Only police should have guns?

Humans are complicated and confusing creatures. We often cling to misguided beliefs and self-destructive philosophies, even as we decry the impacts and results of those beliefs and philosophies. One of the most confusing examples of this is when a minority that has suffered oppression and abuse advocates for policies that enable that abuse and remove options for protecting against future abuse.

The right to arms has long been recognized as a core distinction between a citizen and a subject, a free man and a slave. Virtually all gun control laws in the U.S. prior to the 1970s were aimed primarily at blacks, first in fear of slave rebellions, then in fear of retribution from freed slaves, then in fear of “black crime.” California’s ban on open carry of long guns was a direct result of members of the Black Panther Party legally carrying guns out on the streets and actually into the State Capitol. The Ku Klux Klan, which was a recognized political force in the 1920s and ’30s, helped pass gun control laws in several states as a way of keeping blacks defenseless. Many of those laws remain on the books today, including in North Carolina where a bill to repeal a Jim Crow-era purchase permit law fell to heavy-handed political maneuvering this year.

For decades African-Americans struggled for the unencumbered right to arms. It was one of the core liberties identified in the early days of the civil rights movement and was one of the central objectives of the NAACP. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached pacifism and non-violence as a tactic for advancing the cause of equality, but he did so surrounded by armed men prepared to defend him and his followers. The Deacons for Defense and Justice not only guarded black leaders, black churches, and black neighborhoods, they represented an ominous shadow in the background behind Dr. King. Though they maintained a strictly defensive posture, many political leaders new about the Deacons, and they feared what would happen if the civil rights movement ever shifted from Dr. King’s doctrine of non-violence to the Deacons’ philosophy of armed resistance. Whites were more willing to negotiate with Dr. King in order to avoid having to negotiate with men like the Deacons.
The Deacons

So with America’s gun control laws founded in racism, African-American communities roiling over racially motivated police brutality and unjustified shootings of blacks, inner-city crime back on the rise and a heinous, racially motivated attack on a Bible study group in Charleston, the response from black leaders and America’s first black president is a call for more restrictions on firearms. As Dr. Phil might say, “How’s that been working for you so far?”

Why on earth would a group of people who feel they are being oppressed and targeted by government agents – not to mention hate groups and street criminals – advocate for only government agents (and criminals) being armed? It makes no rational sense...

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