|Although this is not confirmed to be Senator Scott’s brother, this
photo shows Command Sergeant Major Scott of the US Army.
Colion Noir Speaks in Support of the National Right to Carry law
Colion Noir (host of an NRA series, member of the National Rifle Association, and a Second Amendment activist) speaks through the following video to remind Mr. Obama:
- On the reality of the threat
- On the porous nature of our borders
- On the pervasiveness of the threats from domestic and foreign threats
- That Mr. Obama won his office by talking like a champion of freedom
Therefore, Colion asks Barack to support the National Right to Carry Act that:
“guarantees my constitutional right to defend myself, my family, and my fellow Americans anywhere inside our borders and make sure the enemies of freedom know the power of freedom. No law-abiding American should be force to face evil with empty hands.”
The Second Amendment Applies to All
A 15 July 2016 article on McClatchyDC talks about a growing trend among law-abiding Black Americans:
In February 2015, Philip Smith started a Facebook group to make space for the often-overlooked concerns of law-abiding, license-carrying gun owners who happen to be African-American.
Smith was tired of feeling conspicuous as the only black guy at the gun ranges he visited. Surely, he thought, there must be others out there, dealing with the same suspicions he faced when passersby glimpsed the Glock on his hip.
A year and a half later, Smith counts more than 11,000 members, representing all 50 states.
Smith’s forum reflects what researchers see as growing interest among African Americans in gun ownership. But becoming a black licensed gun owner is not a risk-free prospect, a fact brought to light this month by the police shooting of Philando Castile, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon when he was shot in his car July 6, and by the presence at a Dallas rally of perhaps 30 marchers July 7 openly carrying their rifles. Dallas police mistakenly labeled a black licensed gun owner as a “person of interest” after gunman opened fire, killing five police officers.
Despite the championing in Congress of gun restrictions by black legislators, many African-Americans now see gun ownership as an important civil rights cause, in the spirit of abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ comment in 1867 that a man’s rights lay in three boxes: “the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box.” In African-American gun groups like Smith’s, members are expressing a mix of fear and defiance over the incidents.
There are signs that attitudes are shifting. A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 54 percent of blacks now see gun ownership as a good thing – more likely to protect than to harm – compared with 29 percent just two years ago.
Predominantly black gun clubs and online forums report spikes in interest, especially from African-American women. Smith said black women made up 65 percent of his online group’s membership – from ordinary professional women seeking self-protection to dealers such as Francine James-Jones, owner of Bubbas Gun Sales in Georgia and one of the only – if not the only – African-American women to hold a U.S. federal firearm license.
However, 10 black gun owners interviewed separately by McClatchy said they took extra precautions when they carried their guns, in hopes of avoiding deadly confrontations with police in case they were stopped. In encounters with police, they fear, the guns they’d bought to protect themselves could turn into liabilities. That’s what black gun owners think happened in two recent incidents that brought national attention to the perils of being black and legally armed.
The first was the Minnesota case of a police officer shooting Castile while he was in the car next to his girlfriend and with her young daughter in the back seat. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the chilling aftermath, repeatedly telling the officer that Castile was licensed to carry a gun. Reynolds also said the car had been pulled over for a broken taillight. There’s no full account yet of whether Castile’s gun was even visible before the officer fired into the car.
A Shared Burden
On 12 July 2016, Senator Tim Scott gave his second speech during that week. In this speech, he detailed experiences he (as a Senator) and his brother (as a Command Sergeant Major) have endured as Blacks.
“Mr. President, I rise today to give my second speech this week discussing the issues we are facing as a nation following last week’s tragedies in Dallas, Minnesota, and Baton Rouge. This speech is perhaps the most difficult because it’s the most personal.
On Monday, I talked about how the vast majority of our law enforcement officers have only two things in mind: protect and serve. But as I noted then, we do have serious issues that must be resolved. In many cities and towns across the nation, there is a deep divide between the black community and law enforcement. A trust gap, a tension that has been growing for decades. And as a family, one American family, we cannot ignore these issues because while so many officers do good — and we should be thankful, as I said on Monday, we should be very thankful and supportive of all those officers that do good. Some simply do not. I’ve experienced it myself. And so today I want to speak about some of those issues, not with anger, though I have been angry. I tell my story not out of frustration, though at times I have been frustrated. I stand here before you today because I’m seeking for all of us, the entire American family, to work together so we all experience the lyrics of a song that we can hear but not see: peace, love, and understanding.
Because I shuddered when I heard Eric Garner say, ‘I can’t breathe.’ I wept when I watched Walter Scott turn and run away and get shot and killed from the back. And I broke when I heard the 4-year-old daughter of Philando Castile’s girlfriend tell her mother, ‘It’s okay. I’m right here with you.’ These are people lost forever — fathers, brothers, sons. Some will say — and maybe even scream — ‘But they have criminal records. They were criminals, they spent time in jail.’ And while having a record should not sentence you to death, I say, okay then … I will share with you some of my own experiences or the experiences of good friends and other professionals. I can certainly remember the very first time that I was pulled over by a police officer as just a youngster. I was driving a car that had an improper headlight. It didn’t work right. And the cop came up to my car, hand on his gun, and said, ‘Boy, don’t you know your headlight is not working properly?’ I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and scared. Very scared. But instead of sharing experience after experience, I want to go to a time in my life when I was an elected official and share just a couple of stories as an elected official. But please remember that, in the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement officers. Not four, not five, not six, but seven times in one year as an elected official. Was I speeding sometimes? Sure. But the vast majority of the time, I was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or some other reason just as trivial.
One of the times, I remember I was leaving the mall. I took a left out of the mall and as soon as I took a left, a police officer pulled in right behind me. That was my first left. I got to another traffic light, I took another left into a neighborhood. Police followed behind me. I took a third left onto the street that at the time led to my apartment complex. Finally, I took a fourth left coming into my apartment complex and then the blue lights went on. The officer approached the car and said that I did not use my turn signal on the fourth turn. Keep in mind, as you might imagine, I was paying very close attention to the law enforcement officer who followed me on four turns. Do you really think that somehow I forget to use my turn signal on that fourth turn? Well, according to him, I did. Another time, I was following a friend of mine. We had just left working out and we were heading out to grab a bite to eat about 4:00 in the afternoon. He pulls out and I pull out behind him. We’re driving down the road and blue lights come on. An officer pulls me into the median and starts telling me that he thinks perhaps the car is stolen. Well, I started to ask myself because I was smart enough not to ask him, asking myself, is the license plate coming in as stolen? Does the license plate match the car? I was looking for some rational reason that may have prompted him to stopping me on the side of the road.
I also think about the experiences of my brother who became a Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army, the highest rank for an enlisted soldier. He was driving from Texas to Charleston, pulled over by a law enforcement officer who wanted to know if he had stolen the car he was driving because it was a Volvo. I do not know many African-American men who do not have a very similar story to tell, no matter the profession, no matter their income, no matter their disposition in life. I also recall the story of one of my former staffers, a great guy, about 30 years old, who drove a Chrysler 300. A nice car, without any question, but not a Ferrari, not a super nice car. He was pulled over so many times here in D.C. for absolutely no reason other than for driving a nice car. He sold that car and bought a more obscure form of transportation. He was tired of being targeted.
Imagine the frustration, the irritation, the sense of a loss of dignity that accompanies each of those stops. Even here on Capitol Hill, where I’ve had the great privilege of serving the great people of South Carolina as a United States congress member and as a United States Senator for the last six years. For those who don’t know, there are a few ways to identify a member of Congress or Senate. Well, typically when you’ve been here for a couple of years, the law enforcement officers get to know your face and they just identify you by face. But if that doesn’t happen and you have a badge, a license that you can show them, it shows that you’re a Senator or this really cool pin. I oftentimes say that the House pin is larger because our egos are bigger, so we need a smaller pin. So it’s easy to identify a U.S. Senator by our pin. I recall walking into an office building just last year after being here for five years on the Capitol, and the officer looked at me, a little attitude and said, ‘The pin, I know. You, I don’t. Show me your ID.’ I’ll tell you, I was thinking to myself, either he thinks I’m committing a crime — impersonating a member of Congress — or, or what? Well, I’ll tell you that later that evening I received a phone call from his supervisor apologizing for the behavior. Mr. President, that is at least the third phone call that I’ve received from a supervisor or the chief of police since I’ve been in the Senate.
So while I thank God I have not endured bodily harm, I have, however, felt the pressure applied by the scales of justice when they are slanted. I have felt the anger, the frustration, the sadness and the humiliation that comes with feeling like you’re being targeted for nothing more than being just yourself. As a former staffer I mentioned earlier told me yesterday, there is absolutely nothing more frustrating, more damaging to your soul than when you know you’re following the rules and being treated like you are not. But make no mistake, no matter this turmoil, these issues should not lead anyone to any conclusion other than to abide by the laws. I think Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it so well: Returning violence with violence only leads to more violence and to even darker nights—nights, to paraphrase, without stars. There’s never, ever an acceptable reason to harm a member of our law enforcement community. Ever. I don’t want anyone to misinterpret the words that I am saying. Because even in the times of great darkness, there is light. As I shared Monday, there are hundreds, thousands of stories of officers who go beyond the call of duty. Ms. Taylor, as I spoke about on Monday night, at the Dallas incident was covered, covered completely by at least three officers who were willing to lose their life to save hers. We have a real opportunity to be grateful and thankful for men and women in uniform.
I shared another story on Monday night as well. And while the one I want to tell you today does not involve a tragic loss of life, it does show support that meant a lot to me at the time it occurred. Prior to serving in the United States Senate, I was an elected official on the county level, on the state level, and a member of the United States Congress. I believe it is my responsibility to hang out, to be with my constituents as often as possible and to hear their concerns. So at some point during my time as a public servant, I traveled to an event that I was invited to along with two staffers and two law enforcement officers, all four were white, and me. When we arrived at the event, the organizers seemed to have a particular issue with me coming into the event. He allowed my two staffers to go into the event, seemed to be allowing the two officers to go into the event who both said they weren’t going in if I wasn’t going in. And so in order to avoid a real tense situation, I opted to leave because there’s just no way of winning that kind of debate. Ever. But I was so proud and thankful for those two law enforcement officers who were enraged by this treatment. It was such a moment that I will never forget in a situation that I would love to forget. Now, this situation that happens all across the country. This is a situation that happens all across the country whether we want to recognize it or not. It may not happen a thousand times a day, but it happens too many times a day. And to see it as I have had the chance to see it helps me understand why this issue has wounds that have not healed in a generation. It helps me to appreciate and understand and hopefully communicate why it’s time for this American family to have a serious conversation about where we are, where we’re going and how to get there. We must find a way to fill these cracks in the very foundation of our country.
Tomorrow I will return with my final speech in this three-part series on solutions and how to get to where we need to go by talking about the policies that get us there and people solutions. Because I, like you, Mr. President, I don’t believe that all answers are in government. I don’t think all the solutions that we need starts in government. We need people doing things that only individuals can do. Today, however, I simply ask you this: recognize that just because you do not feel the pain, the anguish of another, does not mean that it does not exist. To ignore their struggles, our struggles, does not make them disappear. It simply leaves you blind and the American family very vulnerable. Some search so hard to explain away injustice that they are slowly wiping away who we are as a nation. But we must come together to fulfill what we all know is possible here in America: peace, love, and understanding. Fairness. Thank you, Mr. President.”
The central theme of Christianity is how we must show love in order that others might be saved by God’s love.
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39 NASB)
As the ultimate example, Jesus showed full love for us while we were still working for our selfish interests and against him.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:10 NASB)
Still, Jesus also told his disciples to protect themselves in this violent world.
And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. (Luke 22:36 NASB)
Additionally, we are commanded to protect the powerless.
Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17 NASB)
Likewise, God expects us to be particularly protective of children.
And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:2-6 NASB)