When my father came to town, he concurred with both of these suggestions. I tried to tell them that I had no fears now and consequently needed no weapons for protection. This they would not hear. They insisted that I protect the house and family, even if I didn’t want to protect myself. In order to satisfy the wishes of these close friends and associates, I decided to consider the question of an armed guard. I went down to the sheriff’s office and applied for a license to carry a gun in the car; but this was refused.

Meanwhile I reconsidered. How could I serve as one of the leaders of a nonviolent movement and at the same time use weapons of violence for my personal protection? Coretta and I talked the matter over for several days and finally agreed that arms were no solution. We decided then to get rid of the one weapon we owned. We tried to satisfy our friends by having floodlights mounted around the house, and hiring unarmed watchmen around the clock. I also promised that I would not travel around the city alone.

I was much more afraid in Montgomery when I had a gun in my house. When I decided that I couldn’t keep a gun, I came face-to-face with the question of death and I dealt with it. From that point on, I no longer needed a gun nor have I been afraid. Had we become distracted by the question of my safety we would have lost the moral offensive and sunk to the level of our oppressors.

Where was I? Oh right. MDA finally getting onboard with shall issue. Dr. King had every right to use the best tools available to him including a firearm to defend himself from those who sought to harm him. Due to the racist powers that be at the time, he was denied these rights under the rule of law. Some might call that an injustice.

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  1. It’s really simple, the very same people who denied King (and countless others) the right to bear arms in order to make them vulnerable to predation and oppression are now trying to disarm the rest of us. Racist democrats who as always place the state (and them selves) above the people.

  2. I went through a period of time where I wasn’t a fan of guns. I didn’t want to add to the violence already in the world. Then I started to come around to the idea that guns aren’t magical. They’re just tools. Now I see them as I see a seat belt or a fire extinguisher. Either of which could be used to cause harm if you wanted to. Martin Luther King Jr made his choices and I respect him for those choices, but I’m exercising my rights and using my freedom in the USA to choose a slightly different path.

  3. Or maybe Moms Demanding Assassination of Gun Owners in America is onboard with disarming the cops this is a cryptic tweet about the Ferguson things. It would mark a change since they’ve previously held that only ruling class enforcers… government functionaries should have guns.

    • ^This. So this.
      Author headline got it wrong.
      They apparently are behind disarming cops too now, and apparently support the dead crook Mike Brown. Co-opt anything to further their cause. Just like a good fascist would.

  4. I believe the non-violent, passive mindset is an abomination. It is utterly inconsistent with the obvious, autonomic function of our bodies which respond with remarkable systems to any physical attack. Consider the following:
    (1) Gash in the skin: clotting begins to stop blood loss.
    (2) Excessive blood loss: heart rate increases to maintain life.
    (3) Sudden danger: adrenalin enables the body to respond faster, stronger, and longer to the danger.
    (4) Overheating: the body perspires to cool the body.
    (5) Cold: the body shivers to generate warmth
    (6) Extreme cold: body reduces blood flow to extremities to reduce cooling.
    (7) Germs: immune cells fight back.

    It is obvious that sustaining life is of the utmost importance, or else our bodies would not have so many systems to maintain life under attack. Why someone would not use the most important system of all to survive — their brain and free will — is willfully throwing their life away. And willfully throwing away your life violates every law of nature and God.

    I would further add that willfully throwing away the life of your spouse and children — because you refuse to act to protect them — violates every law of nature and God as well.

    Throwing away your own life is utterly shameful. Throwing away the lives of your spouse and children is deplorable in the extreme.

    • While I agree with your argument I don’t dismiss the validity of peaceful protest. Rather I see it as a tactic with real advantages. The civil rights movement before it was co-opted by progesives was not a battle against the government police or even the civilians who acted as terrorists. It was a battle for the support of the people at large. All the same when cowards come for your family I say put them down like the animals they are.

    • “Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accept the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay-and claims a halo for his dishonesty.”

      ― Robert A. Heinlein

    • Agree. I sold my guns ages ago, didn’t need them, didn’t care. It wasn’t until I had a family to defend that I started caring again.

      Could I live with myself if I was unable to defend my family?

  5. And what happened to MLK after all this again…

    Oh right, he got shot… to death.

    So yeah, not the best example.

    • How is it not a good example? The man who did the killing would no doubt have been granted a permit. This is an ideal example of injustice and the racist roots of all gun control. It has never been our position to promise safety if only one were armed, so a situation where being armed wouldn’t have helped in no way invalidates our position on the matter.

  6. “Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun. These people ain’t seen a brown skin man. Since their grandparents bought one.”

    Rage Against the Machine has a pretty good handle on MDA and the relevance of their contribution to the issue at hand…

    • Maybe, but Rage against the machine are also a bunch of economic morons who love communism, but are obviously oblivious as to how their own bank accounts rack up those big numbers.

      • You’ll get no argument from me on that.

        I wish I could be a celebrity and rail against “inequality” and tweet about “social/economic justice” while the little people make sure the riff raff are kept out of my community and the frig is stocked with spring water from some remote village….

        • I said something similar about Bono,s save the world schtik when he paid a private jet to fly his hat to him. While I fault no man for making and keeping his wealth, prioritizing him self and his family’s wellbeing over others or even gross displays of tacky expenditure I don’t suffer hypocrites well. There are countless people of modest means who to scale do far more than any self promoting personality cultist ever has. Strolling in the muck making sad face to the poorest means nothing when you come and go in a multi million dollar status symbol and indulge in a bacau on a yacht who’s galley could feed that village tip obesity became their worst problem.

  7. Great for Dr. King. I’m of a decidedly different Christian persuasion. I am commanded to provide for my own. That includes protection. I don’t judge Christians who don’t. Just don’t expect my help. Yep MDA is pathetic…

  8. “I was much more afraid in Montgomery when I had a gun in my house. When I decided that I couldn’t keep a gun, I came face-to-face with the question of death and I dealt with it. From that point on, I no longer needed a gun nor have I been afraid.”

    Humans are funny creatures. We say we like choice, but in reality we are happier without it in many instances. Above we have an example of someone who has cheerfully made one choice to limit his other choices because giving away the ability to defend himself has made things simpler for him.

    • And I’m pretty sure no one here would deny him the right to make that decision. Would be nice to receive the same respect.

  9. I’m so inspired by Dr. King’s devotion to nonviolence that I’m going to buy a couple of nonviolent guns this week, and then I’m not going to shoot anybody with them in self defense.

    I have other guns for that.

    • Gandhi developed the nonviolent form of protest that Dr. King emulated. Gandhi believed in non violent demonstration but in bringing violence in defense of family. Frankly so do many Quakers.

      • He also believed military service, or at least the freedom to join was critical to ones equity in society. He also believed that violence was not just appropriate for defense of body but defense of honor as well. Peaceful protest was both a tactical maneuver and a symbolic commitment of ones life to a cause.

      • H,

        I read years ago that Ghandi was upset when the Indians surrendered their arms to the British. Armed revolt was, apparently, his Plan B in the event that Plan A, civil disobedience, didn’t work.

  10. On April 27, 1995, Sen. Dianne Feinstein stated: “I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that’s what I did. I was trained in firearms. I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me.”
    Search You Tube for video
    Feinstein on her concealed weapon permit

  11. MLK abjured all forms of weaponry in his desire to become a complete pacifist, so the rest of us should be forced to do what he voluntarily decided to do. Got it.

    • He did say something about not wanting his children to be “judged by the color of their skin nor the content of their character but by the biased and irrational minds of the decendants of the people who actively murdered tortured and enslaved humans in the not so distant past”. < that's not an exact quote but you get the gist.

    • Car,

      I have read the same thing in several sources, most recently in “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed”. I have not read anything to the contrary until I read this this quote from Winkler’s book. I’m curious as to his source (but not enough to get the book).

  12. King made the common mistake of confusing the initiation of violence with responding with violence appropriate to a threat.

    There is a basic principal of parenting and managing human behavior in general. Don’t let undesirable behavior of others be successful in achieving their goals. Never let a tantrum pay off. If people in a community work together to deny the payoff for violent behavior, violent behavior decreases. Unfortunately, the only real way to implement such a policy is to fight back once one initiates violence against you, i.e. a response of violence, proportionate ti the that to you, dealt out until the threat subsides. Whether the subsiding of the threat takes the form of a retreat or a death, or just incapacitation doesn’t matter.

    I believe that allowing violence as a coercive tactic to work is immoral. In other words, I believe that abducting the right to self defense is immoral.

    If I had the intelligence of a time Lord and the power of a tardis I may be able to deny success to those who initiate violence without employing counter-violence, but I do not. Besides, the Dr. Uses guns plenty, he just has others pull the triggers for him (Demons Run).

    Sorry for switching gears so drastically. I find these truths to be so painfully evident that commenting here sometimes feels like rehearsing rhetoric.

  13. My read on the piece is MLK, denied the right to carry accepted that he would be killed. Is the message we should bow to the local state and federal governments and accept the fate of no longer able to protect ourselves and others by lawful self defense. If so, the only outcome is death at the hand of another sanction by our governments.

  14. Non violence works only if you believe that the society you are changing is moral enough to be changed by your example. Ghandi shamed the British into getting out of India. Would not have worked for many other countries.

    MLK was protected by armed men that he did not know we’re armed. Looking for the reference.

    • Oh, I would bet on that. Much loved and leading hundreds or thousands of people in marches, there’s no doubt some carried to defend him and themselves, though he asked them not to, and of course it was illegal.

    • Like the Deacons For Defense and Justice? Tell me that MLK didn’t know that they were tooled up with long arms. Ramada, I don’t _think_ so.

  15. I guess.

    Also written by Winkler here:

    “William Worthy, a journalist who covered the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, reported that once, during a visit to King’s parsonage, he went to sit down on an armchair in the living room and, to his surprise, almost sat on a loaded gun. Glenn Smiley, an adviser to King, described King’s home as “an arsenal.”

    One lesson the gun advocates took was from the early King and his more aggressive followers: If the police can’t (or won’t) to protect you, a gun may be your last line of defense. Inspired by that idea, the gun lobby has grown so strong that even after the Tucson mass murder there is almost no likelihood of new gun laws being passed.

    Whether a broader acceptance of the King’s later pacifism would have made us safer than choosing guns, we will never know.

  16. Perhaps this is an indication that we are starting to win over the narrative, that the right to keep and bear arms is indeed a civil rights issue. That those who would deny us this right are attacking the civil rights of all and are to be scorned…

  17. I noticed in the quoted passage that he never framed it as anything else but a strictly Personal decision. Never did he say that defending yourself was an immoral decision. He made his decision based on a number of factors, including the fact that he was a law abiding, high profile, articulate, and generally respected citizen of this country… at least among people disinclined to like night riding terrorists in white hoods. His decision to not own a gun was based not entirely on considerations of personal safety, but also of politics.

    In short, Dr. King knew that if he was to be found to own a gun, that everything he was worked for would have been discounted and dismissed by the media whose attention he had worked so hard to attract. He knew if he were to suffer violent assaults that he could survive some… and that his ideals would survive the rest.

    This was a man who made a rational, conscious decision to not own a firearm, true, but not because of the irrational, emotional reasons that MDA and Mike Bloomberg wanna stir up. He did it precisely because he needed the attention and cooperation of people who gave as much of a shit about his safety as Mike Bloomberg does about yours (Zero, and bonus if you get whacked cos it’ll make a good news story).


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