Queens Shoot Too: Featuring Taj from ATL, a Shotgun and a Frost White Caddy

Taj Anwar of Atlanta, was introduced to firearms early in life. Since then she's done almost everything right; she is licensed to carry, she knows her weapons and she regularly practices.
Taj Anwar of Atlanta, was introduced to firearms early in life. Since then she’s done almost everything right; she is licensed to carry, she knows her weapons and she regularly practices.

Q: What is your earliest memory of firearms?

A: My father put a gun in my hand when I was 10. He wanted to make sure I wasn’t afraid of weapons.

Q: Where there guns in your home when you grew up?

A: Yes. Both of my parents and step parents are licensed to carry.

Q: What was your parent’s attitudes towards guns?

A: That they’re tools to be used only when necessary to protect you and yours.

Q: What was your perspective as a child, and how has it changed?

A: I was never afraid of guns. The only fear I had was having a gun in my reach and not knowing how to use it. All the reason why I’ve trained on different pieces over the years.

Q: Briefly describe your first time shooting a gun.
A: I was 10. It was a revolver.

Q: Do you currently own a firearm? Why?
A: I own several. Like I explained earlier, they’re for protection only. I do like to train as a hobby, though.

Q: How often do you go to the range, and what is your attitude towards training?
A: I go to the range at least once a month. Training is essential to know how to use what you have. I also think training on how to disarm someone is key too.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who had expressed interest in firearms.
A: Do the research, get licensed and get trained.

Q: What aspects of the shooting lifestyle do you have questions about, if an?
A: None

Q: What skills do you think each gun owner should know.
A: How to break down your gun and clean it, and put it back together. You should know your gun inside and out, up and down.

Get a Gun. Learn How to Use it.

FYI. This is NOT a valid strategy for dealing with potential assault.
FYI. This is NOT a valid strategy for dealing with potential assault.

My wife has a friend who used to enjoy walking alone around Stone Mountain Park, back in her single days. She would take her little dog out and walk for hours, simply because she didn’t like being home alone.

“What if something happened?”

“I wasn’t worried about it,” she said. “There was a phone box.”

In other words, she was confident that if something happened along a deserted stretch of the trail, she would be able to make it to one of the phone boxes that they station every hundred feet or so, and activate it, before things got ugly.

In other words, she didn’t have a plan. Just a vague sense of security.

Nothing happened to her, by the way. Most of the times nothing does.

I have another friend who recounted how she was followed around Decatur during her nightly jog by two creepy guys in a car. They did a couple of slow passes, and then, at one point, they crept behind her for a long time. Eventually she found a well-lit, crowded place and called a friend to pick her up. The two creeps stayed out there, almost until her friend arrived.

These are two intelligent, capable women, but they hadn’t really thought about it. IT. The great, unforeseen Oh Shit moment. And they weren’t prepared.

Get a gun. Get a license to carry it. Learn how to use it.

It’s funny how that little bit of advise can be so controversial. The following is based on a conversation on Facebook.

Someone asks, “How can you carry it while you’re jogging?”

I can’t answer that. I don’t know what she wears when she jogs. I also don’t know what kind of gun this hypothetical firearm is. Finally, I am not a professional trainer or firearms salesman or bra holster maker guy.

I can’t answer that, but there is an answer.

But maybe I should have said, “Get a gun. Get the right method of carry. Learn to use it. Get a license to carry.”

“But someone will take it from her! If she has a gun, they’ll use it against her.”

Maybe…  Below is a list of other suggestions for the jogger, should the creeps resurface.

  • Nunchuckas (really)
  • Perfume, to spray in the eyes. (They could track the guys down from the sweet smell trailing behind them)
  • Pepper spray
  • A long knife
  • A big flashlight
  • Rape whistle
  • Rip cord activated alarm
  • Jogging partner (good idea)
  • Borrow a friend’s dog
  • Self defense classes

The only items on that list that can’t be used against her by an attacker are the borrowed dog, the self-defense classes and the jogging buddy. In fact, so many weapons can be taken and used against you that maybe we should be thankful that bad guys are considerate enough to bring their own weapons.

You can either give up and cloak yourself in prayer and positive thinking, or arm yourself and then prepare yourself as thoroughly as possible. Which still isn’t a guarantee.

Should I have said, “Get a gun, get a license to carry it, get a proper method of carry that fits your lifestyle and activities, and get professional training that will give you a tools and tactics for a variety of different scenarios while building on your situational awareness. Also, get a variety of training in both lethal and non lethal options so that the firearm is part of broad but pragmatic matrix of tactical possibilities.”

I thought that was implied. Evidently it wasn’t.

Get a gun. Get training. Get legal.  Photo from Fort Apache: The Bronx
Get a gun. Get training. Get legal.
Photo from Fort Apache: The Bronx

She could do all of the above. Krav Maga, a borrowed Doberman and a guitar case full of weapons.

But do something. Preferably something that won’t get you put into prison. Walking out of the house with a dagger strapped to her ankle would be wrong. And illegal. Nunchuckas? Very wrong. You might as well carry a broadsword. Perfume? Legal but wrong, on a whole lot of levels.

And all of the right answers come with obligations and risks of their own. There is no scenario with a fool-proof answer. Sorry. Even armed people get robbed, and trained martial artists get trounced on the street with alarming regularity. That’s life.

Also, guns aren’t for everyone. Another friend of my wife’s was car-jacked for her Benz last year. I said, “Get a gun.” She said, “They scare me.”

“Have you gotten training?”

“Yes, and a piece of hot brass popped down my shirt. It hurt like hell.”

Case closed. She isn’t going back. I asked her. Until she gets past her fear, a gun would be a liability.

But someone might take it from her and use it against her... Maybe, but I doubt it. Hamer woman with HKS rifle. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.
But someone might take it from her and use it against her… Maybe, but I doubt it.
Hamer woman with HKS rifle. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

But I’m sticking to my original statement. Get a gun, get legal and get qualified training. (Not your uncle who was in the Army back in the 80’s.) And while you’re at it, take everything that you read on Facebook with a grain of salt. Including this.

 

 

 

#WeHaveShotBack: The Story of that Low Down Larry Davis

This was Larry Davis. In 1984 he was involved in a shootout with nine cops in his sister's Bronx apartment. He escaped the apartment and then escaped conviction on the grounds of Self Defense.
This was Larry Davis. In 1984 he was involved in a shootout with nine cops in his sister’s Bronx apartment. He escaped the apartment and then escaped conviction on the grounds of Self Defense.

Let’s get one thing straight. Larry Davis was not a good guy.

If you believe the charges against him, he killed four rival drug dealers in the Bronx, and another up in Harlem. He was finally put in jail for weapons charges and murdering another dealer by shooting through a crack house door. These crimes took place before he was 20.

Like I said, he wasn’t a good dude. And, Spoiler Alert: He died like a lot of bad guys die, with a shiv in the gut in a prison cell upstate as he served a 20 to life sentence.

So why the hell would I write about him, especially in the context of self-defense? Because his case proves that even if you are a low down, dirty rotten dealer, you have the right to defend your wretched life. Even against the police.

There are different stories as to what led up to the notorious shooting in his sister’s apartment in the Bronx. The police said that they were tracking him down in connection with the killings of the four Bronx dealers. Davis said that he had been brought into a life of crime by the very police that were now tracking him down. And they were coming not to put him behind bars, but to silence him.

Although it might sound far-fetched, rumors of the police colluding with drug dealers are nothing new, and persist to this day. Also, the police had allegedly told his mother that when they found him, they would kill him.

At about 8:30 p.m. nine officers stormed the three-room apartment of Davis’s sister Regina Lewis. Davis, his girlfriend, his sister, her husband and their four children were all there. Two of her infants were sleeping in a back room.

When she was interviewed the following day, his sister said that she answered a knock, and then the police stormed the living room with guns drawn. They told the adults to get the children and go, and then they shouted to Davis, “Come out, Larry, you don’t have a chance – we’ve got you surrounded.”

Nobody was sure who fired first, but Davis began shooting a sawed off, sixteen gauge shotgun and a 45 caliber pistol from a dark bedroom.

Larry-DavisSeven of the police were injured in the barrage, two seriously. They returned fire as they retreated, but Davis took advantage of the confusion and slipped out of his sister’s window, leaving behind a .32 revolver and a .357 magnum. Miraculously, the infants that were sleeping the back room weren’t hit.

After one of the largest man hunts in New York’s history, Davis was apprehended in a Bronx housing project. After taking a woman and her two daughters hostage (I told you he was a dirtbag) he finally surrendered to the police and was taken into custody.

The jury deliberated five days. Though he was found guilty of six counts of criminal possession of a weapon, he was acquitted of attempted murder and aggravated assault charges in the shootings of the officers. The jury foreman had this to say in a later interview. “[Davis was] a young and innocent kid who got recruited by a few corrupt policemen… they came in to wipe him out… they wanted him dead so he couldn’t squeal on them… they would have killed him.”

A year later, three of the wounded officers accused the NYPD of “negligent” and “reckless” planning and execution of the raid, and blamed the Bronx detectives for creating “chaos” by bursting into the apartment before Emergency Service Unit officers could seal off escape routes.

What’s the point? I remember a discussion about the Charleston shooting, when someone said, “If someone had been there and managed to shoot him before he shot those people, then they would have gone to jail for it.” That depends on a whole lot of things that are beyond the scope of this post.

But you absolutely have a right to defend yourself.

 

Dry Firing 001: The Shot Timer

Remember the Magnificent Seven? How the gunmen rode into town and trained the villagers how to fight the bad guys? Well, I'm a villager. This is my training sequence.
Remember the Magnificent Seven? How the gunmen rode into town and trained the villagers how to fight the bad guys? Well, I’m a villager. This is my training sequence.

I’ve talked a lot about dry firing. In the earlier days of Daddys-Gun.com I even wrote a few posts about it. They were bone simple, and if you are baffled about how to fit practice into your daily routine, it is possible. I did it.

I’ve been exposed to a handful of drills since I wrote about the Wall Drill. If you are more of a beginner than me, then you can use this as a blueprint. I’ll be including links to experts so that you can see how it’s done right. If you are experienced, think of this as one of those long training sequences, where the chubby, middle aged underdog manages to defy the odds and become a better shooter. People love training sequences.

Most of the drills  will require a shot timer to be done effectively. Shot timers prompt you when to draw, often with a beep or a robotic sounding command. Then they time how long it takes before your gun goes bang (or click, in this case.)

They often have a par function, which lets you program in an expectation. Ie, “I should be able to pull the trigger in two seconds.” Setting the par gives you a methodical way to raise the bar. Also, they should have a memory function. Or, you could just keep your pars and times written down in a notebook.

So far I haven’t seen a timer for less than $100. Thankfully, there is an app for it. Actually, there are lots of them.

 

The Free Shot Timer is available on for the iPhone 6 and other apple devices. You'll need a mic to make it work for dry firing.
The Free Shot Timer is available on for the iPhone 6 and other apple devices. You’ll need a mic to make it work for dry firing.

I downloaded the Free Shot Timer App last night, and deleted it after about five minutes. Then I realized that I need to buy a cheap microphone, so that the app could pick up the click. I’ll be picking one up in a day or two. We’ll see how it goes. If it sucks, remember. it’s free.

These are the drills that I will be practicing.

  • The Draw. I kind of touched on this in my last post. Now I’ll be looking at its dryfire counterpart.
  • The Turn and Draw. Like the draw, but you start with your back to the target.
  • The Strong Hand Draw. Here you are shooting with one hand. It is the foundation for the ever popular, dual wielding as seen on TV and in the movies. (Psyche!)
This is the free shot timer control panel. You can see it allows you adjust the par time.
This is the free shot timer control panel. You can see it allows you adjust the par time.
  • Support Hand from a 45 Degree Angle. Instead of drawing from a holster, you’re holding the gun in front of you at a 45… you know the rest.
  • Support Hand from Draw: Here you’ll draw your weapon with the strong hand and then switch to your non dominate hand.

Sam introduced me to them and they are part of a program geared towards IDPA competition. IDPA stands for the International Defensive Pistol Association. They were established way back in 96 as a way to let average shooters test their combat skills in simulated, real world situations. If you’re lucky, this is as close as you will ever get to a gun fight.

 

The Draw and Shoot Drill Part II: Going Beyond Accuracy

 

 

I’ve been working on accuracy for months. Dry firing in a small corner of my garage, after doing the dishes and walking the dog at night. I rarely hear about handguns being equated with meditation, but I’ve found that the acts of dry firing and draw and fire is as close as I’ve come to meditation in a martial art.

Photo courtesy of They Die By Dawn.
Photo courtesy of They Die By Dawn.

Last time I wrote about the results of all of that practice. Three disappointing attempts to shoot the hole left from the first shot, followed by a revelation, some trigger time with a Glock 17 that shot 22 cal bullets, and then victory.

That was the prelude.

The goal was to draw and shoot a target suspended five yards away. Again, we used a sheet of copy paper. Copy is roughly the size of both a man’s head and the chest cavity. If you can consistently hit it, you might be on your way to developing combat accuracy.

One note on combat accuracy. I had been so tuned into shooting that little dot, that much of my dray fire practice had been weighted more towards hitting the dot, and less towards the actual draw. The goal wasn’t to draw and shoot a dot the size of a bottle cap in less than three seconds. The goal was to draw and shoot a sheet of paper. Big difference.

The drill: Draw and fire on the target. This time we would go in stages. First, draw and fire one round in three seconds. Then two rounds, then three, and finally four rounds. As you can see, the whole drill took about a minute. As you can see, I was slow. I did, however, land every shot on the sheet of paper.

 

 

What Would Robert Williams Do? Words from the Man Who Inspired the Panthers

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This is Robert Williams.

In the mid 50’s, Williams took the helm of the local NAACP chapter in Monroe NC. Economic reprisals and attacks from the KKK had strangled the membership of the organization to just six members. He made a pilgrimage from pool halls to street corners; reached out to local tenant farmers and old buddies from the military, and built their ranks from about one (him) to more than 300.

Williams also started an NRA chapter that came to be known as the Black Armed Guard. They protected the Freedom Riders in the early 60’s. They also protected themselves from nighttime attacks. In short, they did what people right now are whispering about doing.

It was just another good time Klan night, the high point of which would come when they dragged Dr. Perry (Williams’ NAACP vice president) across the state line, if they didn’t hang him or burn him first. But near Dr. Perry’s home their revelry was suddenly shattered by the sustained fire of scores of men who had been instructed not to kill anyone, if it weren’t necessary.

The firing was blistering, disciplined and frightening. The motorcade of about eighty cars, which had begun in a spirit of good fellowship, disintegrated into chaos, with panicky robed men fleeing in every direction.

Julian Mayfield, as quoted in The Making of Black Revolutionaries.

Dylann Roof after he was taken into custody.
Dylann Roof after he was taken into custody.

After the attack on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church by Dylann Roof, I thought of Williams. Leaders and law enforcement struggled to find the right word for what had happened. Was it terrorism or a hate crime? Was he a politicized lone wolf or just a troubled, unstable young man?

And we wrung our hands and gnashed our teeth, trying to determine what to do next. On one Facebook thread, one officer within the NAACP suggested that he would rather sacrifice his life and protect everyone that he could, than ever use a gun.

He said, “While taking the high road is long and arduous and even deadly if you ask Dr. King, at the end of the day taking the high road is an investment into a more peaceful planet.”

It should be noted that Dr. King sought a concealed carry license early in his career but was turned down by local police. It should also be noted that for much of his career he was protected by the Deacons for Defense. Finally, it should be noted that while King abhorred the idea of guns as a political tool, he recognized their importance in armed self-defense. 

Others suggested that we should vote. Just vote…

Meanwhile, since Roof murdered Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45; Myra Thompson, 59, six Black  churches burned to the ground in five Southern states. Although no suspects or motive have been announced, arson has been named as the cause of three of the fires so far.

Would vigilant men with guns have been able to stop Roof? There is no way to answer that question conclusively, but it might have given them a fighting chance.

I started Daddys-Gun to demonstrate that Black people have a long and illustrious history of fighting the good fight. I didn’t expect that our nation would be faced with challenges that so closely echoed the battles that we endured fifty or sixty years ago. But when I heard about Roof, and then the burning churches, my mind went to Bombingham Al, and the little girls lost in the 16th Street Baptist Church.

I’m not going to tell anyone what to do. I suspect that will change from person to person, and congregation to congregation. I suspect, also, that there are already a large number of congregations that have quietly decided to arm themselves.

This is Bishop Ron Gibson from Preachers of LA. Gibson serves at Life Church of God in Christ. He is often armed.
This is Bishop Ron Gibson from Preachers of LA. Gibson serves at Life Church of God in Christ. He is often armed. How many others just like them, are quietly armed behind the pulpit? Photo Courtesy of Entertainment Tonight

I’m saying, simply, that history has provided us with a blueprint in men like Robert Williams and the Deacons for defense. Even if you don’t choose to follow their path, you should know their stories.

The NAAGA Talks Law at Stoddards Gun Range

Last Saturday was the second meeting of the National African American Gun Association.

Samuel Hayes of Caliber Training Group talks law  and history at the second meeting of the NAAGA
Samuel Hayes of Caliber Training Group talks law and history at the second meeting of the NAAGA

There were about 20 people all together. It took place in room at Stoddards Gun Range in Midtown Atlanta, that looked a lot like a Starbucks, with the exception of a target set up on a tripod at the front of the room. Close to half of the attendees were women, including the founder, Philip Smith’s 15 year-old (close to 16) daughter, Tiana. More on her later.

While the first meeting focused on safety, this one featured Samuel Hayes of Caliber Training Group, who talked about gun laws in Georgia.

On discussing the differences between the NAAGA and the NRA, Sam said this. “We begin in the same place, and we occupy the same space, but that’s it. They aren’t going to acknowledge the ugly past of gun control… It was done so that we couldn’t protect ourselves.”

AR_elaine_riot
This is a 1919 headline from The Elaine Arkansas Gazette. Such headlines not only incited mob violence against Black people, but they also fueled efforts to disarm the Black community.

As proof he cited early headlines which ran throughout the South which spread rumors of race riots by local Black residents. Those stories were often run with almost no basis in truth, but became the inspiration for mob attacks against the Black communities, and the legislation to disarm them.

“[Before now], there was no organization out there for us.” Said one attendee. “We have a unique perspective and we need to galvanize around it.”

Sam then went on to discuss statute 16-3-21, which covers lawful use and carry of a weapon in the State of Georgia. Disparity in size, age and multiple attackers are all things that must be considered when considering lethal force.Like any other all, there is gray area.

Disparity of force, for example, will vary according to the defender. So, 15-year-old Tiana, might be justified to use deadly force against  a grown man attacking with his bare hands, while Sam, who is about 6ft, 280, might be expected to employ different tactics. Maybe.

As for defense of a third-party, which is also legal, Sam cautioned that unless they are a loved one or someone who you would trust with your life, you might be better off making yourself the best witness possible, than pulling out your gun.

“You have to be absolutely clear about who you are putting your life on the line for. It could be someone who is being arrested by undercover officers. It’s happened before. You have to know who you are dealing with.”

NAAGA founder Philip Smith with wife Gwen and daughter Tiana. They inspired me to bring my daughter soon.
NAAGA founder Philip Smith with wife Gwen and daughter Tiana. They inspired me to bring my daughter soon.

Back to Tiana, pictured here with her mother and father. She has shot a gun before. Her uncle, (I believe) allowed her to fire off some rounds at a family gathering in Oklahoma. Seeing her there inspired me to bring my daughter, who is 15 and entering the 10th grade.

  • Law is going to be a regular theme. Sam has promised to either do a longer seminar or spend some time at each meeting going over the particulars of Georgia gun laws.
  • There are currently 200 members nationwide, with 66 in Metro Atlanta and interest from people in Michigan and Chicago.
  • The goal is 1000 by next year. That seems doable to me.
  • The next meeting will be Friday June 5 at Stoddards.

 

 

Sometimes Black Men Stand their Ground Too

The video below shows Jehrardd Williams, a 28-year-old Fort Myers man, who was the victim of a racist attack in Lee County last year. You won’t see or hear his drunk attackers hurling racial slurs at the Hispanic man sitting next to him at the counter of the Waffle House, or at couple who entered the restaurant at the same time.

It doesn’t show the Waffle House staff ejecting them. But it does show a man throwing a wild sucker punch after Williams declined a peace-offering handshake.

The shirtless man who ran in like Feral Wolverine was named Dakota Fields. Williams, who is licensed to carry a concealed firearm, shot him three times.

Fields died later in a car crash as his crew fled the scene. It’s unclear if it was the crash or the gunshots that killed him.

Curiously, although the video clearly shows a potentially deadly situation that was rapidly escalating, some of the early accounts painted Williams as the aggressor. One witness described Williams as spook and nigger in the police reports.

Another said that Williams had refused to pay his bill. That was false.

And one waitress said that she “knew that Williams was a drug dealer.” I should point out, she doesn’t then go on to describe detailed encounters with Williams when she actually witnessed Williams dealing drugs. This was just a hunch, but one that she was so certain of that she decided to include it in the police record.

Then there was the woman who said that Williams had shoved one of his attackers. This never happened. Had it been admitted in court, though, it could easily been the difference between him being acquitted on the grounds of self-defense, and going to jail for manslaughter.

Though many of the staff corroborated Williams account of the event, enough contradicted it, either out of hatred, racism or misinformation, to put him in prison, if it weren’t for the camera. The video saved him.

I’ve heard dozens of times that Stand Your Ground laws only work if you are a White man standing your ground against a perceived Black threat.  Witness these two men. Each one was the subject of a no knock raid. Each took shots at the intruders only to realize that they were police.

Marvin Louis Gay killed a police officer when they invaded his home serving a no knock warrant. Now he awaits trial where he will face the death penalty.
Marvin Louis Gay killed a police officer when they invaded his home serving a no knock warrant. Now he awaits trial where he will face the death penalty.

About a year ago police in Kileen Tx. obtained the warrant  to invade Marvin Louis Gay’s home after an informant said that his house was full of cocaine. They entered a window at 5:30am and he opened fire, killing one officer and injuring one more. Police did find a marijuana grinder and a handgun, but no cocaine. The DA, however, is seeking the death penalty.

 

Henry Goedrich Magee killed a police officer who was serving a no knock raid. He said he feared for his life and the lives of his pregnant wife and their unborn child. A grand jury declined to file charges.
Henry Goedrich Magee killed a police officer who was serving a no knock raid. He said he feared for his life and the lives of his pregnant wife and their unborn child. A grand jury declined to file charges.

Compare this to Henry Goedrich Magee, also of Texas. Police invaded his home based on information that he was dealing marijuana. He shot and killed Sgt. Adam Sowders, saying that he feared for his life, and the life of his pregnant wife. A grand jury refused to indict and within months he was exonerated.

You can read more about each case here.

At any rate, my friends are clearly justified in believing that Stand Your Ground isn’t a privilege that is afforded Black handgun owners. A lot of times it isn’t. Sometimes, however, it is.

Maybe Stand Your Ground isn’t the problem. After all, it’s just a law. The problem comes in when it is interpreted through a layer of stereotypes, misinformation and outright racism. That’s the only reason I can think that Gay is defending his life in the Texas justice system while Magee is home with his newborn daughter.

And it’s the only reason I can think of, that some of the men and women at the Fort Myers Waffle House could watch Williams and several others undergo a barrage of racist taunts and still think that he was at fault for having the self-respect to defend himself.

 

The Heroism of the Tulsa Oklahoma Race Riots: Our Alamo

Aftermath of the Tulsa Oklahoma race riots. 6000 African residents were "detained" and "interned" by white residents. 35 Square blocks were destroyed. As many as 300 were killed, and the economic center of Africans in America was burned to the ground.
Aftermath of the Tulsa Oklahoma race riots. 6000 African residents were “detained” and “interned” by white residents. 35 Square blocks were destroyed. As many as 300 were killed, and the economic center of Africans in America was burned to the ground.

 

Tulsa wasn’t just a tragedy. It was our 300. Our Alamo. And when we talk about it, that is how we have to phrase it. It is the finest example of Black men and women standing up and fighting to defend themselves and their families.

This is what we know about Tulsa.

tulsa29
Men being rounded up and moved to the detention center.

It erupted May 31, 1921 with an encounter between a Black man and a White woman in a downtown elevator. He would say that he tripped and innocently caught himself by grabbing her arm. She claimed that he had tried to grab her. While rumors spread that an attempted rape had just taken place, many whispered quietly that they were actually lovers embroiled in an argument. It doesn’t matter anymore.

Threats of lynchings were met with action. Thirty Black men, many of whom were well trained and well armed veterans of WWI, went to protect the young “assailant”, who was now in custody at the local courthouse. Soon, a counter force of 1,000 White men arrived at the courthouse while another contingent went to the National Guard Armory for more firearms. They were repelled by the hastily mobilized Guardsmen. They then descended on the courthouse, their numbers now nearing 2,000.

When a second armed contingent of 75 Black men went to the courthouse as reinforcements, the situation exploded. One of the White men demanded that a Black man surrender his pistol. When he refused, the White man shot him down. That was the first shot of a gunfight that would consume the city.

  • The First Wave: Those shots cascaded through the mob. The White men opened fire, and were met with return fire by the Black men who had gone to protect the courthouse. Several men on both sides lay dead or dying in the street.
  • As the Black contingent began to fight their way back to Greenwood they were pursued by the mob. Bystanders leaving local businesses were panicked as the mob shot them down indiscriminately.
  • Late that night, National Guard units were deployed to quell the riots. They stationed themselves to protect the White areas adjacent to Greenwood. They also began picking up Black people who hadn’t returned to Greenwood, and detaining them at a local convention hall.
  • Early the next morning groups of armed Whites and Blacks battled along Frisco tracks, the dividing line between the Black and White commercial districts. Whites made wild forays into Greenwood, taking shots when they could and setting fires along the way. They were met with return fire. When a rumor got around that Black reinforcements would be arriving by train, the White mob littered it with gunfire as it pulled into the station.
  • The mob set fires along the commercial corridor of Archer Street. When the firemen came, they were repelled at gunpoint. Within hours, dozens of Black businesses were burning to the ground.
  • Daybreak. The mob made an all out assault on Greenwood. While the residents fought back, they were simply outnumbered. They were herded into the street where they were either rounded up or marched at gunpoint to the detention center. Their houses were looted, and the mob shot them down indiscriminately.
  • It should be noted that there were numerous reports of WWI biplanes flying overhead, leading to the claim that Tulsa marked the first time the government dropped bombs on its own soil. Residents of Greenwood said that they witnessed men dropping firebombs onto their homes and businesses, and taking shots with rifles. Local law enforcement countered that the planes were conducting reconnaissance over the “negro uprising”.
  • Whites were attacked too. Those who employed Blacks found themselves confronted by the White mob, who demanded that they turn their employees over to the detention centers. Those that didn’t were attacked and their property was vandalized.
Child holding wounded sibling in the aftermath of the Tulsa Race Riots, our Alamo
Child holding wounded sibling in the aftermath of the Tulsa Race Riots, our Alamo

Troops from the Oklahoma National Guard arrived later that morning, and had suppressed the violence by noon. By then the damage had been done. It’s hard to say how many Black people lost their lives. Estimations run from about 30 to 300, but there was no way to account for those whose bodies were consumed by the fires that destroyed Greenwood.

Greenwood was made rich, in part, as an unintended consequence of segregation. The money made there stayed there, circulating 19 times according to some estimations. It was a bastion of Black lawyers, doctors and business men who were able to find freedom that was unavailable in the South.  All of that ended in the span of less than 24 hours.

We talk about the tragedy. What we don’t talk about is the heroism. The 125 brave men who went to the Courthouse to ensure that a young man wasn’t lynched that night. The men who confronted the armed mob at every step, and defended their lives and their homes. Tulsa wasn’t just a tragedy. It was our 300. Our Alamo. And when we talk about it, that is how we have to phrase it. It is the finest example of Black men and women standing up and fighting to defend themselves and their families.

The self-confidence of Tulsa’s Negroes soared, their businesses prospered, their institutions flourished and they simply had no fear of whites… Such an attitude had a great deal to do with eradicating the fear that a Negro boy growing up in Tulsa might have felt, in the years following the riots.

John Hope Franklin, Historian and witness to the Tulsa Race Riots.

 

 

Walk Before You Can Drive: Looking for Solutions for Driving With Guns

The universal vehicle handgun holster mount. There is no shortage of options out there for carrying a handgun on the roads of Georgia. The question is, what are you comfortable with? Photo from Tactical-Life.com
The universal vehicle handgun holster mount. There is no shortage of options out there for carrying a handgun on the roads of Georgia. The question is, what are you comfortable with? Photo from Tactical-Life.com

Fast, short video on AIWB seated weapon draw from Raven Concealment Systems Eidolon holster system, the “Every man’s Appendix rig”

Posted by Samuel R Hayes III on Monday, May 4, 2015

I’m new to carrying.

For the past two months I’ve been dipping my big toe in the pool; carrying every night as I take my dog on his nightly walks.

At first the gun and its holster were all I could think about. Is it printing? Is it falling? Is the safety on? It’s not really supposed to feel like this, is it? We are so used to everything being designed for maximum comfort that putting on something that prioritizes utility over comfort feels strange.

At first the gun and its holster were all I could think about. Is it printing? Is it falling? Is the safety on? It’s not really supposed to feel like this, is it? We are so used to everything being designed for maximum comfort that putting on something that prioritizes utility over comfort feels strange.

Call it progress, but I don’t think about it much anymore. Every night I rack the slide, activate the safety, put it in the holster and walk out the door. And every night, about 20 minutes later, I return. So far I haven’t dropped it. It hasn’t discharged, either accidentally or on purpose. My nights are just as predictable with the gun as they were before I carried it. The only difference is, I don’t feel quite as nervous about those things that I can’t predict.

I haven’t made the leap to carrying all day everyday. I’m can walk okay, but I spend far more time behind the wheel than I do pounding the pavement. I could put it in my glove box, right? I’m going to stretch across my 15-year-old daughter every morning with a loaded 9mm? Push aside juice boxes, plates containing precisely three chicken nuggets and catsup, and toilet paper (three children = a lot of sneezes.) and drop it into the center console? No bueno. I don’t want them to be afraid of guns, but I don’t want them to be casual around them.

Not to mention how difficult it would be to fish it out from the glove box on the one in a million chance that I need it.

Above is Sam Hayes of Caliber Training Group. He is wearing an Inside the Waistband holster from Raven Concealment. He’s not a little guy, but neither am I. It looks effective, not comfortable, but I don’t expect that anymore.