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