Progressives, Stop Using Black People to Lie About the Second Amendment

Progressives, Stop Using Black People to Lie About the Second Amendment
AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

As you might already know, dear reader, progressives using black Americans to perpetuate their lies and advance their agenda is one of my pet peeves. A recently-published Time Magazine interview is the latest example that is tightening my jaws.

In an article titled, “What the Buffalo Shooting Says About Black America’s Fraught Relationship With Guns,” author Josiah Bates interviews Carol Anderson, an African American studies professor at Emory University, in which both of these individuals display the typical level of ignorance as the rest of their fellow anti-gunners.

The article attempts to again argue that the Second Amendment is a racist law concocted by white supremacists to make it easier for them to slaughter black folks. The author claims the right to bear arms somehow makes it difficult for America to deal with its racial issues.

“The Buffalo shooting and other domestic white supremacist terrorist attacks on the country’s minority population–growing concerns for federal authorities–illustrate the difficulties of working toward racial reckoning in a firearm heavy nation,” Bates writes.

The author goes on to argue that “[t]he burden of America’s long love affair with guns disproportionately affects the Black community and has done so since the Second Amendment was written into law.”

The first question Bates asks Anderson, who wrote an entire book claiming the Second Amendment has negatively affected the black community, is how the terrorist attack in Buffalo illustrates that argument. She replied:

“It fits because of the framing of who black people are. [The shooter] believes in the replacement theory, the one that’s been spewed by Tucker Carlson and by Elise Stefanik about the ways that black people are a threat to the white community, that they’re going to take over, that black people are dangerous, and that they have to be removed, they have to be compelled to leave. That was so much of the genesis of the Second Amendment, that black people are a threat, that they are dangerous that they pose ill will upon whites, particularly slaveholding whites.”

I’ll call this lie number one. Anyone who knows even a little bit about America’s history knows the Second Amendment was created to ensure that the populace would be able to fight back against the government if and when it becomes tyrannical. Indeed, the colonies had lived under the oppressive rule of England, and the fact that they had weapons made it possible for them to successfully fight for their independence.

To make her point, Anderson claims – without evidence – that the right to a “well-regulated militia” was not about opposing tyranny, but about oppressing black people. “In early America, that militia was really about controlling the enslaved population and putting down slave revolts,” she said. “That’s what they were afraid of. Without the militia, without their guns, they felt they would be left defenseless.”

For starters, whites were already allowed to own guns while blacks were not. The Second Amendment simply enshrined the protection of that right into law, so that government could not pass measures designed to disarm the public. To put it simply, whites did not need the Second Amendment to put down slave rebellions – the law already mandated that blacks could not legally own firearms and the government back then was decidedly anti-black.

Bates then asked about the “correlation between white supremacy and gun rights in American today.” Here is part of her response:

“One of the things I laid out in the book is that in this period that we’re in right now, the standard-bearers that we see as being the right to Second Amendment citizenship, stand your ground and open carry. When that is applied to Black folks they don’t have those rights. In terms of stand your ground, white people are 10 times more likely to walk away with a justifiable homicide ruling when they kill somebody Black than when somebody Black kills somebody White.”

The data on this is murky. There aren’t many studies on this particular subject; some do suggest racial bias, while others do not. But for the sake of argument, I’ll pretend Anderson’s argument is accurate. Even in that case, it does not prove the Second Amendment is racist – it would prove the state is racist in how it applies its laws. If there is racial bias in how states apply their “stand your ground” laws, then it is the bias that must be addressed, not the Second Amendment.

The author is then asked about the increase in black Americans becoming gun owners and why this is happening. Anderson replied:

Part of what is driving it was the Trump years and the reality of Black folks basically being on their own. Nobody was going to come to rescue them. So they were going to have to defend themselves, kind of the same way that was happening after the Civil War. The same way that was happening in the rise of Jim Crow, where you had Black folks arming themselves, because they could not rely upon law enforcement to protect them from the violence.

She almost got it right. I had such high hopes for the professor. But black folks aren’t buying guns in higher numbers because of former President Donald Trump. The trend started only a couple of years ago – not during the rest of the four years he was in office. The increase in gun ownership in the black community coincides with the skyrocketing crime rates that have occurred all over the country. Being that blacks have been disproportionately impacted by the uptick in violent crime, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they are arming themselves. They understand they can’t depend on the police to safeguard them from violent crimes.

What folks like Anderson don’t want us to know is that it is actually the gun control movement that has been racist from its inception in the United States. It can be traced back as far as the 17th century, when Virginia prohibited black people, free and enslaved, from owning guns. In the 1800s, the Black Codes imposed in the south prevented freedmen from possessing firearms. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan was created in large part to terrorize blacks and ensure they were not armed.

Even today’s gun control laws discriminate against black and brown Americans by making it cost-prohibitive for these folks to obtain permits to carry firearms. Black Americans should be armed. In the supermarket where the terrorist attack took place, only one black person – a security guard – had a weapon and was not able to stop the shooter. What if more of the people there had weapons? In fact, in his manifesto, the gunman said he targeted that particular area because he knew people were less likely to carry firearms. Those advocating for blacks to not take advantage of the right to bear arms are only making them more vulnerable to violence – whether from white supremacists or ordinary street thugs. Unfortunately, they are more concerned with pushing an agenda than saving black lives.

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