This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible

Category: Social Sciences
Author: Charles E. Cobb Jr.
This Month Reddit 3


by Siganid   2019-07-21

I recommend this book. Without guns, the civil rights movement would have been impossible.

by CircumcisedSpine   2019-07-21

Fact of the matter is that the NRA does not represent gun owners. The NRA membership accounts for about 7% of gun owners in the United States yet has been positioned as the de facto voice of gun owners.

It isn't.

Unfortunately, there are no non-partisan groups representing gun owners at close to the same scale. There are some smaller groups like the Huey P. Newton Gun Club and Pink Pistols that support, educate, and advocate for gun ownership amongst African Americans and LGBTQ communities (respectively). But the NRA manages to suck all the oxygen out of the room and other groups are rarely acknowledged by the public.

I suspect that some gun control advocates like having the NRA as a foil. By crystallizing the debate across party lines, it allows both sides to ignore complexities like racism -- see the NRA's response to the shooting of Philando Castile, Reagan signing the ban on open carry as governor of California in response to the Black Panthers, or the role of firearms in the Civil Rights Movement (see Deacons for Defense and Justice for one example or a book by Charles E. Cobb Jr., Brown University professor and former field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, "This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible").

Gun ownership isn't a White, Christian, Conservative thing. I am a gun owner and none of those things.

Gun owners are also not against gun control. I support increased gun control and even the NRA's Wayne LePierre testified before Congress in favor of universal background checks in 1999.

Gun ownership and regulation is not a simple issue and it cannot be boiled down to pure partisanship without silencing communities that are already routinely deprived of a voice.

The notion of the NRA representing gun owners-at-large needs to be taken out back and shot.

by DD18563   2019-07-21

You might want to check out - its about the broader MLK idea of nonviolent resistance rather than MR's work but it does address how even King's movement etc was in reality backed up by the ability and willingness to meet force with force.

>> Visiting Martin Luther King Jr. during the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, journalist William Worthy almost sat on a loaded pistol. "Just for self-defense," King assured him. It was not the only weapon King kept for such a purpose; one of his advisors remembered the reverend’s Montgomery, Alabama, home as "an arsenal."

by ChrisFingaz   2019-07-21

Eh we’re not that far from the civil rights movement and there’s been some clear signs white supremacy is gaining popularity again. Why would I put my trust in the TX AG? I still prefer having a fire extinguisher than just hoping the FD shows up in time.

Guns play a role even when they’re not used aggressively, would prefer the authorities I’m marching against don’t have a list of every firearm owner in the crowd. Checks and balances.

by FuzzyActuator   2019-07-21

Read that book, and you'll find lots of examples of racism from the 50s and 60s that are indistinguishable from things you could find today. Yes, there is less mob violence; lynchings are extremely uncommon now, and they didn't used to be. But people aren't less racist, on the whole.

We've just become better at convincing ourselves we aren't racist. People are still plenty willing to believe that black people are in prison at a higher rate because they're more violent. Schools are becoming more segregated. Neighborhoods aren't really becoming more diverse (and if they are, it's at a glacial pace).

White supremacy, actual, honest-to-god, unashamed and unabashed white supremacy is on the rise. People with these views are feeling bold enough that they aren't afraid to strip away some of the coding.

Cops - the state - still kill black people at a vastly disproportionate rate. Minorities are targeted more frequently, end up jailed more frequently for longer durations, and are executed on death row at a VASTLY higher rate (nearly 35% of executions were black people). Since 1976 20 white people have been executed for killing a black victim; 290 black people have been executed for killing a white victim. The violence of white supremacy has been institutionalized by the state, not eliminated. Not really.

Race improvements in the US since the 50s can mostly be described as polishing a turd, IMO.

by Mexican5020   2019-07-21

Apparently, but it's also important to consider how this data is collected and who funds the research. Makes sense to reason the ruling class would benefit morso from nonviolence then the other way around.

Then you got researchers and people like the guy who wrote This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible who say otherwise.

I saw you mention in another comment one of the ER's heros is MLK, lil fun fact but a lot of people don't know he owed guns, believed people should be aloud to arm themselves, and was denied a concealed carry permit.

by ItsAConspiracy   2018-11-10

Some articles for him:

Gun control's racist past and present

The racist origin of gun control laws

Then you could follow up with the role that civilian firearms played in protecting african-americans during the civil rights movement. Here are a few books on the topic:

We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement

Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms

This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible

Not that I think you'll change his mind, but it'd be fun.

by RunShootDrink   2018-11-10

For anyone who wants to hear more stories like this I recommend This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed , by Charles E. Cobb Jr.

Rice's father is far from the only black southerner who used firearms to keep the Klan away and his family safe.