We are all aware, that the world in which we live in is far from ideal. There are often things happening that we consider wrong or unjust. These injustices infringes upon us and affects our relationships with our family, our coworkers and creates an unstable situations that brings upon inequality and injustice. Throughout history, many people saw the injustices around them and resorted to violence in order to remedy the situation or to avenge people who have suffered from injustice. Others, however, questioned the legitimacy of the use of violence as a means to overcome the differences and exert changes. Based on Adam Winkler’s article “Martin Luther King and His Guns” and “Letter from Birmingham jail” by Martin Luther King we can see that MLK was a person without a mask who tried to fight for human rights. Life and works of American religious leader and freedom fighter for human rights is the brightest example of an alternative embodiment to a path that does not accept violence as the method to achieve goals positive long lasting changes.
Dr. Martin Luther King, a pastor, a husband, a father, was a person of strength and courage who had a vision to one day see everyone not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. He also fought for equality and desegregation of people in society. King was a leader who did not want to use violence to get his message across. Even though white police officers and citizens constantly abused and assaulted blacks because of their skin color. Dr. King maintained his position of using love and non-violence rather than escalating a race war that no one would win. Protesters would violate laws and traditions which were racist and discriminatory, but wouldn’t resist any action by the police or government. The choice of this tactic of nonviolent resistance to MLK not only dictate the terms of the political moment, but it was necessary, to be used to prevent unleashing the civil war and the harming of the civilian population. He understood, that intensity of emotions and dissatisfaction of the population was too high, and because of his educational training and experience he has chosen this path that had the least inclination to turn violent.
At a same time, King's attempted to acquire a gun permit and filled his house with people carrying guns. Adam Winkler tells us that: “He had good reason to fear that the Klan in Alabama was targeting him for assassination”. All those actions pointed out that Dr. King understood the realities of self-defense and protecting his home and his family in the face of life-threatening violence. This is why he tried to apply for that gun permit when the house where his wife and daughter lived was firebombed. When Dr. King was denied, he did the next best thing and surrounded himself with people with guns. This was evidenced by one of Dr. King’s advisors1 describing his home as an “arsenal”. It’s naive to think that a man who preaches non-violence must in turn be a sacrificial lamb for any racist who wants to do him and his family harm. He clearly understood the border and separated the self-defense and non-violent fight for the rights of his brothers and sisters. Terror divides society but nonviolence - unites. Even the most ardent supporters of the regime will move to the side of the opposition, if non-violent protestors use non-violent methods to advance their goals.
Society trusted him and he laid his hopes and dreams for the people for whom he was trying to fight for. His goal and purpose for his supporters in the civil rights movement was not to hurt or destroy but to build a sense of community and to reconcile people to the true wholeness of all humanity. African Americans in the 1960s could have chosen to arm themselves, but with MLK as a leader of the non-violent movement they made a conscious decision not to do that. They were convinced that peace could not be…