Throughout American history, gun control laws have been used as a tool of white supremacy and a means of controlling communities of color. “Black Codes” were established by lawmakers in southern states following the Civil War. These laws aimed to prohibit the ownership of guns to newly-emancipated slaves. As a result, people were unable to defend against the violence of the Confederate sympathizers.

The Mulford Act in California was passed only after the Black Panthers began armed patrols of their own neighborhoods. A concealed carry license was denied to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. despite a constant barrage of death threats. The FBI investigated Deacons of Defense and Justice, an organization founded by black religious leaders to protect their communities from the KKK’s terrorism during Jim Crow. We have ample reason to believe that any attempt to limit the access of guns to working people would disproportionately affect communities of color.

We oppose any attempt to hurt the people that share our neighborhoods, workplaces, and houses of worship.

We Stand for Community Defense

The concept of community is central to our goals and intentions, because it separates us from those who work only in defense of their immediate family, property, and possessions. We find that many movements upholding the concept of liberty do so only in an individualist mindset, which undermines the idea that liberty is something that all people are entitled to.

We are convinced that the concept of liberty cannot truly exist on an individual level alone, and that any class, race, or state construct that enlaves and oppresses anyone among us is a threat to the liberty of all of us.

With that in mind, we use the term “community” intentionally to describe those who share the same conditions with us; our neighbors, our family members, the people working alongside us. Neighborhoods with working families tend to be the most culturally diverse, as well as precarious. Most of us are only one bad emergency away from a disaster. In those situations, the people we turn to for support often have as little as us but understand better than anyone how tenuous and important our support network is.

That is our community.