UCLA constitutional law professor Adam Winkler is not likely to be mistaken for a fervent gun rights advocate. As discussed here last November, he referred to the Tea Party’s generally gun-friendly stance as the “Tea Party’s Gun Problem,” in an article he wrote for the Daily Beast:
In state after state, Tea Party candidates like Rand Paul in Kentucky and Joe Miller in Alaska advocate for the adoption of radical “Firearms Freedom Acts.” These laws, which declare that the federal government has exceeded its constitutional authority by regulating gun sales, are intended to nullify the federal Brady Act, which requires background checks for most gun purchases. Eight states in the throes of Tea Party fervor, including Arizona, Utah, and South Dakota, have already enacted such laws—even though, as a federal court held last month, these laws are clearly unconstitutional.
In fact, he seems even to have borrowed a page from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) handbook, referring to Firearms Freedom Act-type laws (whereby states claim their Tenth Amendment power to preempt federal gun laws, over guns that do not move in interstate commerce) as “insurrectionist.”
The insurrectionist motive behind these laws is most obvious in Wyoming’s version of the Firearms Freedom Act. If a federal official tries to enforce federal gun laws in that state, he faces up to a year in jail.
Even Professor Winkler, though, recognizes what gun rights advocates have known all along–that “gun control” laws in the U.S. are rooted in racism and white supremacy–as Clayton Cramer has forcefully and skillfully argued for decades. From the Wall Street Journal:
In his research for “Gunfight,” Winkler also noted a close intersection between guns and racism. “It was a constant pressure among white racists to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans, because they would rise up and revolt.” he said. “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.
The CSGV is not going to like that. Their communications director, Ladd Everitt, proudly claims to have “debunked” what he refers to as a “smear”: the notion that the history of forcible citizen disarmament in this country is wedded to our nation’s most shameful chapters of racial oppresssion. In that piece, Everitt inexplicably cites instances of black resistance to white oppression failing–in large part because the blacks were prevented from adequately arming themselves–as evidence that armed resistance is useless, and that the means to wage effective armed resistance can therefore legitimately be outlawed.
Everitt’s article also claimed that prior to the summer of 2010 (when the Supreme Court ruled on the McDonald v. City of Chicago case), “you would have had to explore the darkest corners of the gun rights movement to find anyone openly exclaiming that ‘gun control is racist.’” Since a great many of us have been shouting that message a great deal longer than that, there would seem to have been rather a crowd of “darkest corners.”
Professor Winkler apparently missed the summer of 2010 deadline for “darkest corner” status, but if he drops the “Tea Party’s Gun Problem” silliness, he’s welcome as an honorary “dark corner,” regardless. CSGV’s and friends’ most desperate efforts notwithstanding, we shall overcome.
- An open letter that never closed
- ‘No Guns for Negroes’
- Black man with a gun: interview with Kenn Blanchard
- Violence Policy Center espouses ‘no guns for negroes’
- Elena Kagan, the NRA, and the KKK
- McDonald decision ‘racist’?
- Black community embracing McDonald decision?
- I’m One Of Those ‘Darkest Corners’….