Firearms and Lynching

Source: Marginal Revolution.

“Rates of Black lynching decreased with greater Black firearm access.”

Well yeah, isn’t this to be expected?

The older I get and the more I learn of black social history in the USA, the less I am inclined to think of slavery and Jim Crow as the most defining events.

17 thoughts on “Firearms and Lynching

    1. There are some points that are often missed in the Sowell camp.

      Yes, the Black community was pretty solid in many places. Black businesses thrived, including banks, insurance companies, professional services and housing.

      But woe to those who did not stay in their places. Greenwood and other tragedies of White rage burning down Black business districts was not uncommon. The economics of the Black communities was predicated upon spending by the Blacks to patronized their own businesses.

      In other words, people had to know “their places”, and that did not include any integration whatsoever, enforced both legally and extra-legally.

      The Great Migration from about 1910 to 1970 was the result of intolerable and dangerous conditions in the Deep South. Add in a couple of World Wars and the labor shortages in manufacturing up North did provide both a physical and an economic escape. Yet, the discrimination was still rampant up North also. Plus moving North often displaced families going back generations in the South. New communities and new churches, the backbone of Black communities since long before the Civil War, had to be established. Not an easy task.

      Still, by the 50’s, we were still two nations. The War on Poverty had some successes and the Civil Rights laws codified integration, albeit unevenly for decades. And the more egregious welfare abuses ended with Clinton. So the blame on welfare may have some veracity, but it only really lasted about a generation.

      Highways that split neighborhoods almost perfectly along racial lines, with purpose I might add, did not help. Often even homeowners were removed by eminent domain and meager payments with no place to go except either other poor, Black areas or public housing. And the GI Bill left out Blacks for the most part.

      So the point is that today’s racial issues have a lot of sources other than just overplayed “liberal compassion”.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. One way to miss the point of a story is to tell a different one. The story you tell is about subjugation and oppression, but the paper that Marginal Revolution chose to highlight tells a story of self-reliance and — to some extent — liberty.

        Here’s the paper’s final paragraph:

        “The history of the Jim Crow South abounds with anecdotal accounts of the Black community making effective use of firearms to defend themselves. Effective policing and public safety were not made available to the Black community, and firearms made both self-defense and community-defense possible. Charles Sims, president of the Deacons for Defense, stated it plainly:’We decided since we didn’t have protection from the law, by the law, we should organize a group to protect our peoples in the neighborhood’. Sims and the Deacons were both correct in their assessment and successful in their mission.”


        1. And yet, Rosewood, Greenwood, sunset laws, and 6000+ lynchings.

          Of course we have great and inspiring tales of some who rose above adversity to succeed. Exceptions often prove the rule.

          The question then is, why did the adversity of race exist and why does it continue?

          That American citizens who helped build this nation as slaves or freemen had to arm themselves against their own nation’s White citizens, with complicit aid by law enforcement, is a blot, not a cause for pride.


          Liked by 2 people

        2. RE: “The question then is, why did the adversity of race exist and why does it continue?”

          That’s not a question I care about much, except in terms of socio-biology.

          I looked up Greenwood because I had never heard of it before. It has a connection of sorts to the paper Marginal Revolution highlighted. Apparently, a black man was in jail and a mob of white vigilantees wanted to kill him. A mob of armed black men defended the jail and a sprawling gunfight ensued.

          To use Greenwood as an example of black oppression strikes me a kind of lie.


      2. Yeah, we get it, racism sucks.

        But the point you seem to be avoiding is the power of the Black family in overcoming those ills, and the mutual self help among families.

        Black families in Hampton held, and traveled to, family reunions, where hundreds attended. They printed family reunion T-shirts. I commented to patients wearing those shirts, saying that I wish my family did that kind of thing. One lady told me that it would be their last reunion as the young people weren’t coming.

        The family was armor against racism, poverty and alcohol and drug use. When members came on hard times, they sent their children to live with relatives until things got sorted out.

        It was something we should all admire.

        But after 400 years, Democrats destroyed it in a generation.


  1. ““Rates of Black lynching decreased with greater Black firearm access.””

    Why is that? Simply put, the former slaves were (eventually) able to obtain and own firearms to defend them FROM the Jim Crow heathens who wanted them back in chains. Those people, while a minority, are still out there.

    Blaming the liberal programs to help ALL Americans is an easy target for Don, because , well, it’s what he does and he doesn’t see how those programs helped lift a lot of people up, Black, White, Brown, Yellow. And a rising tide raises all boats.


      1. Sowell was a (mostly) singular voice.

        Doing nothing is not lifting; it is akin to holding down those trying to rise. If your beloved market were able to lift all, then the programs that have been out in place BY THE LEGISLATURE would not have been necessary. There are certain “American dream” style desires that have been held down for the voiceless. Social safety net programs became a necessity because the market was not working for all.


        1. In any population, some people will be very responsible and some very irresponsible, most lie somewhere in between.

          If you remove the disincentives for irresponsibility and instead subsidize irresponsibility, you will shift the Ballance toward irresponsibility.


          1. There is some truth to that. However, racial dynamics are much more complicated due to entrenched positions and our history. There was more than enough time to correct the imbalances long before LBJ came along, and we either ignored or fought against them. Just trying to integrate schools from K-12 was a long and bloody battle that still has lingering effects.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the more heartwarming moments at Lobby Day 2019, when the VCDL brought thousands to rally for fewer firearms restrictions was watching the Black Panthers and Oath Keepers comparing their firearms and accessories and finding common ground on protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    Many people forget that the first gun control laws were intended to prevent Blacks from arming themselves against the KKK.


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