January 27, 2014

OVER AT VOLOKH, Prof. Nicholas Johnson guestblogs about his new book, Negroes And The Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms.

The book chronicles a tradition of church folk, merchants, and strivers, the very best people in the community, armed and committed to the principle of individual self-defense. This black tradition of arms takes root early and ranges fully into the modern era. It is demonstrated in Frederick Douglass’s nineteenth century advice of a good revolver as the best response to slave catchers. It is evident in mature form in 1963, when Hartman Turnbow of Mississippi fought off a Klan attack with rifle fire. Turnbow considered this fully consistent with the principles of the freedom movement, explaining, “I wasn’t being non-nonviolent, I was just protectin’ my family.”

Indeed.

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