June 12, 1963 – The Murder of Medgar Evers


On June 12, 1963 Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers was assassinated outside of his Mississippi home


On this Date in 1963 Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers was assassinated out side of his Mississippi home. It would take 61 years before Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of the murder. Here is some background on Evers from Wikipedia….

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi who worked to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi and gain social justice and voting rights. A World War II veteran and college graduate, he became active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s. He became a field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Following the 1954 ruling of the United States Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated public schools were unconstitutional, Evers worked to gain admission for African Americans to the state-supported public University of Mississippi. He also worked on voting rights and registration, economic opportunity, access to public facilities, and other changes in the segregated society.

Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens’ Council, a group formed in 1954 to resist integration of schools and civil rights activity. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.[2][3] His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music and film. All-white juries failed to reach verdicts in the first two trials of Beckwith. He was convicted in a new state trial in 1994, based on new evidence.Read More

I was twelve when the murder happened and I have vague memories of the event. Five months later would come the assassination of President Kennedy. When I did become more politically aware in the late 1960s the music of Phil Ochs was a big part of my music listening and my development into a liberal Democrat. Here is Phil’s song “The Ballad of Medgar Evers”…..

Let us remember that the commandment in the Bible is “Thou Shalt Not Kill”! Not “Thou shalt not kill except when you don’t agree with the person politically or socially”. The recent killings in Orlando of  both Christiana Grimmie and the patrons of the Gay nightclub are wrong no matter what side of the political spectrum you are on. And for me the bottom line is still, If guns were not so readily available and we had an anti-gun mentality in this nation, we wouldn’t be saying “My God that’s Awful” so many times. Not only incidents like those previously mentioned, but for all the children who are accidentally killed in the homes of responsible  gun owners. So what can we do…From the Washington Post….

Of course, we know one thing that could be done: We could admit that there are too many guns and get serious about reducing their number. These child-deaths are a uniquely American problem; in other countries, simply accepting such an endless string of accidental killings would be unthinkable. And as the child accident statistics have poured in, so have those on the efficacy of gun control: It’s becoming harder and harder to deny that more guns equals more violence. We also know that massive restrictions can have major positive effects. The word “Australia” is verboten among the gun rights crowd now that Australia has succeeded in cutting its firearm death rate by 59 percent after passing sweeping prohibitions on gun ownership. In fact, the Australian case offers such rock solid evidence of the life-saving potential of gun control that the pro-gun side has struggled to offer any response, except to yelp, “But you’re talking about confiscation!” (To which one might reply: “And?”) So there is a way to avoid having our preschools look like a Peckinpah film. It just involves some tough measures.

Read More at Gun deaths involving children are devastating. The NRA has no idea what to say about them.

Ok so the bottom line In 1963  the United States saw two leaders Medgar Evers and John Kennedy killed by guns The potential that either killing would have been averted by gun control  is slim. But 53 years later the killing is still going on only now the killers have far more deadly weapons and the number of people killed keeps rising……something must be done!

In the words of Bob Dylan – “Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’till he knows. That too many people have died?.…”

Rant over!