By John Naese
When discussing guns with gun control advocates, you can throw them off their game if you hit them with this little tidbit of information:
Gun control laws were originally passed in this country to control minorities.
They probably won’t believe you. That’s why I wrote about that subject, and 49 others, in my book, “Fifty Things You Didn’t Learn in School – But Should Have”. This book will be available soon from Science & Humanities Press, http://www.sciencehumanitiespress.com/
Here’s an excerpt:
Gun control in the US is an issue that always seems to pass the “good intentions” test. Politicians, the news media, and “good” people seem to think that anyone who proposes another gun control law must be doing it because they care. Even if people don’t believe gun control will work as advertised, they grant the good intentions and mostly go along, saying, “We HAVE to do something!”.
These same people will be the first to cry “racism!” when they see another law proposed (welfare reform, for example) that they perceive as hurting minorities. But the truth hurts: the very gun control laws they advocate have racist origins, and disproportionately affect minorities.
Prologue: In 1857, the Supreme Court decided that Dred Scott was still a slave. Part of the reasoning they gave was that if he were a free man, he would have all the rights of free men, including the right to own and carry a gun. They were horrified at the thought!
A few years later, a million Union troops did what the Supreme Court was afraid to do: they ended slavery. But attitudes are harder to change, and they take longer. Soon the newly readmitted states of the former Confederacy were passing Jim Crow laws, aimed at keeping blacks “in their place” in society.
Some of these were called the “Army and Navy” laws; the first modern gun control. Saying that cheap handguns were dangerous, several state legislatures required that only pistols that were the same as those used in the Army and Navy could be owned by citizens. These pistols cost sometimes hundreds of dollars, an impossible sum for a sharecropper or other poor black. And that was the idea: these Army and Navy laws were seldom if ever prosecuted against whites – but if a black person were found with a non-standard gun, he could expect severe punishment (remember, this was also the era of lynching). Blacks were faced with an impossible dilemma: face the Klan unarmed, or take the chance of being caught and sent to prison (or worse) for violating the gun control law.
Blacks were not the only minority negatively affected by gun control laws. In the early 20th century in New York City, it was not at all uncommon to see signs in shop windows: Help Wanted – No Irish Need Apply. In response to the influx of immigrants from Ireland and from Eastern Europe, New York passed the Sullivan Law in 1910, which prohibited the possession of a gun without a permit. And guess who got the permits – the politically connected. Who couldn’t get a permit? You guessed it, the immigrants.
So what, you say. So the origins of gun control are racist. It’s not racist now, and it’s an even better idea today, you say. Well, if you say that, you’re wrong. Local or state governments pass most modern gun control laws. Guns are most restricted in the large cities – New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. And where do large numbers of minority citizens live? The big cities. And where is crime the worst? The big cities with the restrictive gun control laws. Where do citizens most need guns for protection from criminals, because the police are overwhelmed? Right again, if you said the big cities.
Now that you know this (you should have learned about the Army and Navy laws and the Sullivan Law in school, but you didn’t, did you? That’s OK, that’s why I wrote this book) it kind of takes a little luster off of those “good intentions” people who only want to “do something” about crime and violence. Behind all those good intentions is the simple fact: gun control is race control, not crime control – and it’s un-American.