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MLK’s Arsenal & The Racist Roots of Gun Control in the U.S.

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C_MLKCandice Lanier – Martin Luther King, Jr., known for peaceful resistance, at the same time recognized the importance of gun ownership for self-defense. King understood the risks involved in being an outspoken civil rights leader, living in Jim Crow era Alabama, and took measures to protect himself, his family and others around him.

King was a gun owner.  In fact, he had a few guns–one visitor to the King family home described King’s supply of weapons as an “armory.”

Additionally, William Worthy, a journalist who covered the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, reported that he almost sat on a loaded gun while visiting King’s parsonage.

King had also applied for a concealed carry permit, but was turned down.  According to John M. Snyder:

“At one time, King applied for a permit to carry a concealed handgun, but was denied. He was concerned for his personal safety, just as are a lot of law-abiding American citizens. “

Even though King’s house had just been bombed, his application for the concealed carry permit was still rejected. Few people in the US needed a permit to carry more than Reverend King did in 1956, but since the local police had some discretion in their decision making, King, who no doubt met the requirements of the law, was rejected nonetheless. This was the norm when the applicant was black.

An example of discriminatory gun legislation, via Examiner.Com:

“This Reconstruction Era law in Louisiana is a perfect example:

No negro who is not in the military service shall be allowed to carry fire-arms, or any kind of weapons, within the parish, without the special written permission of his employers, approved and endorsed by the nearest and most convenient chief of patrol.”

Kurt Hofmann writing for Examiner.Com elaborates on the racism behind these laws:

“UCLA Constitutional law professor Adam Winkler–hardly likely to be mistaken for a fervent gun rights advocate–readily acknowledges bigotry as the father of “gun control,” as he explained in an interview with the Wall Street Journal:

In his research for ‘Gunfight,’ Winkler also noted a close intersection between guns and racism. ‘It was a constant pressure among white racists to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans, because they would rise up and revolt.’ he said. ‘The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns. During the Civil War, blacks kept guns for the first time – either they served in the Union army and they were allowed to keep their guns, or they buy guns on the open market where for the first time there’s hundreds of thousands of guns flooding the marketplace after the war ends. So they arm up because they know who they’re dealing with in the South.’”

Another example is Tennessee’s “Army and Navy Law” of 1879:

“Among these laws, the forerunners of so-called ‘Saturday Night Special’ legislation, was Tennessee’s “Army and Navy” law (1879), which prohibited the sale of any “belt or pocket pistols, or revolvers, or any other kind of pistols, except army or navy pistol” models, among the most expensive, and largest, handguns of the day. (Such as the Colt Model 1960 Army, Model 1851 Navy, and Model 1861 Navy percussion cap revolvers, or Model 1873 Single-Action Army revolver.) The law thus prohibited small two-shot derringers and low-caliber rimfire revolvers, the handguns that most Blacks could afford.”

Because laws could not explicitly prohibit gun ownership by blacks, due to the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1875, more subtle methods were employed in order to keep blacks disarmed.

In the case of the Gun Control Act of 1968, one provision of the law was a ban on the importation of small, inexpensive handguns. It didn’t apply to domestically manufactured firearms, but at the time that market was served almost exclusively by imports.  As noted by Roy Innis, of the Congress of Racial Equality, this law had the same malicious intent as its Reconstruction Era predecessor:

“To make inexpensive guns impossible to get is to say that you’re putting a money test on getting a gun. It’s racism in its worst form.”

Former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley had some views on the subject:

“Outside the suburbs in the city, we have control, but what the hell, in the suburbs, there are — you go out to all around our suburbs and you’ve got people out there, especially the non-white, are buying guns right and left. Shotguns and rifles and pistols and everything else. There’s no registration. … There’s no, and you know, they’ve had trouble with this national gun law, but after the president’s assassination, someone ought to do something.”

For a more in depth study on discriminatory gun legislation, read The Racist Roots of Gun Control by Clayton E. Cramer.

Cramer’s analysis, and this excerpt on the history of gun control, globally, both demonstrate that gun control isn’t about controlling guns. It’s about controlling people.

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Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There

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The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.

These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by 

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… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of  rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry

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In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.

To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.

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But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.

But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…

CONTINUE READING HERE:

The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.

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Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:

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Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:

The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.

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Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.

Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!

I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.

After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.

The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.

But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.

Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.

In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.

Your most humble and obedient,

Friedrich Trump

… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.

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