The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What Does it Mean that Dr. King Applied for a Concealed Carry Permit?

The other day I drove a liberal fairly crazy by pointing out that Martin Luther King, Jr. applied for—and was refused—a concealed carry permit.  It descended into self-parody when this young man supposedly defending the legacy of Martin Luther King started attacking me for being white—the double irony being that he didn’t even know what color I was at that point, he was just making an assumption.

But it got me to thinking.  I had cited this article at the Huffington Post many times:

One issue on everyone's mind this Martin Luther King Jr. day was gun control. King's calls for resolving our differences through peaceful nonviolence are especially poignant after Jared Loughner gunned down six people and wounded several others in Tucson. Amid the clamor for new gun laws, its appropriate to remember King's complicated history with guns.

Most people think King would be the last person to own a gun. Yet in the mid-1950s, as the civil rights movement heated up, King kept firearms for self-protection. In fact, he even applied for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

A recipient of constant death threats, King had armed supporters take turns guarding his home and family. He had good reason to fear that the Klan in Alabama was targeting him for assassination.

William Worthy, a journalist who covered the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, reported that once, during a visit to King's parsonage, he went to sit down on an armchair in the living room and, to his surprise, almost sat on a loaded gun. Glenn Smiley, an adviser to King, described King's home as "an arsenal."

I had cited that to many people, and I had also cited this quote from Dr. King: “if your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi. But if you enemy has no conscience, like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer.”  That latter quote requires a little unpacking.  Bonhoeffer was a pastor in Nazi Germany who recognized just how evil the regime was.  At first he attempted peaceful methods of resistance, but when that failed, he joined one of many unsuccessful plots to kill Hitler.  So when Dr. King says, “follow Bonhoeffer” it is immediately understood as a call to get violent.

So I have cited those two passages many times, but it was only recently when discussing this ironically racist alleged admirer of Dr. King that what it all meant finally clicked.

It means that Dr. King was not being entirely straight with us.  Dr. King claimed repeatedly in his speeches that he was dedicated to strict non-violence as a matter of moral principle and I think he was lying.

I think to this day there is a certain discomfort with black people exercising self-defense.  For instance, I remember people saying that Amistad was a supposedly controversial movie.  But in my mind the morality of it was actually pretty cut and dried.  For your benefit, the plot of the movie was in the 1800’s a number of Africans were taken into captivity, and carried on a ship (the titular Amistad) bound to a life of slavery in a Spanish colony.  In passage, the Africans managed to get free and kill most of the crew.  Then by misadventure they ended up in America, where they were put on trial for supposed piracy, only to be declared legally free by the Supreme Court.  All of this is a true story, and while I am sure some license was taken, over all it is pretty accurate to what actually happened.

So why exactly is that supposed to be controversial?  In most states—probably all states—it is legal to use lethal force, for example, to resist a kidnapping.  So taking those Africans was kidnapping, as indeed the Supreme Court itself found it to be the case, so any and all killing to obtain their freedom is justified.  How is it that doing something the law says you can do suddenly controversial?  I suppose next we will claim Braveheart was controversial.

More recently I saw a number of conservatives denounce the movie Django Unchained.  Now if you are upset about the use of the n-word, of gore and violence, I am not sure I agree but that is a reasonable point of view.  I mean I am no prude, and I have not seen the movie, but Tarantino’s Kill Bill movies were so blood-soaked it actually took you out of the movie.  There is one scene when Lucy Liu chopped a man’s head off and you could tell they just shoved a firehose into the fake corpse, there was so much fake blood spraying.  It wasn’t that I was disgusted so much as I thought, “that’s not how it would be.  That’s silly.”  I mean the guy sprayed out more blood than exists in the entire human body!

On the same token, if you are upset that there are action figures for the movie, again not sure I agree but you are being reasonable.  Or if you just didn’t like the tone of the movie.  I can’t judge since I haven’t seen the movie but Spike Lee might be right on this point.

But I saw a number of people who objected merely to the idea of a former slave killing his former masters to free his wife, and that I just don’t get.  I won’t call out the specific people who said it, but slavery was one of the great evils of all time.  If any man, black, white or whatever, kept my wife in slavery, I would appeal to lawful authorities first; but if they didn’t do anything, I leave a trail of dead bodies between me and whoever held that key.  And bear in mind in that time there was no lawful authority for him to appeal to, to free his wife.  I mean in the end it doesn’t sound very different than the plot of Liam Neeson’s movie, Taken, a movie I also admit to not having seen.  But this is the trailer for it:

And I presume that he does end up killing lots of bad guys and saving his daughter.  So what is the morally relevant difference?

No, the only thing objectionable about it is that Tarantino seems to be making ethnic/racial/religious revenge films his signature, which is where it starts to get creepy.  As I joked, next Tarantino would do a movie called, Inglorious Kardashians Unchained, where a unit of Armenian soldiers kill random Turks during that genocide.  But in the universe of that movie, I see nothing objectionable.  A former slave killing his master not out of revenge—although arguably that is really easy to justify—but to rescue his wife?  Nothing about that description bothers me.

But still there are people who object to that, for some reason.  And if that is how things are today, imagine what it would be like in the 1950’s.  I have to think that many black people who killed white people in righteous self-defense unjustly went to prison as murderers back then.  It was another example of how things were just plain unfair at the time.

So I think the answer is that Dr. King decided that non-violence was the best tactic.  He always presented it as a moral imperative, but he also was sure to point out that it was impractical.  For instance, he once said this when explaining how non-violence was the only road to freedom:

I am convinced that for practical as well as moral reasons, nonviolence offers the only road to freedom for my people. In violent warfare, one must be prepared to face ruthlessly the fact that there will be casualties by the thousands. In Vietnam, the United States has evidently decided that it is willing to slaughter millions, sacrifice some two hundred thousand men and twenty billion dollars a year to secure the freedom of some fourteen million Vietnamese. This is to fight a war on Asian soil, where Asians are in the majority. Anyone leading a violent conflict must be willing to make a similar assessment regarding the possible casualties to a minority population confronting a well-armed, wealthy majority with a fanatical right wing that is capable of exterminating the entire black population and which would not hesitate such an attempt if the survival of the white Western materialism were at stake.

He said he was morally opposed to violence, but by applying for a concealed carry permit and keeping armed guards around him, he was indicating as plain as day that if he was attacked by men with guns he or people acting on his behalf would shoot back.  And there is nothing wrong with that.

And despite all of that, Dr. King wasn't afraid to use violence in his speeches.  He often spoke of the danger that if the non-violent movement failed that violence would result.  This was a threat.  This was, “I am asking nicely, but if I fail the next guy won’t be.”

Put it all together, and you have to think that Dr. King was full of it when it came to violence.  Of course, one should be reluctant to engage in violence but in many speeches Dr. King ruled it out entirely and that is where I don’t believe he was being honest.  And I don’t say this to denounce him.  He dealt with a reality where black men were not allowed to point out they had a God-given right to defend themselves.  He told a “white lie” (irony of the term aside) in order to achieve freedom.  I consider that lie no worse than the hundreds of lies Schindler told to save those Jews.

But now we, with a little distance in history, can tell the truth.



I have accused some people, particularly Brett Kimberlin, of reprehensible conduct.  In some cases, the conduct is even criminal.  In all cases, the only justice I want is through the appropriate legal process—such as the criminal justice system.  I do not want to see vigilante violence against any person or any threat of such violence.  This kind of conduct is not only morally wrong, but it is counter-productive.

In the particular case of Brett Kimberlin, I do not want you to even contact him.  Do not call him.  Do not write him a letter.  Do not write him an email.  Do not text-message him.  Do not engage in any kind of directed communication.  I say this in part because under Maryland law, that can quickly become harassment and I don’t want that to happen to him.

And for that matter, don’t go on his property.  Don’t sneak around and try to photograph him.  Frankly try not to even be within his field of vision.  Your behavior could quickly cross the line into harassment in that way too (not to mention trespass and other concerns).

And do not contact his organizations, either.  And most of all, leave his family alone.

The only exception to all that is that if you are reporting on this, there is of course nothing wrong with contacting him for things like his official response to any stories you might report.  And even then if he tells you to stop contacting him, obey that request.  That this is a key element in making out a harassment claim under Maryland law—that a person asks you to stop and you refuse.

And let me say something else.  In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that any person supporting me has done any of the above.  But if any of you have, stop it, and if you haven’t don’t start.


  1. King later said he was glad he had been turned down for the permit, and that he would never carry a gun again.

    1. And yet he didn't force his armed guards to disarm. Curious, no?

  2. It's also worth restating the racist origins of many gun control policies, in that they were created to prevent newly freed Blacks owning firearms.

  3. Dr. King was not lying, his strict non-violence stance was the wiser choice because he saw it work in India, and KNEW that it would work here. But he was also a man who existed alongside the Deacons for Justice, Black Panthers, and Nation of Islam. His stance on non-violence needs to be taken in historical context.

    If you were building for the future, would you rather give a legacy of respecting the rule of law by using civil disobedience or would you try to change the system by killing people?

    Both techniques have been used in history, but only one actually builds for the future. The Nation of Islam still wants to carve out a "Black Nation" from the current geography of the U.S.

    By choosing the path of non-violence, Dr. King was passing judgement on the white majority as moral and ethical people and requiring blacks to act just as morally. Had the white majority not been moral or ethical, violence would have been completely justified. When you make legal recourse impossible you make armed revolution inevitable.

  4. If your family was in danger would you protect them by any means or try to reason with the assailant. That's the difference non violence means you try to leave peaceably with all men but if you are threatened with violence to you and your loved ones its your right and responsibility to protect your family. I don't care how much you trust the police they can not reach your location in a split second

  5. My two cents...

    I read a clarification article about Gandhi's quote about firearms. The link is here.

    I think the one unifying element in both their cases and, to be honest, every single fight that was ever fought, is that these great men detested cowardice. Gandhi believed that "nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence", but his beliefs condone the use of violence if you aren't strong enough to use non-violence. He places violence as a crude form of resistance, but acceptable if there is no other option.

    I think that everyone can get behind the idea that strength is preferred over cowardice, whether you believe in gun control legislation or not. Everyone should have the strength to resist tyranny at any level, from the interpersonal to the societal. If you need a gun to do so, then so be it. But doing it without a gun could be construed as a higher form of resistance (think about it this way too, a guy who fights off multiple gunmen without a gun is a pretty badass dude).