Ten years before he was gunned down outside his Memphis motel room, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. survived another assassination attempt. He was signing his new book at a Harlem bookstore when a 42-year-old woman suddenly started screaming and then plunged a knife into his chest.

Dr. King was taken to Harlem Hospital for surgery and survived the attack. But in an interview with local reporter Gabe Pressman, King offered forgiveness to his attacker. “I think she needs help,” King told Pressman. “I’m not angry at her.”

Today, as we remember the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, his words of nonviolence, love, and forgiveness could serve as a useful guide for fearful politicians debating gun control.


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