The American Left have long claimed to be for equality and progress; the history of the Left, on the other hand, tells a different story, one of prejudice and oppression. During a campaign stop in Chicago, Hillary Clinton said, “Saving [people] from gun violence is a civil rights issue”–and she is not wrong. Before the Civil Rights era, arguments for gun control had undeniable racial undertones.
In the decades following the Civil War, the South did not want African-Americans to have guns, especially not former slaves. Gun control laws were meant to keep blacks submissive, and Alabama and Louisiana banned firearms for black people. Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee implemented black codes which not only restricted gun rights, but many other basic freedoms as well. When blacks could finally own firearms legally in some Southern states in the early 1900s, the KKK tried to prevent this. The 1911 Sullivan Act, which stated that in order to obtain a firearm permit one had to get permission from law enforcement, and the 1967 Mulford Act, which prevented citizens from carrying guns in public in California, were enacted to prevent African Americans from obtaining firearms. These laws are still active today, despite their racially motivated origins. They are outdated, tracing back to an intense, racially-charged era.
And by the way, guess who controlled state legislatures in the post-Reconstruction South: Left-wing politicians, the same ones who advocated secession or compromise with the South before and during the Civil War.
Even today, gun control is prominent in cities with large African-American populations. In cities like Detroit, Baltimore, and the District of Columbia it is very hard, if not near impossible, to obtain a firearm. Not only do these gun control laws often fail to stop violent crime in these cities, but they have survived past their proper expiration date, back in pre-Civil Rights era America. Gun control has historically kept African Americans and other minority groups defenseless. It is not a coincidence that the cities with the strictest gun laws also have a large African-American population. Nykea Aldridge was a black woman in Chicago who was a victim of gun violence. She was shot and killed by two gang members while walking her baby through the city. The two men who killed her were already on parole for a previous arrest having to do with gun violence and therefore by law, not allowed to have a weapon; however, they obtained one anyway because criminals do not care about laws. Dwyane Wade, Nykea’s cousin, has called for more gun control in Chicago, despite the city already having some of the most stringent laws in the United States. 75% of victims of gun violence in Chicago are black and only about 19% of African Americans own firearms in the United States. African Americans are also the largest victims of racially motivated hate crimes in the United States, but they are all too often defenseless. This is not to say the Left is consciously perpetuating a racist scheme to keep African Americans unarmed, but contrary to popular belief, the Left does not necessarily have African American interests at heart with strict gun control laws.
Gun control has a natural appeal, but while the primary impetus may no longer be deliberate racism, the Left still does not have minority interests at heart when they resort to it. Frederick Douglass once said, “A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.” The right to keep and bear arms ought to be secured for people regardless of race or ethnicity. The Second Amendment is the great guarantor of our other rights: let’s never forget that.