Grassroots Commentary

The Racist History of Gun Control

Cameron S. Schaeffer · Mar. 7, 2013

We should remember that disarming blacks is an old project. The thought of armed slaves terrified colonial planters. In 1857, the Supreme Court denied Dred Scott citizenship partly to deny him a gun. After the Civil War, Democrats passed the Black Codes to keep the recently-freed slaves from owning guns. (It is tough to lynch a man holding a gun.) In response, Republicans passed the Fourteenth Amendment, guaranteeing blacks the individual right of self defense.

The National Rifle Association once endorsed gun restrictions for certain people. Martin Luther King, Jr. was denied a gun permit in 1956 after his house was firebombed. Urban riots and the affordable “Saturday Night Special” pistol led to the Gun Control Act of 1968. It was the openly-carrying Black Panthers of the 1960’s, not the NRA, who clarified our current understanding of the individual’s right to bear arms.

After Washington DC banned handguns in the 1970’s, black on black homicide rates rose. After the Republican-majority Supreme Court reversed the ban in 2008, black on black homicide rates fell. Self-defense has saved many black lives over the years. We just never hear about it.

President Obama is the greatest firearm salesman in history, but panic buying is causing scarcity and higher prices for guns and ammunition. Governor Cuomo just passed more gun laws for New York. Through higher prices and gun restrictions, the Democrats remain hard at work disarming those who can least afford to be disarmed.

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