Fear of violence from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement spurred a member of BART’s board to apply, successfully, for a renewed carry and conceal license for a handgun so that he is able to protect himself.
John McPartland, 71, has served on BART’s board since 2008. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in his most recent application for the renewal of his license on April 20, 2015, he expressed that his role as a decision maker on “controversial issues” puts him at risk to be targeted by individuals with oppositional views.
“As an elected official, I am often the decision maker and focal point on controversial issues,” McPartland reportedly wrote. “Some of those issues are volatile, draw a great deal of media and result in violence by irrational members of the public.”
McPartland has apparently had the license since at least 2010. In his application, he referenced to violent protests by activists in California following the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant by BART, police and an incident that same year in which a man threw red paint on then-General Manager Dorothy Dugger.
Several members of the Black Lives Matter movement have protested McPartland’s ability to conceal a weapon for protection. One, Cat Brooks, was among several people arrested on Black Friday back in November when members of the BLM movement chained themselves to an Oakland BART train.
Brooks told the Chronicle that when she found out BLM was listed as one of the reasons why McParland needed a conceal and carry license, it was “offering up a shining example of why we need the Black Lives Matter movement. The idea that black bodies assembled, asserting our rights … would mean that he should need to use deadly force against someone is absurd.”
The movement, which has popularized the slogan “no justice, no peace,” has often presented itself in a violent manner.
Student protesters with the “Oxy United for Black Liberation” from Los Angeles-based Occidental College demanded in November that unarmed campus officers stop wearing bulletproof vests — arguably their only method of defense against any potential harm.
On Monday, the Kingsburg High School District Board became the second district in California to allow certain staff members with a license to carry a concealed weapon, to bring a gun on campus. According to local ABC News affiliate in Fresno ABC 30, the move was in large part a response to the devastating attack carried out by radical Islamic terrorists Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik this past December in San Bernardino.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.