10 august 1968 & julius hobson buys gun to protest recently passed gun control bill in city
#OTD 10 August 1968 Julius Hobson, activist and organizer, purchased a .22 caliber rifle and ammunition from Atlas Sporting Goods (800 E St NW). Hobson did so to protest the Mayor-Commissioner and City Council's recent signing of a gun contol bill requiring that all guns be registered and limiting the purchase of certain guns at stores and via mail order. This bill passed while a nationwide gun control bill was deadlocked on Capitol Hill.
Thought a fierce advocate of gun control, Hobson protested the bill because he believed that it discriminated against the majority of residents. "I'm for gun control...but I'm not for keeping guns out of the hands of blacks but not whites. It imposes restrictions on city residents while whites in the suburbs are arming themselves and using church basements as classrooms on the use of guns." Therefore, he brazenly purchased a gun and advocated that the Black United Front encourage others to follow suit.
On 5 June, Hobson was one of approximately 150 women and men who marched in front of the National Rifle Association headquarters (1600 Rhode Island Ave NW) to mark the assassination of Robert F Kennedy and to protest the NRA's opposition to gun control legislation. Hobson's picket sign stated, "We Demand A Strong Gun Bill."
Photo source: Courtesy DC Public Library Special Collections. Silverman, photographer.
"150 Picket Rifle Group In Demand for Gun Bill, " Evening Star 5 June 1968.
"Hobson Urges Negroes to Arm Themselves," Evening Star 11 August 1968.