The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old April 16, 2009, 05:36 PM   #1
orchidhunter
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2008
Posts: 320
Racist History of Handgun Bans in America

In the United States, the first efforts to prevent the ownership of firearms, in particular, handguns, were aimed at Blacks. The French Black Code (1751) required Louisiana colonists to stop and, "if necessary," beat "any black carrying any potential weapon. . . ." After Nat Turner's rebellion in 1831, the Virginia legislature made it illegal for free blacks "to keep or carry any firelock of any kind, any military weapon, or any powder or lead." In 1834, Tennessee revised Article XI, Section 26 of its Constitution to read "That the free white men of this State have a right to keep and bear arms for their common defense," inserting the words "free white men" to replace "freemen," whose rights were protected when the Constitution was ratified in 1796. (Clayton E. Cramer, "The Racist Roots of Gun Control," Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy, Winter 1995.)

Mass production techniques lowered the cost of many products, including firearms. After the Civil War, gun prices fell within the budgets of average citizens, including former slaves who, having been freed, were entitled to exercise the right to arms, long considered one of the features distinguishing citizenship from servitude. The Supreme Court had ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford (19 How. 393, 1857), "It (citizenship) would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased. . . and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went."

To prevent Blacks from arming themselves, southern states enacted the Black Codes, which "fixed the black population in serfdom, denying all political rights, excluding them from virtually any chance at economic or social advancement -- and, of course, forbidding them to own arms." (Don B. Kates, Jr., "Toward a History of Handgun Prohibition in the United States," Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out, Don B. Kates, Jr., Ed., North River Press, Inc, 1979.)

After ratification of the 14th Amendment (1868) and enactment of the Civil Rights Act (1875), several states responded by passing laws which on their face were race-neutral, but which in effect were not. Attorney Robert Dowlut observed, "It does not matter that a law on its face applies to all. A law will be deemed unconstitutional if the 'the reality is that the law's impact falls on the minority.'" ("Bearing Arms in State Bills of Rights, Judicial Interpretation, and Public Housing," St. Thomas Law Review, Vol. 5, Fall 1992.)

Among these laws, the forerunners of so-called "Saturday Night Special" legislation, was Tennessee's "Army and Navy" law (1879), which prohibited the sale of any "belt or pocket pistols, or revolvers, or any other kind of pistols, except army or navy pistol" models, among the most expensive, and largest, handguns of the day. (Such as the Colt Model 1960 Army, Model 1851 Navy, and Model 1861 Navy percussion cap revolvers, or Model 1873 Single-Action Army revolver.) The law thus prohibited small two-shot derringers and low-caliber rimfire revolvers, the handguns that most Blacks could afford.

20th Century Anti-Handgun Efforts in the U.S.

In 1911, New York passed the Sullivan Law, which to this day requires a person to obtain a license, issued at the discretion of police officials, to possess a handgun. The law was aimed at preventing handgun ownership by Italians and Irish immigrants of the period, then considered untrustworthy by New York legislators and police chiefs with different bloodlines. The National Firearms Act (1934), as originally proposed, would have required registration of handguns.

In 1968, Congress passed the Gun Control Act, ostensibly in reaction to the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. But even supporters of "gun control" have recognized another purpose to the law. Robert Sherrill wrote, "The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed not to control guns but to control blacks.... Inasmuch as the legislation finally passed in 1968 had nothing to do with the guns used in the assassinations of King and Robert Kennedy, it seems reasonable to assume that the law was directed at that other threat of the 1960s, more omnipresent than the political assassin -- namely, the black rioter....With the horrendous rioting of 1967 and 1968, Congress again was panicked toward passing some law that would shut off weapons access to blacks." (The Saturday Night Special, 1973.) B. Bruce-Briggs similarly noted, "It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the 'Saturday night special' is emphasized because it is cheap and is being sold to a particular class of people. The name is sufficient evidence -- the reference is to 'n-----town Saturday Night.'" ("The Great American Gun War," The Public Interest, Fall 1976.)

More recently, anti-handgun efforts have included laws or legislative proposals for registration, licensing, limits on the frequency of purchases, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines, bans on both small handguns ("Saturday Night Specials") and large handguns ("assault pistols"), and requirements that handguns (except those of the police) either be externally locked (rendering them useless for protection) or manufactured with non-existent internal devices to prevent the handgun from being used by anyone other than its rightful owner.

Conspicuously, the race-oriented history of "gun control" laws has escaped the attention of many in the civil rights community. Legal scholars Robert J. Cottrol and Raymond T. Diamond have written, "The history of blacks, firearms regulations, and the right to bear arms should cause us to ask new questions regarding the Second Amendment. . . . Perhaps a re-examination of this history can lead us to a modern realization of what the framers of the Second Amendment understood: that it is unwise to place the means of protection totally in the hands of the state, and that self-defense is also a civil right. orchidhunter
orchidhunter is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 05:49 PM   #2
hogdogs
Staff In Memoriam
 
Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Western Florida panhandle
Posts: 11,071
We used to not allow voting by woman and blacks... Also could beat yer woman just to keep her in line at point in time...
Glad it ain't like that anymore!
IBTL
Brent
hogdogs is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 05:51 PM   #3
homefires
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 8, 2007
Location: Deming New Mexico
Posts: 1,495
Good God! They still Have Slaves in Samelia Too! So what is your point?
homefires is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 06:07 PM   #4
Yellowfin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2007
Location: West Upstate NY
Posts: 2,303
Let's not forget the Mulford Act in California passed in 1967.
__________________
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus http://www.concealedcampus.org
New York gun owners unite! Join now! http://www.nyshooters.net
May Issue is the new Separate but Equal.
Yellowfin is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 06:37 PM   #5
Jofaba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 4, 2009
Posts: 322
Quote:
Good God! They still Have Slaves in Samelia Too! So what is your point?
education?

Quote:
IBTL
I know nothing about this, and have zero input. From what I read, it's a thinker and not sure what would cause a lock. If it's all wrong, then I understand.
Jofaba is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 08:17 PM   #6
hogdogs
Staff In Memoriam
 
Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Western Florida panhandle
Posts: 11,071
The reason for the lock is that we all agree that racism was a part of early America but it is now a part of history and we have moved ahead of that ignorance as a nation.
Brent
hogdogs is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 08:30 PM   #7
MrNiceGuy
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 16, 2008
Posts: 919
Many laws were instituted solely because of racism and were continued to save face in the wake of frivolous and falsified propaganda. This applies to areas like the criminalization of marijuana.

Many laws were instituted solely because of racism yet continue for everyone for the well being of the citizens. I believe this is closer to the situation with gun control.

The government needs to be careful when they take away rights. Doing so usually accomplishes nothing but criminalizing large portions of the population.

After the smashing success of prohibition, the government turned it's efforts to the war on drugs.... and since that is going so darned well... they figured, "hey, lets take guns away too"

Last edited by MrNiceGuy; April 16, 2009 at 08:35 PM.
MrNiceGuy is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 08:36 PM   #8
sam1chlt
Member
 
Join Date: January 11, 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 38
I thought it was taboo to bring subjects like this up on the forum.. I guess it is OK for some and not for others.....racism??
sam1chlt is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 08:56 PM   #9
Pinky Carruthers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2004
Location: Rocky Mountains
Posts: 574
I thought it was common knowledge to anyone involved in 2nd Amendment issues that the origin of gun control laws was based on race. Am I mistaken?
__________________
"Love lost, fire at will
Dum Dum bullets and shoot to kill
I hear dive bombers, and Empire down."
SOM
Pinky Carruthers is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 09:26 PM   #10
ltdave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 16, 2005
Posts: 225
372 PA 1927 Michigan Compiled Laws...

this relates to purchasing and possessing handguns...

its all about Dr Ossian Sweet...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossian_Sweet
ltdave is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 10:43 PM   #11
Wildalaska
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: In my own little weird world in Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 14,174
Quote:
In 1911, New York passed the Sullivan Law, which to this day requires a person to obtain a license, issued at the discretion of police officials, to possess a handgun. The law was aimed at preventing handgun ownership by Italians and Irish immigrants of the period, then considered untrustworthy by New York legislators and police chiefs with different bloodlines.
I can see that whoever wrote that knows very little about the Sullivan law

WildsullivanAlaska TM
Wildalaska is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 11:00 PM   #12
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 2,967
In his Message to Congress urging passage of the Ku Klux Acts, President Granted noted that among the Klan's many crimes was that "they have conspired to deny Negro citizens the right to own and bear arms."
SIGSHR is offline  
Old April 16, 2009, 11:39 PM   #13
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,226
Holy cow, not this stuff again!
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...archid=3224926

By golly, the founding of the United States involved racism! Manifest destiny was racist! So what of it? It is ancient history.


By the way orchidhunter, nice research. You signed your name to the bottom like it is yours, but it isn't. You "borrowed" it from the NRA. The copyright says it may be reproduced, but the expect it to be reproduced with proper credit given to the source.

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactShe...=137&issue=020

The document you borrowed has been around for at least 6 years, for crying out loud, and even then, the information isn't new.

What is even more troubling is that the opening sentence of the document is apparently WRONG! At least according to this site...http://www.lizmichael.com/racistgc.htm

The NRA's opening line borrowed by orchidhunter reads...
Quote:
In the United States, the first efforts to prevent the ownership of firearms, in particular, handguns, were aimed at Blacks. The French Black Code (1751) required Louisiana colonists to stop and, "if necessary," beat "any black carrying any potential weapon. . . ."
Apparently several laws preceded the 1751 laws.

Quote:
1640 Virginia Race-based total gun and self-defense ban.
"Prohibiting negroes, slave and free, from carrying
weapons including clubs." (The Los Angeles Times, "To
Fight Crime, Some Blacks Attack Gun Control," January
19, 1992)

1640 Virginia Race-based total gun ban. "That all such free
Mulattoes, Negroes and Indians...shall appear without
arms." [7 The Statues at Large; Being a Collection of
all the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of
the Legislature, in the Year 1619, p. 95 (W.W. Henning
ed. 1823).] (GMU CR LJ, p. 67)

1712 Virginia Race-based total gun ban. "An Act for Preventing
Negroes Insurrections." (Henning, p. 481) (GMU CR LJ,
p. 70)

1712 South Carolina Race-based total gun ban. "An act for the better
ordering and governing of Negroes and slaves." [7
Statutes at Large of South Carolina, p. 353-54 (D.J.
McCord ed. 1836-1873).] (GMU CR LJ, p. 70)
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher."
-- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 05:07 AM   #14
maestro pistolero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 16, 2007
Posts: 2,047
Why would this be locked? It's gun related, and some would argue, relevant today. Areas with the most restrictive guns laws are often areas with a high African American population.

I think this may be the elephant in the living room in Washington D.C.
maestro pistolero is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 05:37 AM   #15
chemgirlie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 3, 2009
Location: WI
Posts: 331
One could argue that may issue laws all have the potential to be used selectively for or against a particular race. If you live in a may issue state and your local sheriff disapproves of the amount of melanin you have, you could be out of your right to carry because of your color, and it wold be totally legal.
chemgirlie is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 07:27 AM   #16
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,226
Quote:
Why would this be locked? It's gun related, and some would argue, relevant today. Areas with the most restrictive guns laws are often areas with a high African American population.

I think this may be the elephant in the living room in Washington D.C.
You would need to show cause and effect. Even then the current gun laws are not specifically racist. chemgirlie points out some "may issue" sorts of situations where personal bias may come into play that may be racist, but it also may be sexist, classist, or just plain personal. However, the law itself isn't racist.

As for areas with high African American populations often being areas with the most restrictive gun laws, no, not really. That would put the South in league with the most restrictive gun laws and that isn't happening. Illinois has some awfully restrictive gun laws but only about 17% African American population whereas Alabama has more like 27% and much less restrictive gun laws. Georgia has 30% African Americans and less gun laws and Mississippi has more than double the percentage at Illinois at 37%, but less gun laws.

DC is a particularly unique case that happens to house the seat of government. To blame its laws on race alone would be stretching inference beyond the data.
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher."
-- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 07:38 AM   #17
hogdogs
Staff In Memoriam
 
Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Western Florida panhandle
Posts: 11,071
The areas of most gun control tend to be big cities that allowed their criminals to run a muck until honest folks get tired of it. Some of those honest folks got harder to be victimized while other citizens sided with the politicians and aided the passing of measures that did nothing more than prevent legal upstanding folks from safely arming them selves... I bet the vast majority of folks who abide by gun laws are WHITE so the white race is being discriminated against!
Brent
hogdogs is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 07:52 AM   #18
#18indycolts
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2006
Location: Indpls
Posts: 1,159
Quote:
In the United States, the first efforts to prevent the ownership of firearms, in particular, handguns, were aimed at Blacks.
That really shouldn't be too surprising considering what this country was founded upon. Racism, tyranny, genocide and class warfare.
#18indycolts is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 08:50 AM   #19
orchidhunter
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2008
Posts: 320
Double Naught Spy, The only thing the NRA "expects" of me, is my dues. Give some thought as to why they don't ask that credit be given to them. orchidhunter
orchidhunter is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 09:35 AM   #20
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,276
Quote:
Originally Posted by #18indycolts
That really shouldn't be too surprising considering what this country was founded upon. Racism, tyranny, genocide and class warfare.
#18indycolts, if that's your reading of the history of this country, I pity you.

As a politically active gun owner, I sure don't want you, or anyone with those views, on my side.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 10:30 AM   #21
Wildalaska
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: In my own little weird world in Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 14,174
Quote:
#18indycolts, if that's your reading of the history of this country, I pity you.
Well Al, if you take out the tyranny and class warfare arguments he does have a point, albiet overstated...where would we be without rascism and genocide, historically apropos as it was...

Wildremember...thewestwaspittsburgAlaska TM
Wildalaska is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 10:36 AM   #22
#18indycolts
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2006
Location: Indpls
Posts: 1,159
Anti- sorry if you don't feel that way, but I think I hit the nail directly on the head. This country was built on greed (taking land by force, the enslavement of a people and the ruling elite keeping the rest of the population in check. It all started with the not-so-good of a guy Chris Columbus. I'm not trying to argue here, just stating the facts of what our core principles were and are.
#18indycolts is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 10:42 AM   #23
a7mmnut
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2009
Location: NC Foothills
Posts: 1,150
Yeah, this is really old stuff that was in print for years and years. Do we really need it THIS year? How about "reverse descrimination influences gun sales nationwide"? With all the minority gangs toting around busloads of illegal guns, how can digging up old articles for inflammatory use be of any importance to an Obamanation? -7-
a7mmnut is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 11:17 AM   #24
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,244
Keep your emotions in check, people.

Yes, this subject has been discussed before.

But just because it's been discussed once or twice or whatever DOESN'T MEAN THAT EVERYONE, EVERY NEW MEMBER, EVERY NEW ADVOCATE OF THE SHOOTING SPORTS, EVERY NEW GUNOWNER, IS FAMILIAR WITH IT!

So, I'll issue this warning:

If all you have to "contribute" to this discussion is a mini-screed questioning the motives of the original poster, bitching about the tenancy of the post, or anything else, STAY OUT OF IT.

Do I make myself clear?

Any more messages that consist of nothing by "WAAH! WAAH! WE KNOW THIS! will be summarily deleted and the poster will be dealt with accordingly.

To sum it up?

STOP YOUR DAMNED THREAD CRAPPING!
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old April 17, 2009, 11:23 AM   #25
sholling
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 1999
Location: Hemet (middle of nowhere) California
Posts: 4,254
This discussion is still valid today. Many states instituted may-issue CCW laws precisely to keep guns out of the hands of minorities. That's still used today to restrict CCWs to the political and economic elite. Those origins need to be well known and discussed precisely so that we can rub the antis noses in their racist and elitist goals.
__________________
Proud Life Member: National Rifle Association, California Rifle & Pistol Association, and the Second Amendment Foundation.
Annual Member: Revolutionary War Veterans Association (Project Appleseed) and the Madison Society.
sholling is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11754 seconds with 7 queries