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MLK Day + Virginia Gun Rights Rally =

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Here's Prof. Johnson's post: you can find his book here:

When W.E.B. Dubois patrolled his home with a shotgun after the 1906 Atlanta race riot, he was an aberration. But not how you think. Dubois reports that he was unusual among his contemporaries because until that point he did not own a gun.

Dubois's gun purchase and his aggressive statements following the riot were not passion-of-the-moment things that he would regret. They were part of a continuing engagement of the practice and philosophy of armed self-defense. As editor of the NAACP's flagship magazine The Crisis, Dubois continued to champion armed self-defense as a core private interest. Indeed, in some instances, Dubois seemed to cast self-defense as a duty. After a lynching in Gainesville, Fla., he wrote: "No Colored man can read an account of the recent lynching in Gainesville without being ashamed of his people. Without resistance they let a white mob whom they outnumbered two to one, torture, harry and murder. In the last analysis lynching of Negroes is going to stop when the cowardly mob is faced by effective guns in the hands of people determined to sell their souls dearly."

Dubois also offered an important caution that reflects the core principle of the black tradition of arms and models Martin Luther King's admonition decades later about respecting the line between self-defense and political violence. In commentary following the 1919 Chicago race riot, Dubois urged robust self-defense with "bricks and clubs and guns." But then he cautioned, "We must never let justifiable self-defense against individuals become blind and lawless offense against all white folk. We must not seek reform by violence." In 1921, he invoked self-defense again as he urged blacks to migrate to the comparative safety of the North. He acknowledged that "troubles will ensue with white unions and householders. But we have learned how to meet it by un-wavering self-defense and by the........

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