In the fall of 2014, I traveled to Dallas to report on a new armed militant group that called itself the Huey P. Newton Gun Club. It had formed as a coalition of smaller, local black power organizations like Guerilla Mainframe, the New Black Panther Party, and the Black Riders, with the intent of getting black people armed and exposing the racial double standard in Second Amendment expression. Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown had all recently been killed by the police, and members of a huge, mostly white grassroots movement called Open Carry Texas were hoisting long guns at Walmarts and Chipotles across the state; Gun Club members wanted to appropriate the rather depoliticized Open Carry Texas strategy to the more militant ends of taking a stand against police brutality by conducting armed patrols.
As should be obvious from history—and as the horrendous video of Philando Castile's death clearly illustrates—it is a fundamentally different thing to carry a firearm while black than while white.
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