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Power Does Not Come From a Gun

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Power Does Not Come From a Gun

Power. A word from which many meanings derive. To each

individual, it means something distinct and it is how one uses their

power that makes up who they are. Power does not come from the barrel

of a gun. A gun can do nothing without someone there to pull the

trigger. The power to take a life rests within the person, the gun

simply serving as their tool. When groups protesting for a cause they

believe in use violent tactics, do they ever accomplish anything? When

we kill , what do we achieve? To say that power lies in the barrel of

a gun is to say that the most effective way to get what we want, or

what we feel we deserve is to murder. It is only those with no faith

in their dreams, or belief in themselves who could make such a

statement.



Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "If a man hasn't found

something he will die for, he isn't fit to live." A leader in the

Black community and the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize,

King's accomplishment of attaining civil rights for Blacks was a

great one, but the road to achievement was long and full of

sacrifices. It was a time when Blacks had no rights and most of

them accepted this as the way it was and no one could do anything

about it. Most of them, but not King. When the police arrested a black

woman for sitting in the front of the bus and refusing to give up her

seat to a white woman, King led a committee that organized a boycott

of buses. The results were that on April 23, 1956, the Supreme Court

ruled that "segregation in public transportation is unconstitutional"

and that South Carolina as well as 12 other states must remove the

"whites only" signs that hung in the front of the buses. This was just

the beginning, he vowed to continue his fight using "passive

resistance and the weapon of love". He helped establish the Southern

Christian Leadership Conference, and became its first president. Then

in 1957, King met with Vice-president Nixon in Washington to "discuss

racial problems . He went on to lead protests, demonstrations and

marches, making the non-violent resistance stronger than it had ever

been before. He succeeded in making people aware that every human

being is born equal and that no one should be denied his civil rights.



Martin Luther King had a dream and he knew that there was only

one way to make it come true, to wake up and to take action. He was a

true example of someone putting their power to good use. He started

his life with a disadvantage, he was hated because of the color of his

skin, but he did not let that stop him. He was arrested, thrown in

jail, stabbed, stoned, he even had his home bombed. Through it all, he

refused to give up, he had found a cause worth dying for and he did.

He was murdered on the night of April 4, 1968. People tried to use

their power to stop him and his fight. In the end, they may have

succeeded in killing its leader, but the battle against racism lived

on. Looking back, people say that Martin Luther King Jr. was a very

powerful man. I have never heard anyone say his attackers or his

murderers had. "I am indeed, a practical dreamer. My dreams are not

airy nothings. I want to convert my dreams into realities, as far as

possible."



Mahatma is the name the people of India gave to Mohandas

Karamchand Gandhi. The meaning is Great Soul, and they considered him

as the father of their nation. He named his autobiography, "The story

of My Experiments With Truth." That was, after all, what his life was

about: the truth and his search to find it. He was against violence in

any form, he felt there existed better methods of accomplishing

things, and he proved to be successful. he made up his won technique

for social action that he called satyagraha, "non-violent resistance

to injustice and wrong." Gandhi's actions were guided by his

philosophy that the way a person behaves is more important than what

he achieves. It was these tactics that he used in his fight for
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