Sheldon Richman for Reason.com reports:
Dylann Roof’s racially motivated murders of nine black churchgoers have brought predictable calls for new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. How ironic this is we shall soon see.
Advocates of gun rights argue that the best way to prevent such atrocities is for would-be victims to arm themselves; killers will break gun laws without hesitation (though Roof obtained his .45-caliber handgun legally), so legal obstacles to gun ownership only impede the innocent. Relying on the police for defense is futile—or worse.
This argument persuades few who are committed to “gun control” (a misnomer because law-abiding people, not guns, are subject to control). But those who demand it while grieving over the racist massacre at Emanuel AME church in Charleston, S.C., ought to understand that “time and again, guns have proven pivotal to the African American quest for freedom.”
That sentence is found in Charles E. Cobb Jr.’s important book That Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible.
Guns of course pervaded the South before the civil rights movement, and this was true of black culture too. Moreover, many black war veterans came home with guns, determined to win their freedom. As the black freedom movement emerged after World War II and the Korean War, it was only natural for guns to be seen as important in the defense against the daily threat posed by the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists.
Read the full story at Reason.com.