In the 19th Century Frederick Douglass advised that a good revolver was the best defense to fugitive slave catchers. Gun control laws in America were born out of the desire of the Klu Klux Klan after the Civil War to prevent newly freed slaves from having access to firearms.
In this book Nicholas J. Johnson, Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law and 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, chronicles the uses of firearms by freedmen after the Civil War and by Blacks into the 1960’s to defend themselves and their families from racially motivated violence. He’s also the author of the law school casebook, FIREARMS LAW AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT, Regulation Rights and Policy.
Professor Johnson explores the tradition of Blacks using firearms for self defense, first against White racists to the current scourge of inner-city Black youth gangs who now have become the chief predators of poor Blacks.
Dr. Martin Luther King once said:
Violence exercised merely in self-defense, all societies, from the most primitive to the most cultured and civilized, accept as moral and legal. The principle of self defense,even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi…. When the Negro uses force in self-defense, he does not forfeit support — he may even win it, by the courage and self-respect it reflects…. But violence as a tool of advancement, involving organization as in warfare … poses incalculable perils.
Professor Johnson talks about his book at the Volokh Conspiracy today.