Tale of Two Organizations, from the Perspective of an American Black Man

Editors Note: February 1st, 2019, marks the beginning of black history month.
Opinion by Retired Lieutenant Colonel Allen West

National Rifle Association Eagle Badge Logo
As an American black man, the history of the National Rifle Association has a special meaning for me, and I often reflect upon it.

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Three years ago, I was honored to be nominated by petition and elected to the Board of the Nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the National Rifle Association (NRA). My first three-year term is coming to an end, and I will be up for reelection by our membership this year, 2019. This past year was our Fall NRA Board meeting in the D.C. area. Sadly, thanks to the threats, intimidation, and yes, violence of the progressive, socialist left, we can never disclose where we meet. I remember two years ago when the NRA annual meeting was in my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. How proud I was to take the stage at that meeting before our members. And proud I am to don the pin that has the American and NRA flag side by side.

As an American black man, the history of the National Rifle Association has a special meaning for me, and I often reflect upon it.

At a time when recently freed slaves were transitioning to being American citizens, they came under assault during the Reconstruction Era. When faced with the threats, coercion, intimidation, and yes, violence of an organization called the Ku Klux Klan, it was the NRA that stood with and defended the rights of blacks to the Second Amendment. I guess you must somewhat find it interesting, funny even, that the same political party [Democrat] that started the KKK is the same political party that stands against the NRA today. What is it they say about those who fail to learn from history? This is truly a matter to ponder and consider: the NRA was formed to promote better rifle marksmanship. But, when it was deemed critical, the NRA realized that it had to defend that important right for all Americans to protect and defend themselves, and their families.

For all of these years, since 1871, that has been the raison d’etre of the National Rifle Association, defending a constitutional right. So, why would anyone take issue with that, and especially anyone from the black community?

Mary Fields, Stagecoach Mary with her rifle.
Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary with her rifle.

Think about it. Would the Underground Railroad have been successful without blacks being able to secure their passage? I always remember that picture of Harriet Tubman with her rifle. Something tells me she was an NRA supporter. The ol’ Buffalo Soldiers were NRA members. Heck, that was, for many, the only organization that would accept them. Yes, they were. Current NRA Executive VP, Wayne LaPierre, saw some of their old membership cards when the Buffalo Soldier Monument was dedicated at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. And my fellow Atlantan, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once applied for a weapon carry license, though he was denied by the same folks who belonged to the party that created the KKK.

But today, there is a focused, dedicated war against the nation’s oldest civil rights organization that has stood with the black community since its freedom.

The rich white elites such as Michael Bloomberg, New York’s Governor Cuomo, and many others have openly stated their desire to end, destroy, and bankrupt the NRA. But why? Law abiding, legal gun owners who are NRA members are castigated as terrorists, and having blood on their hands. It’s quite perplexing.

Study the history of the NRA with the black community. You will be hard-pressed to find anything troubling. Heck, Charleston Heston marched with Dr. King during the civil rights movement. And the NRA has an award in memory of Roy Innis, a true civil rights warrior.

Then we have the amazing tale of two organizations, comparing the NRA with another organization, Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood was founded by a person that was a white supremacist, a racist, someone who referred to blacks as “weeds” and “undesirables.” Sounds a lot like “deplorables” doesn’t it? And yes, there is a correlation, since the person who referred to some Americans as deplorables is a recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award, the founder of Planned Parenthood.

How very interesting that we have a well-organized movement, supported by a complicit media, to undermine the existence of an organization that has stood with the black community.

Yet, an organization that was started by someone that wanted to exterminate – yes, strong words, but true – the black community is safeguarded. Heck, Planned Parenthood even receives American taxpayer dollars, to the tune of over $500 million. Since 1973, there have been nearly 18 million black babies murdered in the womb, hundreds a day, yet the NRA is demonized as having blood on its hands? This is utterly absurd, and to think, there are politicians who spend their time, money and effort going after the NRA. I tend to recall a statistic that there were more black babies murdered in the womb in New York, than there were born. I tend to believe taking an innocent life, masked under some delusional judgement of being a “right” is criminal, but that is just me, an American black man.

But think about it, why does the progressive, socialist left, and the Democrat party, assail an organization whose purpose is to protect innocent lives, while at the same time praising, protecting, and funding an organization that takes innocent lives as their purpose?

The first Roy Innis Memorial Award will go to an American black man, a former soldier, someone who stood up against the tyranny of being unarmed, Otis McDonald of Chicago. Yes, the same Otis McDonald for whom the Second Amendment case, McDonald v. City of Chicago, is named. And who was it that stood with Otis McDonald? It was not Planned Parenthood. It was the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the National Rifle Association. Hmm, how many blacks have been awarded the Margaret Sanger Award?

As an American black man, I am proud to be a board member of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the National Rifle Association. And I ask myself: what pride does anyone have in being a board member of Planned Parenthood?

In NRA Board meetings we discuss how often we have defended the Second Amendment, a constitutional right, and how we can grow our membership of liberty-loving Americans. We have a motto at the NRA, and it goes, “I am the NRA and I am Freedom’s Safest Place”.

What safety, freedom, does Planned Parenthood provide? Oh yea, the freedom to take the innocent life of an unborn child. Congratulations. Y’all have been very successful in the black community.

Allen West Headshot
Allen West

Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Mr. West is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias and is author of the book from Brown Books Publishing Group, “Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death” available on Amazon.

  • 36 thoughts on “Tale of Two Organizations, from the Perspective of an American Black Man

    1. LC West, that was a well written article. I agree with every word. I am a Jewish White conservative man and we are spiritual brothers.
      However, I will not be renewing my membership with the NRA.
      I will be renewing with Gun Owners Of America.
      NRA has been complicit with every major compromise piece of gun legislation.
      Most recently with President Trumps bump stock ban.
      All these compromises with the anti gunners gets us closer to complete civilian disarmament.
      It is the step by step approach to gun control
      And the NRA is part of it.
      GOA takes a no compromise, not 1 inch approach.
      That is the only strategy that is likely to keep our rights intact .
      So I and many others like me are leaving the NRA and joining G O A

    2. I have studied the history of the NRA. I know they supported the 1968 GCA which banned the main way black men obtained guns at that time (via the mail).

      1. I am not sure what your agenda is, Nanashi. I guess you can make history be what you want it to be, but here are some facts, as I recall them while I was a high school. I graduated in 1964…..
        In March 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, using the alias “A. Hidell”, purchased by mail order a 6.5×52mm Carcano Model 91/38 infantry rifle (described by the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy as a “Mannlicher–Carcano”) rifle with a telescopic sight.[1] He also purchased a revolver from a different company, by the same method. As far as Martin Luther King Jr’s permit – the FBI was scared to death of him. By the way, I am a White Conservative. As a wise announcer once said, “And now you know the rest of the story.” This is why mail order guns were banned. You claim to have studied the history of the NRA. Try looking somewhere besides comic books….. Go peddle trash disguised as “truth” somewhere else. Mr. West is a hero and a true patriot. You sir are not.

    3. “Study the history of the NRA with the black community. You will be hard-pressed to find anything troubling.”

      NRA President Franklin Orth supported a ban (which would not have passed without his support) on mail order firearms, despite knowing that mail order was commonly used by blacks to avoid having to deal with racist dealers.

      1. I have tried posting 3 times but it doesn’t show up. I’ll reword it and try again…..
        Lee Harvey Oswald bought his weapons via mail order. That was the cause for the mail order ban.

        1. You’re both right. That’s when Orth supported the ban. I don’t know about it not passing without his support or if Blacks had anything to do with it, I doubt it.

    4. Very interesting article.
      I must admit that My knowledge of American history is a bit sketchy, (I’m in the “down under”).
      This filled in some of the blanks. And the fact that Martin Luther King wanted a carry permit! Priceless!!

    5. I am proud to say I am a life member of the organization you belong to colonel West. Thank you for your service in both the military and the NRA (which I hope you continue to do)

    6. Thank you for your service colonel.Many times I have tried to tell friends of color the same thing.The media has many bamboozled and it’s a hard sell.I will be sharing your words,maybe they’ll listen to a decorated black man.Best of luck on your reelection. Navy vet

      1. I have found that people are often “bamboozled” because they are willfully ignorant and or just plain stupid. I have been called a cynic on this site and that comes from dealing with humans for 63 years. I am rarely “bamboozled” and frankly can’t remember the last time it happened.

    7. Those who wish to defeat us and destroy our rights, separate us by race and ignorance. People need to stiffen up and see the enemy for who they really are. Those who hate freedom and America, will do anything to destroy the tranquility of a free America. Race of an individual should never be used to determine good from bad. Individual hearts are the determining factor, and of course their motivation to good or evil. All young people should be required to go to military service two years prior to entering any college and they will have a healthy respect for all people, regardless of race, and a love for the freedoms America is privileged to enjoy. At the very least, they might just appreciate the sacrifices of those who gave their all to maintain that freedom.

    8. Lt. Col. West is ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS. I’ve heard him speak on several subjects on Fox News. No Bull from this guy. When it comes to politics, he is a Real Straight Shooter.
      Thank You LC West.

    9. Lt. Col. West has always attracted my attention even back when he was a congressman. He is a real tribute to the NRA and to all Americans. I hope more young people, regardless of color, follow his example and achieve a place in our society that is high above the progressive young people we see today. I have never understood why the black people gravitate toward democrats after all the negative things democrats have done to them over the years.

    10. Readers wanting to see a fantastic statement of a Black American’s position on gun control should search,
      “Mark Robinson speaks to the Greensboro, NC city council re gun show”. Prepare to jump out of your seat and yell “Right On!!” at the top of your lungs.
      By the way, Col. West is one of my favorite American patriots but he served in the US Army, not the Marines, so “Semper Fi” is a bit off the mark!

    11. Excellent article that the mainstream press will NOT publish as it doesn’t fit their agenda.

      Col West is a true patriot and I will vote for him again for the NRA Board.

    12. Much appreciation for Col. Allen!..Please correct Col. Allen regarding the picture…It is a picture of Stagecoach Mary, not Harriet Tubman…Honest mistake.

    13. The constitution was written for one purpose. It is there to limit government power. The 2a is there to insure the balance of power stay in the hands of the people. If the government can Regulate it , it tilts the balance towards the government. People can come up with all kinds of reasons why it should be regulated but that undermines its purpose.

      Another cold hard fact is through out history the biggest mass murderers have been governments . All to often ,the people they kill ,are their own citizens. It’s still going on today . I bet the people of Venezuela ,wish they had means, to fight for their survival ,not to mention their liberty . That’s just one example the quickly comes to mind . Guns don’t guarantee survival but they give you a fighting chance.

    14. I remember reading something one day . I’ll paraphrase what the guy said . There are two ways people make other people do something. The use of force or by reason. Having a firearm equalizes people . A 200 pound man has equal power as a 100lb old woman. This eliminates ( in most cases ) the ability to use force . The only other way left is to use reason.

    15. It’s to bad you can’t get you to say this on the main stream media. If I had the money I’d pay for the time during the super bowl.
      The problem is that this message is not getting to the people who need to hear this.

    16. Let’s get this article out there in everyone’s in box. Very well written and informative. I’m a white male 62 years old and had no idea about the early days of the NRA. THANK YOU SIR

    17. I am proud to be a USMC veteran (68-72 2nd Force Recon). I am proud to know Lt Colonel Allen West and to know he serves with me as a member of the National Rifle Association. He also has received my vote to belong on the Board of Directors. Semper Fi to one of the greatest Freedom Fighters of America modern history.

    18. Whew I feel all warm n fuzzy inside now with all this empowerment and progressiveness. And here I was thinking I’d have to wait another year for the political guilt to ramp up with all that matters. Just to have pride to show off my privilege and know I’m a member of this organization well my day is complete.

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