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The Racist Roots of Gun Control
Georgia ^ | unknown | Clayton Cramer

Posted on 02/01/2008 9:41:21 AM PST by epow

The historical record provides compelling evidence that racism underlies gun control laws — and not in any subtle way. Throughout much of American history, gun control was openly stated as a method for keeping blacks and Hispanics “in their place,” and to quiet the racial fears of whites. This paper is intended to provide a brief summary of this unholy alliance of gun control and racism, and to suggest that gun control laws should be regarded as “suspect ideas,” analogous to the “suspect classifications” theory of discrimination already part of the American legal system. Racist arms laws predate the establishment of the United States. Starting in 1751, the French Black Code required Louisiana colonists to stop any blacks, and if necessary, beat “any black carrying any potential weapon, such as a cane.” If a black refused to stop on demand, and was on horseback, the colonist was authorized to “shoot to kill.” [1] Slave possession of firearms was a necessity at times in a frontier society, yet laws continued to be passed in an attempt to prohibit slaves or free blacks from possessing firearms, except under very restrictively controlled conditions. [2] Similarly, in the sixteenth century the colony of New Spain, terrified of black slave revolts, prohibited all blacks, free and slave, from carrying arms. [3]

In the Haitian Revolution of the 1790s, the slave population successfully threw off their French masters, but the Revolution degenerated into a race war, aggravating existing fears in the French Louisiana colony, and among whites in the slave states of the United States. When the first U. S. official arrived in New Orleans in 1803 to take charge of this new American possession, the planters sought to have the existing free black militia disarmed, and otherwise exclude “free blacks from positions in which....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; origins; racism; roots
The article is a long read, and the excerpt only scratches the surface. But it's an informative, well researched article if you have the time and an inclination to read it.

BTW, if you have a GA CC permit you may be disappointed and disgusted to know that the GA State Senate today voted down an amendment that would have deleted or modified the poorly worded clause in the GA CW law that forbids permit holders to carry a gun at what it vaguely describes as "public gatherings". It has been a top priority of the Georgia Carry Org to have that confusing clause stricken or at least clarified, but apparently it was all in vain. If you are a GA resident and your state senator voted against the amendment you might want to let him or her know that both your vote and your monetary support will go to his/her opponent in the next election.

1 posted on 02/01/2008 9:41:25 AM PST by epow
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To: epow

Quite true. Our drug war was born from racism too.

2 posted on 02/01/2008 9:51:13 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: epow

As armed man (or woman) is a citizen. An unarmed man is a serf. As armed woman is a rapists’ worst nightmare.

I am happy to know that my neighbor is armed, and a great shot. That way I do not have to worry.

3 posted on 02/01/2008 9:53:00 AM PST by Citizen Tom Paine (Swift as the wind; Calmly majestic as a forest; Steady as the mountains.)
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To: epow

I find it incredible that black leaders swallow the gun control BS hook line and sinker.

I guess somehow, this fact was conveniently omitted from the ethnic studies curriculum?

4 posted on 02/01/2008 9:54:37 AM PST by Califreak (Hangin' with Hunter-under the bus)
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To: epow

The Georgia decision, the Lautenberg amendment, and others like them are the reason I am against CC. The right to keep and bear arms, is a right, not a privilege that can be easily changed by politicians each time the winds of public sentiment change... it is obvious that over time the enemies of liberty will act to (i) restrict where you can carry and (ii) restrict who can carry. I have a CC permit in my state, but I don’t feel good about it; I feel like a serf. With the redefinition of the term “firearms” in my state, it is the only safe way to transport firearms in my vehicle without getting hassled, so my hand was forced, but it is still wrong in principle. It is just a back door form of gun control, just like the Brady amendment, and all “public safety” gun control laws. Vermont and Alaska should be the example we aspire to; carrying a firearm should not be a crime of itself for ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the US, except perhaps in nuclear weapons facilities and other military restricted weapons sites.

5 posted on 02/01/2008 9:56:36 AM PST by LambSlave
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To: epow

This was published in the Western Missouri Shooter’s Alliance newsletter during that state’s debate on adopting CCW:

Letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “star” reporter,
Peter Shinkle, in response to an article of 10/25
Mr. Shinkle:

Thank you for an excellent article on the historical background on the provision in Missouri’s current Constitution (1875) that addresses the right to keep and bear arms.

While you gave some background, such as the Know-Nothing riot for how Gantt came to propose the clause about concealed weapons, you failed to mention in any way the topic that was one of the foremost of that day which was Emancipation, and a topic that still continues to draw our attention this very day, which was and is race relations and how the legal rights of blacks differ from those of whites.

Please recall that one of the supporting reasons for its ruling that negros where property and not citizens for purposes of the Constitution in Dred Scott v Sanford, March 6th, 1857, was according to the Chief Justice Taney:

... It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went...


There is now ample scholarship that documents the Post War approach to dealing with blacks was, despite the newly adopted 14th Amendment, to shift to suppression by counting on local authorities to look the other way.

This certainly was the case up until the Kennedy Justice Department began to aggressively enforce civil rights laws throughout the South, where local KKK sympathizes could count on their Sheriff to either not be in any hurry to investigate assaults or lynchings of blacks or could even be counted on to keep “civil order” with dogs, firehoses, teargas and battons, an “order” that prevented blacks from enjoying their legal liberties.

Legal scholars Robert J. Cottrol and Raymond Diamond wrote a 1995 Chicago-Kkent College of Law article, “NEVER INTENDED TO BE APPLIED TO THE WHITE POPULATION”: FIREARMS REGULATION AND RACIAL DISPARITY—THE REDEEMED SOUTH’S LEGACY TO A NATIONAL JURISPRUDENCE?”, in which they quote:

I know something of the history of this legislation. The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of negro laborers in this State drawn here for the purpose of working in turpentine and lumber
camps.... [T]he Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population....

[I]t is a safe guess to assume that more than 80% of the white men living in the rural sections of Florida have violated this statute....

[T]here has never been, within my knowledge, any effort to enforce the provisions of this statute as to white people, because it has been generally conceded to be in contravention of the Constitution and non-enforceable if contested.


For a list of related law journal articles, see:

I have a copy of a 1901 Sears Roebuck mail order catalog that carries a large selection of women’s clothing, and in dozens of pages does not show a single one modeled by a black woman. Their catalog devotes pages 304 to 309 to pistols, including a “Ladies’ Revolver” that “can be carried in the vest pocket as conveniently as a watch, and is designed especially for ladies’ use.”, stock number 6T1354 with pearl handles $2.40, $1.50 with rubber handles via mail. Many people know subtle signals when they see them as to exactly which “ladies” that Sears is marketing these pistol to.

Coming from several generations of rural Missourians myself, it was certainly common knowledge what would happen should a county deputy discover a black person carrying a concealed pistol, as opposed to what courtesy that same deputy might show to a well dressed white woman found with a similar pistol in her purse, that is given the great difference in odds that the white woman’s purse would be searched in the first place.

This difference in odds even now is the subject of articles and editorials in your own paper. Only today the main concern is concealed drugs, even more so than concealed firearms. Thus we now have the crime the black community calls “driving while black” (DWB). Having blacks so over-represented in our prisons is considered by some as prima facie evidence of institutional racism that harkens back to slavery, even to the point that we still see state and federal lawsuits argued on that very basis.

If so many people can explain such disparity with respect to blacks and drugs because they see racially-motivated laws and selective law enforcement, why do so many in the media attempt to discuss the historical background of our State’s approach to regulating concealed weapons without a similar consideration? Is it because they sincerly want to protect the civil rights of blacks, but do not understand why it is equally important to protect the right of every citizen (no matter what their race) to enjoy the right to an effective means of self defense?

I think any honest reader of the majority opinion in Dred Scott or of Cottrol and Diamond’s excellent scholarship must take these facts into account. That component was that the legal sanction only applied to non-whites in 1875 and everyone knew it. Gradually over time, the law came to be applied to whites as well and now the Legislature has brought us all relief, in that anyone who qualifies under the law and who applies shall be issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Isn’t this what blacks have worked so hard for all this time, to just be treated equally and fairly under the law? After all, what about “shall not be infringed”, or “shall not be questioned” is really so hard to understand? Would that every single one of our rights be never infringed or questioned by anyone again.

6 posted on 02/01/2008 9:59:32 AM PST by theBuckwheat
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To: LambSlave

Just a note - folks in Alaska tend to be pretty polite (except, of course, when roaring drunk....)

7 posted on 02/01/2008 10:11:51 AM PST by ASOC (The Captain doesn't choose the storm....)
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To: antiRepublicrat

I’m not sure that I see the two issues as analogous...

8 posted on 02/01/2008 10:25:13 AM PST by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: jonno
As an NRA member and a right to carry permit holder, my mind is always jumbled trying to reconcile black politician's stance on "gun control".

No one needs the right to carry any more than honest people that are living in ghetto areas.

I NEVER drive into any inner city, regardless of which state or city, and regardless of their gun policy, without at least one and usually two pistols.

I feel so bad for these folks that really need guns and aren't allowed {by local or state law} to have them.

9 posted on 02/01/2008 10:55:30 AM PST by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages - In Honor of Standing Wolf)
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To: USS Alaska

Ditto. One of my sales calls is in a city like this. I walk right past the “No Guns Allowed” sign with my .40 Glock tucked.

10 posted on 02/01/2008 11:01:21 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: jonno
I’m not sure that I see the two issues as analogous...

They're both general encroachments on the rights of people (I think the choice of what you ingest is a pretty basic right, although I hate drugs) that started because those in power didn't like people of other races.

With guns, they feared blacks killing whites. With drugs, they feared the other races corrupting whites.

11 posted on 02/01/2008 11:44:55 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: USS Alaska

“I feel so bad for these folks that really need guns and aren’t allowed {by local or state law} to have them.”

I understand how you feel, but usually their elected representatives, be they city council members, mayors, state and federal legislators are the ones who are the biggest anti gunners. Look who the biggest anti gunners are, big city mayors like New York and Philadelphia.

These folks in the inner cities voted for them and they are just getting the government they elected.

12 posted on 02/01/2008 12:45:41 PM PST by Old Teufel Hunden
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