You’ve undoubtedly heard that if you don’t support President Obama, then you must be a racist. Well one good turn deserves another…
A Brief History of Gun Control
Gun control in the United States has an interesting history. Most people don’t know the racist roots of gun control, and that the original gun control laws were put in place to prevent blacks from possessing firearms.
It all started at our nation’s beginning, with slavery. Of course slaves weren’t allowed to own guns. This makes sense right? How can you enslave people if they were armed? The answer is obvious, you can’t.
Fast forward nearly 100 years. Following the American Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, black folks were now free men and women, which meant that they could keep and bear arms, right? Not in the south.
In response to blacks being free, many southern states adopted what are known as the Black Codes. The Black Codes were put in place to limit the rights of blacks, which included not allowing them to possess firearms. The year was 1865, and our nation had its first gun control laws.
Civil Rights Era
Gun control finds its roots in racism. Given this history, and the history of blacks in this country, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement were the Black Panthers. Yes, those Black Panthers.
The Black Panther Party was formed during theÂ Civil Rights Movement, and was originally organized to promote self-defenseÂ in response to police brutality.Â It’s no secret that up to and during this time, blacks were oppressed in this country, and faced violence on a daily basis from whites, including police. Naturally, black folks wanted to protect themselves, and the Black Panthers were born.
One example of this pro-gun activism happened on May 2, 1967. That day, about 30 armed Black Panther members entered the California legislature to protest the consideration of outlawing the right of private citizens to bear arms. There member Bobby Seale read from a prepared statement:
The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense calls upon the American people in general and the Black People in particular to take careful note of the racist California Legislature now considering legislation aiming at keeping black people disarmed and powerless at the very time that racist police agencies throughout the country intensify the terror, brutality, murder and repression of Black People…The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense believes that the time has come for Black people to arm themselves against this terror before it’s too late.
It was a peaceful demonstration and no one was hurt, but highlights who was fighting for the right to keep and bear arms during this time. And they weren’t alone.
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who, unlike the Black Panthers, was famous for nonviolent civil disobedience, also understood the need to protect himself. After his house was bombed in 1956, he applied for a permit to carry a concealed firearm. He was denied, but from that day on armed supporters guarded his home, a home which was described by Glenn Smiley as an “arsenal”.
The Black Panthers, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., and countless others who have been oppressed throughout history, understood the need for self-defense.
Now to be fair, the title of this post was tongue-in-cheek. I don’t really believe that everyone who is anti-gun is racist (more likely they are ignorant), but I hope that I’ve shown that gun control truly does have racist roots in this country.
Why Are Black Leaders Anti-Gun?
Given this history, a natural question to ask is why are black leaders anti-gun? For that, I will leave you with the wisdom of my buddy Mr. Colion Noir. Enjoy.