Damon Root: Why Civil Rights and Gun Rights Are Inseparable


Today's gun debate focuses overwhelmingly on the social costs that arise from keeping and bearing arms. Yet as Senior Editor Damon Root explains in his review of the new book Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms, privately owned guns have also played a profoundly moral and beneficial role in our society. Indeed, from the time of Frederick Douglass, who called a "good revolver" the "true remedy for the Fugitive Slave Bill," to that of civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer, who braved the worst of 20th century Jim Crow and declared, "I keep a shotgun in every corner of my bedroom," armed self-defense has always gone hand in hand with the fight for racial equality in America.