Skip to comments.Racism and the Second Amendment
Posted on 09/08/2002 11:45:20 AM PDT by Pat Bateman
Racism and the Second Amendment
Special to the Denver Post
Sunday, September 08, 2002 - After a discussion with my granddaughter about the Second Amendment, I find myself refurbished, eager to probe into the political intrigue that has engulfed the Second Amendment since the Founding Fathers decreed it to be the right of every American to keep and bear arms if he or she should deem it necessary to defend hearth, home and self.
Last week I wrote about my determination to protect my 11-year-old granddaughter, Olivia Christine, from being fooled into believing that none but a constable on patrol is morally and legally enabled to own a gun. Today I want to share some of the racist history linked with keeping the benefit of the Second Amendment out of the reach of black Americans.
I believe this history laid the groundwork for a web of anti-firearms legislation that would eventually embrace every man, woman and child who takes the Second Amendment literally.
In researching this topic, I happened upon "The Racist Roots of Gun Control" by Clayton E. Cramer.
While well-meaning liberals - be they black or white - will deny it, "The Racist Roots of Gun Control" provided compelling evidence that racism underlies many gun-control laws. It documents that throughout U.S. history, gun control has been openly used as a method for keeping firearms beyond the reach of minorities.
"Beginning in 1751, when 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.'
"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 they were required to bear arms.'
"The perception that free blacks were sympathetic to the plight of their enslaved brothers, and the dangerous example that 'a Negro could be free' also caused the slave states to pass laws designed to disarm all blacks, both slave and free.
"Unlike the gun control laws passed after the Civil War, these antebellum statutes were for blacks alone. In Maryland, these prohibitions went so far as to prohibit free blacks from owning dogs without a license, and authorizing any white to kill an unlicensed dog owned by a free black, for fear that blacks would use dogs as weapons.
"In State v. Huntley (1843), the North Carolina Supreme Court had recognized that there was a right to carry arms guaranteed under the North Carolina Constitution, as long as such arms were carried in a manner not likely to frighten people.
"The following year, the North Carolina Supreme Court made one of those decisions whose full significance would not appear until after the Civil War and passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.
"An 1840 statute provided: That if any free Negro, mulatto, or free person of color, shall wear or carry about his or her person, or keep in his or her house, any shot gun, musket, rifle, pistol, sword, dagger or Bowie-knife, unless he or she shall have obtained a license therefore from the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of his or her county, within one year preceding the wearing, keeping or carrying therefore, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be indicted therefore."
While most gun grabbers would will deny it, much of the same emotional if not racist antagonism against arming minorities still exists in 21st-century America.
The irony in it all is that the racist opposition to allowing blacks to bear firearms provided the foundation for a cornerstone in America that would ultimately challenge the legitimacy of the Second Amendment itself.
In a great many American cities where large populations of blacks and Hispanics dwell, I believe the gun grabbers live in a state of outright fear that the state legislature might someday pass a law to allow any law-abiding member of a minority group to own or carry a firearm. Colorado is no exception to the anxiety about minorities packing guns.
Ken Hamblin (firstname.lastname@example.org; www.hamblin.com) writes Sundays in The Post and hosts a syndicated radio talk show.
for a free dixie,sw
Being retired myself, I understand completely. I was fortunate enough to recently retire to an area which we had always loved, the Blue Ridge mountains of north GA. The cost of living here is somewhat less than it was in our former location (FL). Still, we have found it necessary to considerably alter our lifestyle to meet our new income level.
One of the factors which attacted me to this area is the relatively low level of restrictive firearms laws. I am free to own as many fireams as I can afford without any licencing or registration hassles, and I have availed myself of the opportunity to aquire a GA concealed weapons permit which is also honored in many of the states we hope to visit. Needless to say, NJ isn't on my short list of places to visit. Anyway, best of luck to you in your retirement Gene, and don't let the gun-grabbing libs up there get you down.
Thanks for the info, I kind of thought that was the way it was handled. I know that such characters as Ben Thompson, John Wesley Hardin, and Luke Short regularly carried guns in TX in the old days, and not many people would have tried to disarm those folks.