COMMENTARY — After Maya Angelou died on May 28, the web was abuzz with more about the author and cultural icon than it had probably posted since its inception. Looking over The Inquisitr site alone, I count six stories since the bad news broke of her passing.
But one story you haven’t heard as much of is this: Angelou, who wrote “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and once recited a poem at Democratic President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993, liked her guns.
Tim Cavanaugh of the National Review Online managed to dig up a 2013 interview Maya Angelou did with Time magazine in which she spoke about her affinity for the weapons that are so reviled by Left-wing voters and politicians.
In the piece, Angelou responds to a question that the magazine asked about whether she inherited her mother’s fondness for guns. Here’s what she had to say:
“I like to have guns around. I don’t like to carry them,” she said. When asked whether she’d ever fired her guns, she added: “Of course! I was in my house in North Carolina. It was fall. I heard someone walking on the leaves. And somebody actually turned the knob. So I said, ‘Stand four feet back because I’m going to shoot now!’ Boom! Boom! The police came by and said, ‘Ms. Angelou, the shots came from inside the house.’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t know how that happened.'”
From that, Cavanaugh launched in to a “tribute” that didn’t go over well with the Left-leaning Salon. Site contributor Prachi Gupta chastised Cavanaugh for digging up the interview and accused him of dishonoring Angelou’s memory.
“As various communities across the world reflect on what late Renaissance Woman Maya Angelou meant to them — hope, opportunity, freedom, to many — writer Tim Cavanaugh at the National Review Online has chosen to remember Angelou for that one time she talked about guns.”
Salon‘s Elias Isquith took even further issue with the piece, penning a lengthier response that called Cavanaugh’s piece a “shameful response to her death.”
Gun Rights advocates see it differently — as an attempt to show that it’s possible to buck party lines and have individual beliefs that may go against the grain of what one particular political movement would have you to think.
The unavoidable fact is this: Maya Angelou did say what she said, and despite her own politics often aligning with the Democratic party, she seems to have veered from them on this issue.
In a world where the two major political parties are so polarized and unable to agree on anything, perhaps Maya Angelou and her affinity for guns can serve as a reminder that we should take back our individuality and, Left or Right, stop going along like zombies with all of the labels and the party platforms imposed upon us.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]