It’s standard operating procedure for Republican candidates to tout their Second Amendment bona fides by cutting a campaign ad featuring them with a gun (or two, or three). Some are less-than-convincing:
And some are just downright weird and creepy:
Jerone Davison, who’s running to be the Republican candidate in Arizona’s 4th Congressional District, may have produced the best Second Amendment-themed campaign ad of the midterms. Rather than storming into homes looking for RINOs, in Davison’s ad the candidate uses an AR-15 (and “all 30 rounds”) to protect his home from “Democrats in Klan hoods”.
Make Rifles Great Again 💪🏿
👉https://t.co/J7lHnodhku#JeroneForCongress#2A #SelfDefense pic.twitter.com/Gs6iAHVVAP
— Jerone Davison for Congress #AZCD4 (@Jerone4Congress) July 6, 2022
I haven’t had that much red meat served to me in 30 seconds since my wife took me to a Brazilian steakhouse for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I’m ready for a second helping.
Davison’s ad is outrageous enough to draw attention and ire from the other side while making an important point about our right to keep and bear arms: it’s a right of all the people, and throughout our nation’s history the right to armed self-defense has been an invaluable part of the fight for equality and civil rights.
That fact apparently comes as a surprise to one of the Democrats running in AZ-4.
So would you not call the police because…they just arrived?
This is a disturbing gun-fetish fantasy and I hope it never comes to be reality.
— Dan Amrich (@DanAmrich) July 6, 2022
Condoleeza Rice has spoken about watching her father guard their family’s home in Birmingham, Alabama with a gun from night-riding members of the KKK when she was a child in the late 50s and early 60s; a time in which families like hers simply couldn’t wait for the local police to show up to help because they were often the ones underneath the hoods. Despite Amrich’s ignorance of history, the fact remains that the right to keep and bear arms in self-defense was an integral part of the civil rights movement long before groups like the Black Panthers were founded.
I’d recommend Dan pick up a copy of Nicholas Johnson’s Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms and Charles Cobb’s This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible , a searing memoir/history of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. Davison isn’t engaging in a “gun-fetish fantasy”. The scene he depicts in his campaign ad was reality for many black Americans in the not-too-distant past.
“Of the many inhuman outrages of this present year,” Ida B. Wells wrote in her 1892 pamphlet Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases, “the only case where the proposed lynching did not occur, was where the men armed themselves in Jacksonville, Fla., and Paducah, Ky, and prevented it. The only times an Afro-American who was assaulted got away has been when he had a gun and used it in self-defense.” Her conclusion: “The lesson this teaches and which every Afro-American should ponder well, is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give. When the white man who is always the aggressor knows he runs as great a risk of biting the dust every time his Afro-American victim does, he will have greater respect for Afro-American life.”
W.E.B. DuBois not only described armed self-defense as a practical deterrent; he pressed it as a moral imperative. Writing as editor of the NAACP magazine Crisis, Dubois argued that even failed acts of self-defense established a cultural norm of resistance that discouraged attacks on the race. The NAACP cut its teeth as an organization defending blacks who used guns in self-defense.
The Winchester repeating rifle was the AR-15 of its day, and I have no doubt that Ida Wells would have been a fan of modern sporting rifles if they were around in the late 19th century.
I don’t know much about Jerone Davison’s position on other issues, but he absolutely nailed the importance of the Second Amendment with this ad, and hopefully inspired some anti-gun progressives to examine the history and tradition of the right to keep and bear arms in addition to swaying Republican primary voters to his side.