While we certainly agree that firearms and gun rights are for everyone — left, right and center — it never ceases to amaze us how much of the Second Amendment and America’s history of gun rights the left gets totally and completely wrong. Then again, this is Vox, so….
Not everyone should have access to guns — domestic abusers, for example, have proven by their actions that they cannot be trusted with that kind of responsibility — and not everyone needs it. No one without a significant amount of training should be handling a firearm at all, which is why I think designated community patrols made up of well-trained, highly trusted individuals who are chosen by and held accountable to said community (and who do not hold any or less power than anyone else due to their position) is a far better and more equitable defense model than messy “everyone gets a gun!” rhetoric.
I’m also not interested in creating a parallel cultural universe wherein balaclava-clad “gun bunnies” pose for the ’gram (I’d much rather shore up support for Rojava’s all-women YPG Women’s Defense Unit). I’m interested in reclaiming the notion of armed self-defense from those who have long used it as a cudgel to repress dissent and terrorize marginalized communities, and emphasizing its potential as a transformative tool toward collective liberation.
There is a long history of leftist gun ownership, and a concurrent theme of state repression against it. As author and anarchist scott crow notes, “our current gun control laws disproportionately hobble poor communities and communities of color.” As far as the state is concerned, black people were never meant to own guns at all; the Second Amendment was intended in part as a means of controlling the enslaved black population and suppressing possible uprisings.