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Black Lives Matter Has No Claim To The Second Amendment

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Richard Vogel

During an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on June 24, the leader of Black Lives Matter’s (BLM) Greater New York chapter, Hawk Newsome, threatened that “if this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.” 

He also said that for BLM to “intervene effectively” would be an example of “upholding the Second Amendment.” To the contrary, however, the violence and destruction Newsome threatened, and the violent crimes and property crimes rioters have been committing in support of BLM’s political objectives the last few weeks, are things the Second Amendment is intended to prevent.

As the Supreme Court noted in District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008, the Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms so that a well regulated militia drawn from the people will be able to assure the security of a free state against three threats to life and liberty, two of which are being posed by BLM: insurrection and tyranny.

That insurrection and tyranny are what BLM intends is indicated not only by Newsome’s statements, or by pro-BLM agitators’ attempt to set themselves up as the governments of so-called Autonomous Zones in Seattle, Portland, and several other cities around the country, or by their demand that police officers, National Guardsmen, and other Americans kneel before them. BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors has said that she and her co-founders adhere to a political ideology that seeks to destroy society as we know it.

In 2015, Cullors said, “we actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia (Garza) in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.” Karl Marx, for whom Cullors’ and Garza’s ideology is named, advocated in his and Friedrich Engels’ Communist Manifesto “the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions,” including the abolition of private property and the right of inheritance. Not surprisingly, the Communist Party of the USA, in a 2017 survey of its members, found that “many are involved in racial justice groups including Black Lives Matter and the NAACP.”

In 2018, Cullors identified her mentor as Eric Mann, formerly of Students for a Democratic Society and its Weather Underground component, the latter a terrorist group that grew out of the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM), which called for “the destruction of U.S. imperialism and the achievement of a classless world: world communism.”

RYM also said blacks “have a right to decide, organize and act on their common destiny as a people apart from white interference.” Similarly, Newsome told Martha MacCallum that he wants “black sovereignty, by any means necessary.”

“Sovereignty” means “dominant power or supreme authority,” which BLM’s insurrectionists and would-be tyrants apparently believe they would have as armed warlords in cities that acquiesce to their demand to abolish their police departments. However, they should be careful what they wish for. In the absence of the police, America’s far more numerous, smarter, better-equipped, better-trained, multi-racial armed citizenry might carry out its militia duties, and do so without the professional restraint with which law enforcement officers almost always carry out theirs.

In sum, the Second Amendment is not Newsome’s dream come true. Were the right to arms brought to bear in the manner contemplated by the Framers of the Bill of Rights, it would be BLM’s biggest nightmare.

Mark Overstreet retired in 2016 as the senior research coordinator of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, after 25 years with the organization. He is also retired from the Army Reserve, after 23 years including duty as a combat cameraman in Iraq. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the NRA or theDepartment of Defense. Currently a firearm instructor and author in central Texas, Mark can be reached at 

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