How tyrannical governments use guns to control minorities

For centuries, governments have used restrictive gun laws to control their citizens — subjects, really. Whether you’re fighting against slavery, racism or an oppressive government, tyranny is tyranny. We have the 2nd Amendment to protect us from exactly that.

The president of the Frederick Douglass Society explains how gun control was used in the south to keep African-Americans from fighting back. They needed to be prevented from defending themselves against a government and organizations, like the KKK, that were attacking them in the streets.


The same is true of the reason for the 2nd Amendment — our founders put it in our Constitution so that we could fight back against our government if necessary.

Adam Winkler, a Constitutional law professor at UCLA and contributor to The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post explained previously in the Wall Street Journal (bolding added for emphasis):

[The history of gun control in America] was a constant pressure among white racists to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans, because they would rise up and revolt. … The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns. During the Civil War, blacks kept guns for the first time – either they served in the Union army and they were allowed to keep their guns, or they buy guns on the open market where for the first time there’s hundreds of thousands of guns flooding the marketplace after the war ends. So they arm up because they know who they’re dealing with in the South. White racists do things like pass laws to disarm them, but that’s not really going to work. So they form these racist posses all over the South to go out at night in large groups to terrorize blacks and take those guns away. If blacks were disarmed, they couldn’t fight back.

The Nat Turner rebellion of 1831, when some African-Americans shot at white slave owners and set their slaves free, was a turning point for the south. Tennessee changed its state constitution from “the freemen of this state have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence” to “the free white men of this state have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence” (bolding added for emphasis). North Carolina, Florida, and New York, among others, passed laws in the 1800s that were fundamentally racist, ensuring that whites could own guns but that African-Americans could not.

Guns have been used as a control mechanism for centuries, utilized to keep minority groups — ethnic, religious, and class — downtrodden and defenseless. As a Dec. 1985 article in Reason Magazine explains (bolding below is for emphasis):

As early as 1541, England enacted a law that limited legal possession of handguns and crossbows (weapons that were considered criminally dangerous) to those with incomes exceeding 100 pounds a year, though long-gun possession wasn’t restricted — except for Catholics, a potentially rebellious minority after the English Reformation. Catholics couldn’t legally keep militia-like weapons in their homes, as other Englishmen were encouraged to do, but they could legally possess defensive weapons — except, as Bill of Rights authority Joyce Lee Malcolm has noted in her essay “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: The Common Law Tradition,” during times “of extreme religious tension.”

So, when they really needed those weapons during times of “extreme religious tension” to defend their land, property and family, they were not allowed to own them.

The Reason article continues:

According to Malcolm, when William and Mary came to the English throne, they were presented with a list of rights, one of which was aimed at staving off any future attempt at arms confiscation — “all Protestant citizens had a right to keep arms for their defence.” England then remained free of restrictive gun legislation until 1920 when, even though the crime rate was very low, concern about the rebellious Irish and various political radicals ushered in today’s draconian gun laws. (Colin Greenwood, former superintendent of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police, has discovered in his research at Cambridge University that the English gun crime rate is significantly higher now than it was before that nation’s strict gun laws were enacted.)

The British kept gun control at bay, crime rates were low, and then they decided to ban guns, increasing the crime rate — all because they wanted to control the Irish and other political radicals.

Furthermore, Reason explains:

By contrast, in 17th-century Japan the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate was able to establish a rigidly stratified society that deemphasized the development of guns and restricted arms possession to a warrior aristocracy, the samurai. When Commodore Perry “reopened” Japan to the rest of the world, in the middle of the 19th century, few Japanese were familiar with guns … But a citizenry without a gun-owning tradition was easily kept in place in a collectivist society where individuals were more susceptible to formal and informal social controls than are westerners. …

Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and South Africa are modern examples of repressive governments that use gun control as a means of social control. Raymond G. Kessler, a lawyer-sociologist who has provided some of the most sociologically sophisticated insights into the gun control issue, suggests in a Law and Policy Quarterly article that attempts to regulate the civilian possession of firearms have five political functions. They “(1) increase citizen reliance on government and tolerance of increased police powers and abuse; (2) help prevent opposition to the government; (3) facilitate repressive action by government and its allies; (4) lesson the pressure for major or radical reform; and (5) can be selectively enforced against those perceived to be a threat to government.”

Anyone affiliated with the Tea Party should be specifically concerned about item number five, and this is why many on the right are opposed to universal background checks. A government with the intent of silencing the minority could easily create a background check that certain people could not pass, even if they were not criminals, just by adding a certain flag to one’s record.

Tyranny is just that, whether you’re an African-American in the south in the 1800s and 1900s, a Catholic in England, or a white middle-class worker in Ohio.

All people, regardless of situation or minority government, should be allowed to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. Gun control demonstrates the attempt by those tyrannical governments to prevent people from being free and from defending themselves.

Whatever today’s liberals call it — gun violence legislation, doing it for Gabby, or any other phrase — restricting gun ownership leads to only one thing: tyranny. And history proves it.

Sara Marie Brenner is the Creator/Editor of TheBrennerBrief.com.