"Gun! Just the word raises the temperature. Add Negroes and the mixture is incendiary.”  

Nicholas Johnson’s Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms, is a book that exudes controversy, but is simultaneously focused on a subject that is nothing but rational sense. It is a revolutionary work of non-fiction that will blow open the truth regarding The Second Amendment and brush away the stigma around firearms that continues to exist in America and elsewhere.

The American Civil Rights Movement and the overall struggle for the rights of Black Americans has in recent memory been considered a fight of passive resistance. It manifested itself in marches, sit-ins, and speeches to establish within the American mindset, the belief in racial equality. For the most part it was, but what underlined the movement and what few understand is the stalwart belief of King and others in self-defense and the open embrace of the Second Amendment. This tradition is the focus of Johnson’s book. 

Beginning with an historical perspective, Johnson establishes that African slaves have been resisting their masters ever since they first landed in the Americas, and that an opposition to the means of resistance has existed since the 17th Century, a tradition which continues even now within and outside of Black communities in America. It is full of examples, speeches, and philosophical arguments between two perspectives: Self-Defense and Political Violence, the latter philosophy Johnson openly condemns.

  The profundity of Johnson’s book comes not however, from an “Us too” perspective as one might expect (a la. A Girl & A Gun), to simply display that the Second Amendment as a right expressed by a diverse background. Instead Johnson uses a comprehensive selection of primary sources from both the 19th and 20th Centuries to empirically frame the Black tradition of arms that has existed across America for centuries. This is where Johnson’s book makes its impact, it reads like an untold history, an undercurrent of patriotic behavior that has been well washed over by the modern interpretation of individuals like King, and the softening of their powerful message. There is hardly a page that doesn’t fill the reader with an empowered sense of historical understanding, and it is a book well worth reading. We can only hope it becomes a contemporary classic of American history and Black patriotism. With figures emerging in the media during this period of controversy like Johnson, NRA spokesperson Colion Noir, and organizations like the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, hope exists that this proud tradition and excellent book will be carry forward to our posterity.



Five years ago, the Philadelphia police thought that carrying Arabic-language flashcards was enough to warrant the arrest of an innocent traveler. A settlement reached today in a lawsuit I brought against the police department makes it clear that it is not.

Travelling by plane can be a long and grueling process under the best of circumstances. This makes it a good time for monotonous tasks, like trying to iron out some vocab for a language you’re learning at college.

In August 2009, I was planning to fly through the Philadelphia airport to start my senior year at Pomona College in California. I was carrying a set of English-Arabic flashcards that I had put together for one of my classes, as well as a book critical of U.S. foreign policy (written by a former secretary of commerce under President Reagan– not exactly a radical treatise). It should go without saying that this is perfectly innocuous, First Amendment-protected activity.

Turns out, it doesn’t.

No, TSA, you can’t arrest somebody for learning a foreign language.

A college student detained at an airport for five hours in 2009 over Arabic language flashcards in his pocket that included the words “bomb” and “to kill” has won a $25,000 settlement from the Justice Department.

The settlement with Nicholas George, now a Google programmer, also includes more training for police.

A U.S. appeals court previously cleared federal agents of liability while acknowledging that the 30 minutes they spent questioning George was “at the outer boundary” of reasonableness.

City police separately detained him for more than four hours, half that time in handcuffs, as they waited for FBI agents to arrive. The agents ultimately deemed him harmless.

The agreement reiterates that police must have “reasonable suspicion” to detain someone and “probable cause” to arrest them.

"It felt to me, at the time, like there really wasn’t a policy," the 27-year-old George told The Associated Press. George said he’s satisfied with the resolution of the case.

George, then 21, was returning to Pomona College in California from his suburban Philadelphia home in August 2009 and removed the flashcards from his pocket as he went through security. He was studying Arabic and had visited several Mideast countries through a summer study program.

One Transportation Security Administration supervisor interrogating him asked about the Sept. 11 attacks and noted that Osama bin Laden also spoke Arabic.

"So do you see why these cards are suspicious?" she asked, according to the 2010 lawsuit.

qbandude asked:

I used to work for Dominoes and would have to deliver to really bad areas. When asked if I could keep a weapon on me, or in my car, the manager immediately shot me down and told me that it was against company policy. I then protested that Dominoes were putting their employees in danger by not allowing them to have the ability to protect themselves. No one cared and no one listened. A couple weeks later a delivery driver, who was an old woman, was beaten and robbed. Any thoughts on the situation?

Yeah, I believe in that kind of case I’d ask for forgiveness rather than permission.  The company probably looks at personal weapons as a liability issue so they’re going to shoot down (pun not intended) the idea of you carrying a weapon for that reason alone.  Protecting myself would take priority over company policy though and in the rare case I got fired for actually protecting my life from a criminal, I’d be okay with that outcome.

Social poster about gun violence tragedy

"End Gun Violence" tattooed on the arm of typical "macho" American male, with a single tear rolling down his cheek, reflecting on past and recent tragedies, realizing we have to change. This poster is an attempt to show that design can help to change things that matter to our country and whole world. Remember it will not change without your help!


The NYPD is investigating the alleged beating and illegal stop-and-search of a decorated Marine veteran Omar Rendon, 25, in Queens by a pair of undercover cops, the Daily News has learned.

The NYPD is investigating the alleged beating and illegal stop-and-search of a decorated Marine veteran in Queens by a pair of undercover cops, the Daily News has learned.

The disturbing incident occurred Jan. 15 as NYPD commanders were putting heat on cops to boost arrest activity in the wake of a massive work slowdown, just a stone’s throw from the new Police Academy where Commissioner Bill Bratton delivered a tough-sounding speech last year vowing to kick bad apples off the force.

The allegations are detailed in a $5 million notice of claim against the NYPD, expected to be filed with the city controller on Monday.

Omar Rendon, 25, a former Marine sergeant, said he was sitting in his Acura sedan in an Ulmer St. parking lot in College Point, Queens while on his lunch break last week, eating a Subway sandwich and watching “Wentworth” on his cell phone, when an unmarked blue van pulled alongside him.

Two men in plainclothes said, “Police! Get out of the car,” and reached in to unlock the door, he said. When Rendon — a handyman at the commercial complex, which features a movie theater and a Toys “R” Us — asked who they were, he said he was violently yanked out of the car. When he asked to see their I.D.s, one cop punched him in the face, he told The News.

Happy Constitution Day! The Constitution is 226 years old, and is the oldest written constitution still in use today. It is on permanent display at the National Archives in Washington, DC. You can see a high-res image and read a transcript of the Constitution here:

Top Five Facts about the Constitution!

Five: The Constitution has 4,543 words, including the signatures. It takes about 30 minutes to read.

Four: Two of the first 12 amendments submitted were rejected; the remaining ten became the Bill of Rights.

Three: The Chief Justice is mentioned in the Constitution, but the number of Justices is not specified.

Two: Only one amendment to the Constitution has been repealed: the 18th (Prohibition).

One: The Constitution does not give us our rights and liberties, but it does guarantee them.

For more Constitution myth busting, read today’s blog post:


On this day in 1791, Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights, allowing the United States Congress to add ten amendments to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights guaranteed for the first time individual rights. Among them are freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly.

The above image is part of the site for the PBS program “Liberty!" in which newspaper chronicles let you experience first-hand the excitement and uncertainty of the American Revolution as it happened. 

Test your knowledge on the American Revolution, and see if you can navigate your way to independence with the Road to Revolution game. 



225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.

On September 9, 1789, the Senate passed a resolution that included all of the Senate revisions to the House proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The resolution was made from this document, often referred to as the Senate Mark-up of the Bill of Rights. 

This document captures the process of the Senate’s debate over the the House passed amendments to the Constitution from August 25 until September 9. The printed text represents the work done in the House as it hammered out the proposed amendments from July to August. The handwritten annotations describe the work done in the Senate. The mark-up illustrates how the Senate sharpened the language of the amendments, eliminated some articles, and combined clauses to reduce the seventeen House amendments to twelve. 

On September 25, Congress passed 12 amendments that were sent to the states for approval. Ten of the amendments were ratified by the required three-fourths of the states and became part of the Constitution in 1791. These first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.

Senate Revisions to the House Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, 9/1789, Records of the U.S. Senate (NAID 3535588)

Suspicion of committing a crime should lead to your attempted prosecution. If the evidence does not support conviction, it would be against everything we believe in and fight for in America to still allow the government to imprison you at their whim. Tonight, a blow was struck to fight back against those who would take our liberty.
—  Sen. Rand Paul • In a statement about how he managed to kill an amendment that was likely to pass by voice vote — an amendment that would have clarified the ability for the U.S. government to hold detainees indefinitely while the War on Terror continued — by merely asking for a recorded vote on the matter. This was an awkward situation many in the Senate were trying to avoid, and as a result, the amendment lost resoundingly — with a 41-59 tally. If Paul hadn’t have spoken up, the bill would’ve received a voice vote and passed under the radar. Not bad,  Rand Paul. That’s a moment to put in the ‘ol resume. source (viafollow)

September 25, 1789: The Bill of Rights is Passed

On this day in 1789, Congress approved twelve amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments were known as the Bill of Rights and were designed to protect the basic rights of all Americans.

The Bill of Rights guaranteed the freedom of speech, press, assembly and exercise of religion, the right to fair legal procedure and to bear arms, and that powers not delegated to the federal government were reserved for the states and the people.

In December 1791, Virginia became the tenth of fourteen states to approve ten of the twelve amendments. This marked the two-thirds majority of state ratification to legalize the Bill of Rights.

To read all twelve amendments approved by Congress and presented to the states, explore this Chronicles of the Revolution page.

Photo: Library of Congress