Gun Rights Actually Are a Civil Rights Issue
It is becoming increasingly fashionable for those who support gun control to compare the post-Parkland, student-driven movement to the civil rights movements of earlier generations.
However, the author’s historical argument, whether intentionally or not, actually reveals that it is gun control, not gun rights, that generally has been used for the purposes of white supremacy.
Gun rights and civil rights, historically, have gone hand in hand.
In a recent interview on “The View,” former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice highlighted the importance of preserving the Second Amendment as an individual right, in some cases the last line of defense in protecting life and liberty.
“Let me tell you why I’m a defender of the Second Amendment,” Rice said on the show. “I was a little girl growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, in the late ‘50s, early ‘60s. There was no way that Bull Connor and the Birmingham police were going to protect you.”
“I’m sure if Bull Connor had known where those guns were, he would have rounded them up,” she said. “So I don’t favor some things like gun registration.”
‘The Work of the Abolitionists Is Not Finished’
In the aftermath of the Civil War, a ferocious battle emerged over how to preserve both federalism and the individual rights of citizens in the states.
Gun rights, in some cases, were the only safeguard of liberty and personal safety.
Some of the first states to pass highly restrictive gun control legislation were, in fact, in the Reconstruction-era South. They implemented so-called “black codes” to restrict the rights of former slaves, including the right to bear arms.
One 1866 Alabama law baldly stated that “it shall not be lawful for any freedman, mulatto, or free person of color in this state, to own firearms, or carry about his person a pistol or other deadly weapon.”
The law also made it illegal “to sell, give, or lend firearms or ammunition of any description whatever, to any freedman, free negro, or mulatto.”
Famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass warned about these abuses and said “the work of the abolitionists is not finished” until the Second Amendment and others rights could be protected.
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