Just part of the job

KKK rally broadside. CHS 2014-054

KKK rally broadside. CHS 2014-054

Collecting history can sometimes be uncomfortable and it is often hard to retain objectivity. Such was the case with two recent acquisitions—a broadside advertising a Ku Klux Klan demonstration in Woodstock in 1926, and two protest posters from this past Saturday’s rally to repeal Connecticut’s gun laws.

Most of us are familiar with the Klan with their white robes and conical hats which was active in the South in the 1860s and 1870s. That group essentially died out in the 1870s. In 1915 a second Klan was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, and adopted the clothing and code words of the first organization. It was this second Klan that used cross burnings as part of their intimidation tactics. They were anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, prohibitionist and anti-Semitic. Certainly not a group I would personally find appealing.

It was the Women of the Ku Klux Klan that held a “Patriotic Demonstration” at the Woodstock Fair Grounds on August 16, 1926, from 8:00 to 11:00 pm. The invitation was extended to “White, Gentile, Protestants.” I have yet to find a newspaper account of the meeting, which would give me more context. I wonder who attended, and were the women local or from out of town or even out of state? Were there speakers? Was there a counter demonstration? Once again, more questions than answers.

NRA poster from the 2nd Amendment Rally April 5, 2014

NRA poster from the 2nd Amendment Rally April 5, 2014

My bias against guns and gun use made me extremely uncomfortable when I took an expedition to the Second Amendment rally at the State House on Saturday to try and collect some of the hand-made protest signs. There were a lot of guns around and some people who looked very angry about having to register their guns and ammunition clips. I was not going to ask one of them if I could have his poster! So, I ended up with two NRA-printed posters that were being handed out to attendees. Not my goal by any means, but at least we now have some representation of the “other side” of gun regulation to go along with the anti-gun signs from the rally after the Newtown slayings. We need to tell both sides of a story no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. Just part of the job.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Just part of the job

  1. So, without even interacting with the people at the protest; you feel you were able ‘to tell both sides of a story’? Really?

    I think you do a grave injustice to the protesters there. Sure some may appear angry; anyone who has had a fundamental, constitutionally protected right trampled on has cause to be angry. Doesn’t mean they wouldn’t treat you with courtesy or respect. I think your perception of people you dislike prevented you from really getting the other side of the story.

    I would be interested in learning why you have a bias against firearms or perhaps it is just firearms in the hands of every day people like you and I. Surely you don’t oppose the police, security guards, the military, etc from having firearms.

    Bob S.
    3 Boxes of BS

    • I wonder if the KKK auxiliary would have given a pass for someone with two of their three requirements. Say, if I was white and gentile but not protestant yet I still hated, would that be OK? Or if I was Protestant and white but not gentile, could I still attend?

      • Excellent question! I think the white part was critical, and if you even looked Jewish (what ever that means) I bet you were not welcome. Would they have required everyone to take a quiz before entering? How would they have monitored who was actually entering, I wonder?

    • You are right, _I_ don’t have both sides of the story, and I did let my biases get in the way. Seeing all of those guns made me nervous. But the CHS can document both sides to some extent now with posters from both rallies.

      I do not oppose police, guards and the military from having firearms at all.

      • Ma’am,

        I was wondering about your dislike of firearms. You mentioned it but didn’t discuss why or how you developed it.

        I have seen many people express the same sentiment; usually out of lack of experience with an item. Would you be willing to share the reason for your dislike?

        But the CHS can document both sides to some extent now with posters from both rallies.

        I support the NRA and unabashedly acknowledge their historical role in preserving our 2nd Amendment Rights but please consider that the NRA isn’t representative of all gun owners. It probably was a very small percentage of the people at the protest.
        The NRA claims close to5 million in membership; yet there are an estimated 50 Million gun owners.

        I do not oppose police, guards and the military from having firearms at all.

        From your statement then, it is the average person you don’t trust with firearms, correct?

        I don’t understand this reasoning; people trust their barbers, their doctors, their neighbors with deadly items from cars to chemicals. People trust the cooks, dishwashers, people repairing cars to do the right thing.
        People trust complete strangers on the highway and roads with an inanimate object involved in more deaths then firearms.

        So why shouldn’t the average person be trusted with a firearm?

  2. In response to your question “Would you be willing to share the reason for your dislike?”

    I am not sure I can give you a good reason. It is an irrational fear to some extent. It is _partly_ to do with lack of any experience with a gun as you suggest. My father had a rifle for display purposes only; he never used it. The one time my brother did use it to shoot a woodchuck, he was badly shaken and swore he would never use one again.

    I don’t like what people with guns do to other people when a gun is used to settle an argument. I realize that the majority of gun owners do not use their firearms this way, but the proliferation of guns in this country makes them readily available, too available to my mind. Unless you are a hunter, do target practice like the young lady at the rally, or need a gun on the job like the police, I don’t think a “regular” person needs a gun.

    Barbers, doctors and mechanics all receive training and need to be licensed. We all have to have a license to drive an automobile. I think gun owners should also undergo training and be licensed.

    Trying to verbalize my dislike of guns has been challenging, and I am not sure I have answered to your satisfaction, but this has been a very interesting interchange.

    • Ma’am,

      I do appreciate your willingness to discuss it. And applaud you for being able to verbalize it; many people who dislike firearms can not or will not.

      I didn’t grow up using firearms like many folks did. My father hunted occasionally, I shot .22LR rifles at Boy Scout Summer Camp and received training on firearms in the Air Force. So I can related to your story a little.

      I realize that the majority of gun owners do not use their firearms this way, but the proliferation of guns in this country makes them readily available, too available to my mind.

      To me this is an example of the amazing job the media and anti-rights cultists have done in portraying firearms in a negative light. It really isn’t just the ‘majority of gun owners’ who don’t — it is an incredibly overwhelming vast majority.
      According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are less than 400,000 firearm related crimes per year. That includes all homicides, shootings, robberies, rapes, etc.
      Estimates vary on the number of gun owners, from 50,000,000 up to 85,000,000. Let’s go with the low end.
      Even if every firearm related crime was committed by a separate gun owner (we know that isn’t true) 400,000 divided by 50,000,000 times 100 to express as a percentage –means 0.8% of all gun owners were involved in a crime.

      Meanwhile, those 99.2% of gun owners either didn’t shoot anyone or went out and used their firearms for recreational shooting, hunting or practice.

      Unless you are a hunter, do target practice like the young lady at the rally, or need a gun on the job like the police, I don’t think a “regular” person needs a gun.

      You earlier mentioned you were okay with security guards having firearms, right? So it seems as protecting property, money or lives is an acceptable use of firearm, agreed?

      So why does it not make sense to let the average person protect his / her life, his / her family or home?
      We trust the average person to doctor their own wounds, take medicine on their own, repair their car, drive their own car, raise children, cook, etc. Yet suddenly the people who live next to us, who work with us can’t be trusted with a firearm. I don’t get it.

      I’ll close with an offer that many gun bloggers make. I’m not in Connecticut and unless you travel to Fort Worth Texas, I wouldn’t be able to take you shooting. But if you are interested, I will offer to find someone willing to take you (and a friend/spouse) shooting at a public range. Many gun owners are happy to introduce people to firearms and do so often.

      Bob S.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s