Leftists pitched a fit when it was announced that the Washington Post was going to partner with the intellectual and influential Volokh Conspiracy, a group blog of libertarian and conservative law professors. Their fears were shortly realized when Eugene Volokh himself confirmed—quite tongue-in-cheek—that they would be presenting libertarian and conservative views on guns rights, and therefore, “going gun nut.”
One of the first fruits of this Volokh/Post partnership is Professor Nicholas Johnson’s post, “Negroes and the Gun: The early NAACP championed armed self-defense.”
It starts out with a bang, so to speak:
When W.E.B. Dubois patrolled his home with a shotgun after the 1906 Atlanta race riot, he was an aberration. But not how you think. Dubois reports that he was unusual among his contemporaries because until that point he did not own a gun.
Dubois’s gun purchase and his aggressive statements following the riot were not passion-of-the-moment things that he would regret. They were part of a continuing engagement of the practice and philosophy of armed self-defense. As editor of the NAACP’s flagship magazine TheCrisis, Dubois continued to champion armed self-defense as a core private interest. Indeed, in some instances, Dubois seemed to cast self-defense as a duty. After a lynching in Gainesville, Fla., he wrote: “No Colored man can read an account of the recent lynching in Gainesville without being ashamed of his people. Without resistance they let a white mob whom they outnumbered two to one, torture, harry and murder. In the last analysis lynching of Negroes is going to stop when the cowardly mob is faced by effective guns in the hands of people determined to sell their souls dearly.”
The history of gun control in the United States is a tale of racism and oppression. Professor Johnson’s is spending several days guest-blogging at Volokh about the “hidden history” that anti-gun Democrats and their co-conspirators in the modern NAACP would rather keep hidden in an embarrassed silence.
Johnson’s book, Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms is something that I’m interested in reading, and yet, it focuses on just one minority’s trials in this “free country.”
Other minorities were oppressed. Irish and Italians and eastern Europeans were denied arms in the northeast, Asians suffered on the West Coast, and Native Americans have all been denied their natural right to self defense with arms as they were pushed across the country and onto reservations when they weren’t wiped out entirely.
We claim that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to enshrine a pre-existing natural right to self-defense, but the reality of the matter is that throughout our history, these rights have been widely trampled and horribly abused by those in power. A minority disarmed is a minority endangered.
It’s sad that the modern NAACP seems to have largely sold out these rights.