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.”
Most of the major gun control initiatives in the US were primarily aimed at blacks, from bans on “Saturday Night (In “N”-Town) Specials, to the major act kicked off by armed Black Panthers on the steps of the California capitol in the 1960s.
None of this is news to me, or to gun-rights supporters who pay attention and know their history. However, with Volokh now relocated into the heart of the gun-grabber belt – the WaPo and Washington, DC – it should come as an eye-opening shock to the normal WaPo reader.
I can hear the squeals of rage already.
You know what I think? I think Bezos has the diffuse libertarianism that characterizes most of the big tech titans (they know damned well who built that, and it wasn’t the government), but what he’s really about is turning WaPo into a money-making machine. And on the way to do that, he took a look as how Fox News is doing versus, say, MSNBC. Or CNN.