Civil Rights and Armed Self-Defense

At the Volokh Conspiracy, David Kopel has an extraordinary post featuring a long quote from civil rights activist John R. Salter, one of the organizers of the famous Jackson, Mississippi sit-ins, describing the crucial role that firearms played in keeping him and other civil rights activists safe from Ku Klux Klan “night-riders” and other white terrorists. Here’s a brief excerpt from Salter’s comments:

I was beaten and arrested many times and hospitalized twice. This happened to many, many people in the movement. No one knows what kind of massive racist retaliation would have been directed against grassroots black people had the black community not had a healthy measure of firearms within it....

Later, I worked for years in the Deep South as a full-time civil rights organizer. Like a martyred friend of mine, NAACP staffer Medgar W. Evers, I, too, was on many Klan death lists and I, too, traveled armed: a .38 special Smith and Wesson revolver and a 44/40 Winchester carbine.

The knowledge that I had these weapons and was willing to use them kept enemies at bay. Years later, in a changed Mississippi, this was confirmed by a former prominent leader of the White Knights of the KKK when we had an interesting dinner together at Jackson.

Go here to read the entire thing. It’s well worth your time. And go here for Kopel’s classic Reason article explaining why gun control was “the Klan’s favorite law.”

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  • oaktownadam||

    Sorry guys, but JPFO beat you to the punch: http://www.jpfo.org/filegen-a-.....gn-swf.htm

  • only suckers pay retail||

    Does anyone really believe that the DVD is free? Oy!

  • Old Mexican||

    At the Volokh Conspiracy, David Kopel has an extraordinary post featuring a long quote from civil rights activist John R. Salter, one of the organizers of the famous Jackson, Mississippi sit-ins, describing the crucial role that firearms played in keeping him and other civil rights activists safe from Ku Klux Klan “night-riders” and other white terrorists.

    That's not true. Firearms increase violence and unrest and thus should never be in the hands of citizens - the Statists told me so.

  • Suki||

    It must have been a contributing factor to the freedom riders being killed. If only they had known.

  • Warty||

    Almost every time I browse another blog's comments, I hate humanity just a little bit more. This time is no exception.

  • Sadistic Eristic||

    Don't be a hater; Be a shooter.

  • ||

    That's ironic, because when I read this blog's comments, I hate you--and by extension, Uwe Boll, as you're basically the same guy--just a little bit more.

    I'm just kidding. I really only hate Michael Bay. And Roland Emmerich. And Roger Christian. And Brett Ratner. And George Lucas. Maybe I should just list the people I don't hate.

  • ||

    Where on you on Helena Bonham Carter?

  • ||

    Sorry, Helena "John 'Bonzo'" Bonham Carter

  • ||

    No where. She's kind of a pig.

  • ||

    So that means that you like her? I'm still pissed at her for breaking up Led Zeppelin.

  • ||

    Uh, you're confusing her with Yasmine Bleeth, dipshit.

  • ||

    Dude, that's the Beatles.

    Do you think people who happen on this blog think we're insane and stupid?

  • ||

    Look, if you can't even get it right that Erin Gray was the one who broke up Rainbow, well, I don't know why I'm even talking to you.

  • ||

    Hey, I was curious to see what she looks like now. Check this out. Without thinking about it, who does she look like?

  • ||

    Dude, what the hell is wrong with you? I never want to see anything like that. Wilma Deering only, dude.

  • ||

    It's okay, she can be restored as a robot in the near future.

    I was thinking she looks a lot like Mary McDonnell now.

  • ||

    I wonder what happened to Pamela Hensley?

    She broke up Prince. Yeah, just the one guy. Broken.

  • Clunkrageous ||

    South Carolina's not soul-mate first lady.

  • Almanian||

    So then it's true - Morgan Fairchild was the death of rock and roll

  • ||

    It's sad too, because when she was younger she was pretty damn cute.

  • Ziggy||

    never visit the Huffington Post then...

  • ||

    Armed Self-Defense IS a Civil Right.

  • Suki||

    For the right people. It depends on your intentions.

  • Men on Humanity||

    "Hated it!"

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    When I was promoting Black Maverick (which I still recommend to everybody even though I'm no longer getting paid to hype it), I interviewed a bunch of people for T.R.M. Howard recollections. The best quote came from the great poet and fellow flack John Milton Wesley:

    "King knew that he was risking his life. Howard knew that he was risking his life. The difference is I saw Howard's submachine gun."

  • Suki||

    Is being promoted to Black Maverick like Grand Dragon or is that a lower office?

  • ||

    The title of Black Maverick is being reserved for McCain's black love child.

  • Suki||

    You can't fool me this time Tulpa. Tim had to defeat Ice Man in a simulated battle, based on a true story, to get the title. I have been assured by people in-the-know that he accomplished the feat in California and remains there to this day ruling his secret Inland Empire.

  • juris imprudent||

    All hail Emporer Tim!

  • robc||

    Bridget?

  • ||

    Mr. Howard conceived of, and financed, the Regional Councils of Negro Leadership. The fact that he employed the word negro in the name of the group he founded did not stop thousands from attending its annual meetings nor did it prevent people like Thurgood Marshall from delivering speeches at such meetings.

    Was Howard"s prominent use of the word negro, a slur?

  • ||

    That was what, 60-70 years ago? People still called cigars "faggots" back then.

  • ||

    And what, the founding was 230 years ago?

  • ||

    Suki:

    I know you were trying to be cute, however you don't get promoted to "Black" Maverick you have to earn it. Grand Dragons are the offsprings of sarcasmics.

  • ||

    My father, a white man, was a high school principal in Louisiana in 1969 when rural public schools were finally integrated. White Citizens council folk scared off some his teachers when integration was about to happen and talked about "running him out of town". He found out who was doing the scaring, drove to the man's house and while armed with a pistol and a rifle racked on his truck's back windshield told the segregationist that if the segregationist ever set foot on school property or my dad's property, he'd kill him.

    After that, the scaring stop, the school was integrated, and no one ever got hurt.

    True story, and not often talked about.

  • mike c.||

    I like your dads style.

  • ||

    Not to detract from your dad's brave actions, but one man with a pistol and a rifle is not something for an armed mob to worry about. I'm all for individual self-defense, but we should keep its limitations in mind.

  • mike c.||

    Lyle's pops was practicing preemptive self defence. By letting a few potential mob members know he wasn't going to put up with any shit he prevented the mob forming. You are right that one man can't stop 50 crazed people with a lever-action rifle.

  • Kant feel Pietzsche||

    I learned a long time ago, when facing an angry crowd, you don't have to knock them all out...you just have to knock out the right ONE. Just like in tribal warfare when the chieftain takes one for the team, and the rest just quit fighting because they lost their mojo.

  • ||

    BTW, off-topic: Were you just giving Radley a hard time by asserting that the Colts choked?

    Lots of Pats fans are of this view. I just don't see how they see it that way. The Saints outplayed the Colts and were perhaps outcoached.

  • ||

    Colts did something wrong, because they're a much better team than the Saints. Then again, the Saints played at their very best, which does matter.

  • Mad Max||

    . . . if you believe in that 'free will' crap.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Not to detract from your dad's brave actions, but one man with a pistol and a rifle is not something for an armed mob to worry about. I'm all for individual self-defense, but we should keep its limitations in mind.


    Armed mobs are not a disciplined, organized force.

    They are cowards, and if one of them is shot to death, most of them would run for their lives.

    Of course, an M-60 machine gun works wonders on armed mobs.

  • ||

    On the contrary, a mob is composed of bellicose individuals. If they learn that they are facing an armed man, they start to fear that even if the mob surely overwhelms the lone armed man, one or more of them may not return from the riot alive, This fear of self-preservation tends to stifle the mob.

  • In Time Of War||

    An armed mob consists of individuals, and one of them has to be willing to die first.

  • ||

    But the larger the mob, the less likely a particular member is to be the one who dies.

  • LarryA||

    Primary Rule of Mob Deterrence: The first shot takes out the group’s leader, the second the loudmouth inciting it. Often they are the same person.

  • ||

    It's the difference between defeating a mob as a whole and defeating each member individually. Unless your mob is large enough that there are several bodies in front of you if the victim opens fire, you'd have to be pretty comfortable with the fact that the risk exists at all.

    So, yeah, the individual will probably lose the fight, but every member of the mob will have to be willing to risk that they might happen to draw the short straw.

  • SIV||

    Not to detract from your dad's brave actions, but one man with a pistol and a rifle is not something for an armed mob to worry about. I'm all for individual self-defense, but we should keep its limitations in mind.

    Ever here of Alvin York?

    As his men remained under cover, and guarding the prisoners, York worked his way into position to silence the German machine guns.

    York recalled:
    “ And those machine guns were spitting fire and cutting down the undergrowth all around me something awful. And the Germans were yelling orders. You never heard such a racket in all of your life. I didn't have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush… As soon as the machine guns opened fire on me, I began to exchange shots with them. There were over thirty of them in continuous action, and all I could do was touch the Germans off just as fast as I could. I was sharp shooting… All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn't want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had.[10] „
    328th Infantry Regiment of 82nd Division advances in preparation to capture Hill 223 on October 7, 1918.
    York, at the hill where his actions earned him the Medal of Honor, three months after the end of World War I on February 7, 1919

    During the assault, a group of eight German soldiers in a trench near York were ordered to charge him with fixed bayonets. York had fired all the rounds in his rifle, but drew out his pistol and shot all eight of the soldiers before they could reach him.[11]

    He wasn't dealing with an "armed mob" but a cohesive unit of battle-hardened veteran professional soldiers.

  • Slippery Wax||

    Audie Murphy had the same video game moves. Read his medal commendations, and stand in awe at what 1 country boy can do when motivated.

  • ||

    The fact that we remember the names of the people who singlehandedly defeated armed mobs shows how unusual it actually is.

  • l0phty||

    The fact that we remember the names of the people who singlehandedly defeated armed mobs shows how awesome it actually is.

    There. I fixed that for you.

  • SIV||

    Ever hear of Mark Essex?

    While the New Orleans PD and US Marine Corps ultimately prevailed he held off more than just an "armed mob" with just a 5 shot,tube fed,pistol caliber carbine for hours.He almost brought down a twin rotor Marine chopper.

  • SIV||

    The long version

    Never underestimate the capability of one determined man with a rifle.

  • ||

    Check this out.

    You maniac! Damn you- damn you to Hell!

    *scours eyeballs with Drano*

  • Suki||

    ?

  • Almanian||

    The pic of Dorian Erin Grey Pro Lib linked to...

  • ||

    Yes, but doesn't she look like Mary McDonnell? It's quite shocking how they've merged.

  • The Wine Commonsewer (TWC)||

    Thanks Damon, I have been looking for Salter's back story for several years and never found it. This is great.

  • ||

    You guys are easily moved off-point. Please note: the right to be armed is the difference between a freeman and a slave (see Amendment 14, U.S. Constitution). I am no one's property but my own.
    "Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps I could not surrender if I would." - John Adams

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  • Self Defense Knives||

    Guns dont kill people, people kill people. self defense and bearing arms is essential

  • SOG Knives||

    I totally agree. Guns and knives don't kill people!! PEOPLE kill people!

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