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By John Bender - Ether Zone
February is Black History Month. In keeping with the spirit and intent of celebrating Black history, we will examine some Black history that the liberal media and others in the anti-civil rights establishment donít want remembered.
Several people have done a splendid job of documenting the racist history of gun control laws. But there is little being written about the role guns played in securing the victories Blacks achieved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. This month we will examine some of the cases where Blacks used their Second Amendment right to own and carry guns to advance the cause of securing their other civil rights.
In Monroe, North Carolina, in 1958, Mr. Robert Williams reopened a local chapter of the NAACP. He enlisted the help of Dr. Albert Perry, a physician and leader in the Black community. These two men created an active and robust local chapter of the NAACP and worked for equal rights for the Black population.
However, Monroe was KKK country. The Klan included in its membership the sheriff, most police officers, several judges and every elected official in the county. As the Black population grew more organized the Klan became more brutal.
Mr. Williams was a former U.S. Marine who understood that force must be met with force, so in 1960 he turned to the nationís oldest civil rights organization for help. He applied to the National Rifle Association for a local charter. The NRA issued him the charter and supplied firearms training material.
Officially sanctioned as the Monroe NRA Rifle Club Mr. Williams recruited other Black veterans. The group armed themselves and started training with their guns. This further infuriated the Klan but it also inflamed the white liberals who had previously supported Mr. Williams and Dr. Perry.
The liberals were no more interested in seeing Black men exercising their Second Amendment rights than the Klan was. The White liberals were only interested in the Black population attaining some rights, not in securing the full rights afforded all free men by their creator.
The Klan was quick to recognize that the Blacks no longer enjoyed the support of the White liberals and increased their harassment of the Black community. Armed Klansmen regularly drove through the Black section of town shooting into homes and shooting at anyone unfortunate enough to be out after dark. Frequently, these drive-by shootings were preceded by a police patrol car that scouted targets for the Klan.
Unable to disband either the local NAACP branch or the local NRA branch, the Klan decided to mount a full, armed assault on Dr. Perryís home. They thought they could bring down the groups by eliminating their most influential leader.
The local NRA branch heard about the planned raid and quickly called a meeting to be held at the doctorís house on that night. Well armed men showed up at the doctors house and prepared for the assault they knew was coming.
When the Klan arrived, instead of finding the good doctor alone with his family they found the house fortified with sandbags and guarded by armed men who knew how to use their weapons. A firefight ensued.
The Klan and their police support were no match for the local NRA members. The NRA members drove off the attackers inflicting unknown causalities on the raiders.
What we do know is that this was the last time the police joined the Klan in a raid in Monroe. It wasnít the end of their support of the Klan, but it was the last time the police openly joined in an armed attack on a Black home in Monroe.
Trouble continued in Monroe after this raid and we will examine another instance where the Black population there repelled the anti-civil rights forces by bearing arms in the next article.
The story of Monroe is one that the elites donít want well known. They are no longer just trying to strip Blacks and other minority groups of their rights. They are now trying to subjugate everyone who isnít part of their elitist group. They can only do that when they totally disarm the people they want to rule.
As Monroe demonstrates, Blacks should be among the strongest supporters of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment puts teeth in the rest of the Constitution. It guarantees personal freedom far better than any paternalistic government program. In Monroe, as in much of the country, Blacks couldnít look to the government for protection. The Klan controlled the government there. Their only defense was self-defense. The men in the local NRA showed that they were up to the task of defending themselves and their families. They didnít need some elitist demigod to protect their rights.
Under the laws we have today the men of Monroe would be unable to mount such a defense. So called "Saturday Night Special" laws and laws against discount mail order sales of guns, price guns out of the reach of many low wage citizens. Registration and licensing laws would tell the Klan sheriff who had guns and allow him to round them up before any raid today.
If the sheriff in Monroe had access to the BATFís national firearm files he could have disarmed the local NRA members before the Klan raided the doctorís home. Instead of the Klan being driven off, things would have ended very differently. This story would be a story about just one more successful Klan raid on a defenseless Black family.
The next time someone tells you that you will be better off if guns are registered or only in the hands of the police, remember Monroe. Remember the brave men who stood up the Klan and won only because they had access to guns.
John Bender is a columnist and staff writer for Ether Zone . He is host of the "On Target" Internet radio show on Free Republic Radio. Mr. Bender is also Executive Director of Seniors United Supporting the Second Amendment (SUSSA). SUSSA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, civil-rights organization. It is a national grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about their civil, Constitutional, and human rights. We invite you to visit his web-site.
Published in the February 5, 2003 issue of Ether Zone.
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