Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Mementos Reveal Civil Rights Icon's Exposure to Armed Self-Defense

Friday, February 6, 2015

Mementos Reveal Civil Rights Icon's Exposure to Armed Self-Defense

On Wednesday, the Library of Congress made the Rosa Parks Collection available to researchers. The compilation includes 2,500 photos and 7,500 manuscripts pertaining to the civil rights icon. Among these documents is a short autobiographical piece highlighting some of Parks’ early experiences with armed self-defense.

A February 3 Washington Post article details the “biographical sketch.” According to the Post, Parks explains how her grandfather used a shotgun to protect the family home in Pine Level, Ala., from potential attack by the Ku Klux Klan. One excerpt states that her grandfather “would stay up to wait for [the Klansmen] to come to our house… He kept his shotgun within hand reach at all times.” Another portion notes that Parks’ grandfather “declared that the first to invade our home would surely die.”

Stories like Parks’, where firearms were used to protect against racially motivated violence before and during the Civil Rights Era, are common. At a time when law enforcement officials were sometimes indifferent to acts of violence perpetrated against African-Americans (or in some cases even complicit in them), those seeking any protection at all had few other options.

History could certainly have been altered in dramatic fashion had the Parks home been left undefended against the depredations of the Klan. Thankfully, Parks’ family had access to an effective means of self-defense, even as they strove to obtain other basic human rights.

Examples abound of the beneficial role arms have played in the struggle for civil rights in the U.S. Local NAACP leader Rob Williams, author of Negroes with Guns, notably chartered a National Rifle Association affiliated club in order to train and arm members of his Monroe, N.C., community to combat the Klan. Chapters of the heavily armed Deacons for Defense and Justice formed throughout the Deep South to protect their communities from racial violence. According to UCLA Professor Adam Winkler, Martin Luther King Jr. unsuccessfully applied for concealed carry permit in Alabama after his home was bombed, and lived surrounded by what was described as “an arsenal.” In his book, Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out, Don B. Kates Jr. recalls his time spent as a civil rights worker in the early 1960s South, stating, "The black lawyer for whom I principally worked did not carry a gun all the time, but he attributed the relative quiescence of the Klan to the fact that the black community was so heavily armed.”

The story of armed self-defense revealed in the Rosa Parks Collection is a welcome and important addition to the already well-established history of the use of arms to deter and defend against racially-motivated violence.

TRENDING NOW
Trudeau’s Government Seeks Private Sector “Collection Agents” for Gun Confiscation

News  

Monday, August 1, 2022

Trudeau’s Government Seeks Private Sector “Collection Agents” for Gun Confiscation

Years after Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unilaterally imposed his “assault weapon” ban and confiscation (“buyback”), Canada’s responsible gun owners are still waiting for his government to disclose how this “buyback” will be implemented.

House-Passed Gun Ban Shows the Importance of the Election This November

News  

Monday, August 1, 2022

House-Passed Gun Ban Shows the Importance of the Election This November

On Friday, after a last-minute rule change to allow its consideration, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 1808.

Busting ATF’s “Myth”-Busting

News  

Monday, August 1, 2022

Busting ATF’s “Myth”-Busting

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives appears to understand that it has an image problem. According to a recent item from the Washington Times, the ATF has been handing out flyers at gun shows ...

Colorado Update: Boulder County Adopts Gun Control Package to Infringe Second Amendment Rights!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Colorado Update: Boulder County Adopts Gun Control Package to Infringe Second Amendment Rights!

This week, the Boulder County Commissioners unanimously voted to pass a gun control package consisting of five ordinances to infringe on your Second Amendment rights. Commissioner Matt Jones claims these ordinances are “common-sense gun violence laws designed to ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Another Good Guy with a Gun Stops the Bad Guy

News  

Monday, July 25, 2022

Another Good Guy with a Gun Stops the Bad Guy

On July 19, 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken was shopping with his girlfriend at the Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Ind. when a gunman armed with a rifle opened fire in the food court. Upon witnessing the ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

NRA Statement on Congressional Semi-Automatic Firearm Ban

News  

Friday, July 29, 2022

NRA Statement on Congressional Semi-Automatic Firearm Ban

H.R. 1808 stands in blatant opposition to the Supreme Court's rulings in Bruen, Caetano v. Massachusetts, and DC v. Heller. 

Oregon: Deceptive Explanatory Statement on Anti-2A Ballot Measure Out for Public Comment

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Oregon: Deceptive Explanatory Statement on Anti-2A Ballot Measure Out for Public Comment

Oregon’s anti-gun proponents are working overtime to push the country's most egregious gun control scheme on the ballot this November. And they're not afraid to use deceptive tactics to try and get your vote.  Do ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.