Guns can even the odds between the weak and the strong. It’s no surprise that gun control has often been targeted at the most historically oppressed group in America—blacks. From Carey Wedler at theantimedia.org:
Americans calling for gun control in 2018 often argue that a cursory glance at history proves there was never meant to be an unrestrained right to own firearms — that there were always meant to be restrictions on gun ownership. In at least one respect, they are correct: United States history shows there has always been an element of racism underpinning gun control. From the colonial era to the post-civil war era to the 1960s, laws have sought to disempower African Americans by limiting their ability to protect themselves.
Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor who has written extensively on the history of gun control in America, has explained the long legacy of gun control as it relates to this country’s long legacy of racism (though not all gun control measures were racist in measure, the institutional racism inherent in many policies is indisputable).
“In the colonies before the Revolution and in the states right after, racially discriminatory gun laws were commonplace,” he wrote in an article published by the New Republic in 2013.
“Fearing revolts, lawmakers enacted statutes barring slaves from possessing firearms or other weapons. That ban was often applied equally to free blacks, who otherwise enjoyed most rights, lest they join in an uprising against the slave system. Where blacks were allowed to possess arms, as in Virginia in the early 1800s, they first had to obtain permission from local officials.”
After the civil war, Southern states passed the Black Codes, which banned black Americans from owning guns. Acknowledging that gun control laws are not always effective, Winkler explained:
“You can draw up any law you like, but people don’t necessarily comply. To enforce these laws, racists began to form posses that would go out at night in large groups, generally wearing disguises, and terrorize black homes, seizing every gun they could find. These groups took different names depending on locale: the Black Cavalry in Alabama, the Knights of the White Camellia in Louisiana, the Knights of the Rising Sun in Texas. In time, they all came to be known by the moniker of one such posse begun in Pulaski, Tennessee after the war: the Ku Klux Klan.”
To continue reading: Gun Control in America Has Always Been About Disarming Black People