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Sheriff Clarke: Slavery Finally Ended Because Blacks Were Armed

By Brian Lonergan | March 11, 2016 | 4:11pm EST

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A.

Clarke Jr.  (AP) 

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. used a recent discussion on criminal justice reform to draw a connection between the end of slavery and the Second Amendment, saying, “the abolition of slavery was inevitably due to the arming of blacks.”

Appearing at a panel on criminal justice reform at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., on March 3, Clarke cited the writings of 19th century abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass in support of gun ownership by fugitive and freed slaves.

“Douglass strongly supported the right of fugitive slaves to have and use weapons to resist kidnapping,” he said. “When government fails to protect the just right of any individual man, that man rests on his original right of self-defense even if it means shooting down his pursuers. Slavery is a system of brute force. It must be met with its own weapons.”

“He went on to say that freedom was worth fighting for,” Clarke continued. “Slaves plus guns equal freedom. The abolition of slavery was inevitably due to the arming of blacks. Now if you think for one minute that I’m going to cede these rights back to the federal government or any government or any court, you’d better think again.”

A vocal defender of Second Amendment rights, Clarke concluded his statement by holding up a copy of the Constitution and saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, I will fight for your rights under this document like it were my right, and it is. And I will die fighting for this document.”  

Clarke was joined on the panel at CPAC by Ken Cuccinelli, former Virginia attorney general, Pat Nolan, director of the American Conservative Union’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform, and Washington Times reporter Kelly Riddell.

David A. Clarke Jr., a Democrat, was elected to a 4-year term as the sheriff of Milwaukee County in 2002, and was re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014. In those elections he won, respectively, with 74%, 78%, 74%, and 79% of the vote.

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