About a month ago, we discussed UCLA Constitutional law professor Adam Winkler’s contention that–just as Clayton Cramer has argued for decades–the history of “gun control” is rooted in racism. The Wall Street Journal brings us this Adam Winkler quote:
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.
As I predicted last month, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence didn’t like that one bit, especially given Winkler’s reputation as a moderate on gun rights/”gun control” issues. CSGV communications director Ladd Everrit had in the past, after all, claimed that pointing out the racist history of restrictive gun laws was a “smear,” seen only in the “darkest corners of the gun rights movement.” Just as expected, Everitt tried to strike back, rising up in righteous indignation at a talk presented by Professor Winkler, chastising him for the “smear.”
Everitt had tried to pretend that Winkler was accusing current “gun control” advocates of being motivated by racism, despite his position clearly being that it’s the history of oppressive gun laws that is rooted in racism–and not that every forcible citizen disarmament now is primarily motivated by the desire to win a racial power struggle.
In response to Winkler’s point that it is important not to try to gloss over “gun control’s” ugly skeleton in the closet, Everitt wants us to “get over it?”
Why? If African-Americans have moved beyond the past and strongly support contemporary gun control proposals (which even Winkler acknowledges are not motivated by race), why should it be an issue?
But Winkler may have retreated farther than he needed to, because many gun laws on the books right now place a disproportionate burden on racial minorities. Specifically, every policy that drives up the cost of gun ownership and use imposes a wealth test on exercise of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. Given the socio-economic realities, such a wealth test is inherently racist in effect, if not by intent.
Even avid “gun control” advocate Robert Sherrill made this point in his book, The Saturday Night Special (itself an ugly, racist term):
The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed not to control guns but to control blacks, and inasmuch as a majority of Congress did not want to do the former but were ashamed to show that their goal was the latter, the result was that they did neither. Indeed, this law, the first gun-control law passed by Congress in thirty years, was one of the grand jokes of our time.
Exacerbating the unforgivable injustice of disarming the poor is the fact that this is the demographic most at risk from violent crime, and thus most in need of an effective means of self-defense.
Amusingly, Everitt misses few of what he views as opportunities to play the race card himself, referring to gun rights advocates as “white militia guys” (and refusing to explain the lily-white composition of CSGV’s staff in their video), and going so far as to claim that “the gun rights movement is racist.”
Projection much, Ladd? We shall overcome.
- Disarming the poor
- Inherent Discrimination
- ‘KKK began as gun-control organization’–confirms ‘Racist Roots of Gun Control’
- More Racism and Gun Control
- @CSGV’s Ladd Everitt’s Violent Assault on Strawmen
- Denial is a Deep Flowing River in @CSGV land