Hartford Citizen Patrol Presents Dilemmas for Gun-Grabbing Democrats – Firearms News


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“A predominantly Black neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut, hoping to fend off violent crime, has turned to an armed group of citizens to patrol their streets by land and by air,” Fox News reports. “The so-called ‘Self-Defense Brigade’ — made up of about 40 legally armed citizens — are voluntarily patrolling the streets of Hartford’s North End wearing body cameras mostly on nights and weekends, according to the group’s founder, Cornell Lewis.”

“The Democratic machine in Hartford is either unwilling or unable, incapable of doing it, and people are paying their tax dollars, and they’re not really getting any kind of service,” Lewis explains. “So, we want the people to understand, number one, self-defense is not a dirty word.”

So naturally, as Breitbart notes, “Mayor Arunan Arulampalam (D) is denouncing residents of a predominately black community for arming themselves to fight violent crime.”

Who better to criticize American citizens for a community cooperative tradition older than the Republic than an immigrant beneficiary of chain migration, one born in Zimbabwe who fled to this country as a refugee from Sri Lanka? Especially when their efforts demonstrate for all the world to see the utter, incompetent failure of his.


The Self-Defense Brigade, organized “at the behest of Archbishop Dexter Burke of the Walk in the Light Church of God,” is reminiscent of an effort from the middle of the last century, one remembered and honored by Amendment advocates with long memories, but for the most part ignored by Democrats and self-designated “civil rights leaders,” none of whom, if they even know about him, are keeping the example set by Robert Hicks alive, to be reflected on today and passed on to the next generations.


He was a “lion in the Louisiana civil rights movement,” whose 1981 obituary recalled the personal risks that meant for him and his loved ones from decades before:


“The Hicks family opened their home to white civil rights workers and national figures such as entertainer Dick Gregory and Congress of Racial Equality head James Farmer,” the memorial recalled.  “Because of that, the family was targeted by the Ku Klux Klan, which in turn motivated the formation of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, an armed band of African American men who stood guard at the Hicks’ home and protected civil rights workers in the city.”

Lewis and his Brigade reflect that spirit of determination and resolve, and for their efforts are being smeared by the Democrat establishment as “vigilantes,” with the implication that they’re dangerous, undisciplined, and in Arulampalam’s words, “trying to take the law into their own hands.”

Lewis, and counters that he and his 40 volunteers “are all trained in discipline legal security… have legal permits to carry concealed weapons and the purpose is self-defense,” adding “I’m a fourth-degree black belt, and I trained everybody in hand-to-hand combat.”

In other words, they’re “well regulated.”

They’re also “illegal,” at least as far as the Democrat tyrants running the oxymoronically named “Constitution State” are concerned.

Georgetown Law’s “Fact Sheet: Unlawful Militias in Connecticut”  explains.

“Groups of armed individuals that engage in paramilitary activity or law enforcement functions without being called forth by a governor or the federal government and without reporting to any government authority are acting as unauthorized private militias,” it notes. “The Connecticut Constitution forbids private military units from operating outside state authority… Connecticut law makes it illegal for groups of people to organize as private militias without registering with the state.”

“Does the Second Amendment protect private militias?”  it asks. “No.  In fact, the Supreme Court decided in 1886—and repeated in 2008—that the Second Amendment ‘does not prevent the prohibition of private paramilitary organizations.’”

 “Is it legal to act as a private militia in Connecticut?” it asks again, and again the answer is “No.”

The bottom line: The national government has been deliberately indifferent to its Constitutional duty to organize, arm and discipline the Militia, the state governments have been derelict in their obligations to provide officers and training, and participation by an armed citizenry, which the Founders  deemed “necessary to the security of a free State,” has been deliberately excluded, dependent on a professional law enforcement “standing army” that has no legally enforceable duty to protect it (See Dial 911 and Die from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership).

And they’re not “allowed” to organize, train, and bear arms as a group to protect themselves.

Still, the existence of Hartford’s Self-Defense Brigade presents a couple of dilemmas for the Democrats who smear them as “vigilantes” and want them to stop.

First, it exposes a lie often hurled at gun owners and treated by those who promulgate it as true, that if you want to see Second Amendment advocates suddenly demand gun control, just start arming blacks. Wrong. We’re fighting for the right of all peaceable citizens to keep and bear arms. It’s the prohibitionists who are against this.

Second, it makes stopping Lewis and his followers problematic: One of the narratives being parroted and exploited to the benefit of criminals and detriment of the communities they victimize is that urban minorities are “overrepresented in the justice system.” It’s not like the Brigade are Oath Keepers or Proud Boys or some other “right wing” group easily demonized by the media. Arulampalam doesn’t dare sic his enforcers on Lewis & Co., who are well known and respected in the very constituent communities Democrats rely on to elect them.

The paradox is, if Hartford residents are really interested in seeing violent crime go down, they need to stop electing Democrats.

About the Author

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms News and AmmoLand Shooting Sports News, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts onTwitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at [email protected].

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