Each February, our nation observes Black History Month. We take this time to reflect upon the history of black people in America, their long road to freedom, and their individual and collective accomplishments and contributions to the United States. We’d like to take a look back through the lens of firearms ownership and see how it has influenced black history.
Many influential black Americans throughout our history understood the importance of firearm ownership - from figures like the heroic Harriet Tubman, who always carried a revolver during her daring work in the Underground Railroad, to Malcolm X, the Civil Rights firebrand who invoked the Second Amendment in one of his most historic speeches.
Firearms have long been regarded as ‘The Great Equalizer’
This fact has been recognized by many black communities and individuals throughout our history who have acknowledged and advocated for armed self-defense. Even Martin Luther King Jr. himself, who normally advocated for peaceful resistance, applied for a concealed carry permit after his home was bombed in 1956.
Many gun owners hold a fundamental belief that an armed society is a polite society, and we place great importance upon being able to protect ourselves and our loved ones from threats.
Most people would agree that they would prefer not to need a firearm, but the 2nd Amendment acknowledges reality. Reality doesn’t have to be bleak, though; America has come a long way since the days of slavery. There have certainly been setbacks along the way, but as a nation we have continued to work toward the ideal of peace and freedom for ALL of our citizens.
The next chapter in black history is currently being written. Old racial tensions have risen along with the tide of panic surrounding COVID-19 and the tumultuous 2020 election. We shouldn’t lose sight of the past, but it’s also important to remember that we aren’t doomed to repeat it as long as we are able to come together as ONE NATION. History is a progression, and it’s hard to deny that it’s generally been moving in the right direction. It’s our responsibility to ensure that it continues to.