This is my weapon, this is my gun…

I’ve always been on the vaguely liberal side of the 2nd amendment debate. Roughly summed up, my opinion boiled down to: “Yeah, sure avatavistic hunters can have ’em, but most people don’t need them. They’re far more likely to shoot their friends or family by accident.”

One can argue the statistics all day; what really made me stop and reconsider (I haven’t changed my mind yet, I’m still considering) was a mention of the Deacons for Defense. In short, they were Black military vets who

generally limited their activities to patrolling black neighborhoods and protecting mass meetings, CORE headquarters, and civil rights workers who were entering and leaving town. In addition, the Deacons accompanied marchers from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi, in the summer of 1966…

(cite)

I can easily see how this organization not only did a noble thing, but saved the lives of many nonviolent protesters and workers – even if only through deterrence. Yes, the nonviolent protesters were ready to lay down their lives… but that doesn’t mean they had to.

Such a group simply could not have existed with restrictive gun control laws. And let us not forget that the folks preying upon these nonviolent protestors were not just the KKK – but local and state governments.

That definitely puts a different spin on things.

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