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What does the gun symbolize in American society?

Protection?

Constitutional Rights?

More specifically, what does it represent for African Americans?

Even more specific, law abiding African Americans?

Contrary to popular belief, African Americans as a group abhor violence and advocate peace and a “live and let live attitude”.

Throughout America’s violent history we have seen the gun used as a repressive tool in the making of our “democratic” society.

America won her independence with fire power.

Eventually, because of this lethal ammunition, she was forced to release the unwittingly captives of bondage-Black slaves!!!

We Americans have been forced to have a love affair with the gun as evidenced by its use of gangsters that we love to watch on the big and little screen.

In all of these endeavors we see the gun used to repress and destroy.

However, there was once a time when the gun was used to bring dignity and respect to the African American community.

There is a classic book titled Negroes with Guns.

The book is a manifesto of Black Power in a time when nonviolence was the predominate philosophy in our quest for freedom.

Robert Williams, a veteran who fought to defend the freedom of all Americans-including our oppressors-promoted armed self-defense against attacking white groups while president of the local NAACP chapter  in his North Carolina town.

He clashed with the national organizational body and was ousted and eventually forced into exile in Cuba where he penned his book-Negroes with Guns.

Fighting to protect our honor is one argument for the gun.

But using it to help the powers that be in this country to annihilate us as people is another story altogether.

On the heels of the mass shooting in Connecticut, a Navy shipmate of mine lost a son to gun violence. Her son was nineteen years old-just beginning his journey through life.

Her son had no gang affiliations. His death was senseless.

While I strongly believe in the right to bear arms, I am in somewhat agreement with limiting access to a certain degree.

There would have been a time in our history when I would have argued that tougher gun laws were a ploy to keep us disarmed.

Even now I can’t abide the images I see of civil rights soldiers being beaten and terrorized at will by law enforcement.

However, our Black youth who are our future, have become the instrument used as the final exterminator of us.

Somewhere along the way our elders and leaders have failed.

We had the fortitude to overcome slavery.

We built institutions of higher learning.

We have nurtured leaders with an influence on the worldwide stage.

If we can accomplish all of this, then why have we failed with our young people?

Why are they so angry and self-destructive?

Why haven’t we, with all of the academic resources at our disposal, been able to save them?

It is impossible for our young male children to become men in America.

Their mental growth is stunted.

Instead of transitioning from boys to men, they become stuck in the adolescent stage without being able to process all of the tactics that America has devised to keep them from their full potential.

There is no reason why our neighborhoods can’t be safe havens that nurture our children. Our young men are supposed to be the warriors protecting our community; Only taking up arms to discourage and maybe even kill those outsiders who wish us harm.

At this moment, for our survival, we need to disarm them.

In place of the gun, we need to arm them with intellectual knowledge.

At this moment, I dedicate my life to the survival of our people.

However, one person can make a difference but can’t do it alone.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for armed revolution-especially in light of unchecked police brutality in our neighborhoods.

Only those brothers and sisters with an intellectual maturity who know that intellectual knowledge combined with armed protection is the key to our survival-should take up the gun and use it wisely.

Our future is at stake.

Calling all Negroes with guns!!!

Until Next Time….

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