Obama’s biggest disappointment, the biggest item left off his presidential wish list, is an issue that had he succeeded would have made Martin Luther King Jr. a little uneasy.
In an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, Obama explained that failing to enact enough gun control legislation was “my biggest disappointment as president.”
In previous statements on the matter, the President has actually invoked MLK in trying to drum up emotions on gun control, quoting the great civil rights leader.
“We need to feel the fierce urgency of now,” Obama restated, “Because people are dying.”
Would MLK have been in agreement with Obama on gun control?
He may have used peaceful methods to promote racial unity, but King was keenly aware of the dangers involved in promoting such a message amongst his racist enemies. As such, he was smartly concerned with self-defense for himself and his family.
UCLA Professor of Law Adam Winkler explained this in a Huffington Post blog in 2011:
One issue on everyone’s mind this Martin Luther King Jr. day was gun control. King’s calls for resolving our differences through peaceful nonviolence are especially poignant after Jared Loughner gunned down six people and wounded several others in Tucson. Amid the clamor for new gun laws, its appropriate to remember King’s complicated history with guns.
Most people think King would be the last person to own a gun. Yet in the mid-1950s, as the civil rights movement heated up, King kept firearms for self-protection. In fact, he even applied for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
King was denied his request for a concealed carry permit. Tony Oliva at Bullets First writes that the reason was simple – gun control laws have historically been “racist in nature.”
The basis for gun control has always been racist in nature. It started in the South to ensure that freed slaves wouldn’t be allowed to defend themselves.
It has expanded over the years to encompass a larger range of goals such as controlling the populace at large and centralizing power within the government; can’t have those uppity peons thinking they are citizens after all.
So it should come as no surprise that in 1956 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr applied for a concealed weapons permit in Alabama, due to his receiving constant death threats and having his house BOMBED, he was denied.
“This is what oppression looks like,” Oliva continued. “This is tyranny.”
Not exactly something MLK would have been on board with.
Not only was Obama disappointed about failing to enact gun control, but he’s apparently implementing policies steeped in racist history.
President Obama may have many people that agree with his stance on gun control. But today, while we mark the greatness and history of Martin Luther King Jr., it’s important to remember that he most certainly did not fall into this category.
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