black women woman gun owner
Stayce Robinson poses for a portrait in Decatur, Ga., with her AR-15. Robinson, 49, from Douglasville, Ga., is an entrepreneur and tax analyst for a software company. She also is among the ranks of the nation's black women who own a firearm. (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)
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By Olivia Rondeau and Hannah Cox

The ACLU fired shots on Twitter last month, claiming that the Second Amendment is “racist” alongside an article and podcast episode that posed the question “Do Black People Have the Right to Bear Arms?”

The article, written by Ines Santos, claimed that gun violence in America — which she labeled an “epidemic” caused by widespread “vigilante” firearm ownership — negatively impacts black people because of racially discriminatory policing. “What is absent in the intense debates on gun rights in America is the intrinsic anti-blackness of the unequal enforcement of gun laws,” she wrote.

Santos went on to say that racism determined the Second Amendment’s inclusion in the Bill of Rights.

These are hefty charges worth examining. Let’s break down the claims made here and review the history.

The Second Amendment has indeed been selectively upheld throughout our nation’s history, with gun control frequently being used to block black Americans from accessing their right to self-defense. Additionally, enforcement of gun control laws has been discriminatory, and the rhetoric around guns has often framed black people as a threat.

But to leave the narrative there ignores a rich history of black people using guns to free themselves from oppression. Let’s review.

Before the Civil War ended, black people were prohibited from owning guns under the “Slave Codes” and “Black Codes.” For example, under the 1806 Louisiana Black Code, Chapter 33, Section 19 statute, slaves were banned from using firearms or any other “offensive weapons.”

Under the 1819 Acts of South Carolina, slaves without the company of white people or a slave master’s written permission were prohibited from using or carrying firearms “unless they were hunting or guarding the master’s plantation.”

These laws were put into place to hinder black people from using arms to rise up and break the shackles of slavery. But throughout the history of American chattel slavery, black heroes did use guns to free themselves and others. The most notable example of this was Harriet Tubman, who carried a pistol on her missions to free slaves as well as a sharp-shooting rifle during the Civil War. Mary Fields (better known as Stagecoach Mary) was a former slave and one of the first two black women to serve as a “star route” mail carrier. She famously used two guns to defend herself and the mail from thieves along her route.

The Freedmen’s Bureau Bill of 1865, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Civil Rights Act of 1870, and the Fourteenth Amendment — ratified in 1868 — knocked down the overtly racist Slave Codes and should have made the Second Amendment applicable to all citizens. However, in the 1870s, racists in power turned to the use of “facially neutral laws” to continue blocking black people from gun ownership. These laws did not explicitly state that black people were the target, but the end result was the same.

How did they achieve this? They used things like police-issued licenses, permit laws, and business and transaction taxes on guns that disproportionately affected black people, thus successfully disarming them. One of the first major examples of these laws was the 1870 Tennessee “An Act to Preserve the Peace and Prevent Homicide,” which banned the sale of all handguns except the expensive “Army and Navy model handgun” which was more affordable to white people.

In the early 1900s, racially charged acts of mass atrocity such as the Tulsa Race Massacre and the Atlanta Massacre caused leaders in the black community to organize for self-defense, continuing the rich and powerful history of black people arming themselves to rise up against their oppressors.

In subsequent decades, as cracks began to show and eventually break Jim Crow in the South, the armed resistance of black Americans grew more organized.

The Deacons for Defense and Justice were formed in 1965 to fight against white supremacist terrorism in Louisiana and Mississippi with .38 special revolvers. When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the “Meredith March Against Fear” for black voter registration in Mississippi, they provided the security. Their presence in the deep South also deterred the Ku Klux Klan from attacking the black community in many instances.

This exercise of the black community’s Second Amendment rights led to and helped ensure the success of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

But the history doesn’t stop there. In response to racially discriminatory policing in California, the Black Panthers began armed patrolling in black neighborhoods to “copwatch” in the late 1960s. In 1967, the Mulford Act, named after Republican Assemblyman Don Mulford, was signed into law by then-Governor Ronald Reagan to stop the Panthers from armed protesting. The bill was supported by both parties in the state House, as well as the NRA, according to The policy effectively banned open carry in California, and it stemmed directly from the Black Panthers embracing their Second Amendment rights.

By no means was this the end of discriminatory gun control laws or enforcement in our country.

To date, black Americans are more likely than any other group to suffer the adverse impacts of gun control laws. Urban cities with concentrated black populations have the strictest gun laws, and black people are more likely to be convicted of and subjected to a firearms offense carrying a mandatory minimum. In addition, stop-and-frisk, infamous for its role in the police harassment of black Americans, was employed to enforce gun control measures.

To conclude, the ACLU is correct in its allegations that gun control has at times been racially written and enforced. But abundant historical evidence shows that Second Amendment rights, when firmly asserted, have been crucial to black Americans in their fight against oppression and white supremacy.

Finding: TRUE

It is clear that gun control has been used in systemically racist ways, and that gun rights have often only been upheld for some groups of people. But does that mean the Second Amendment is inherently racist?

Good principles have often been defended for the wrong reasons in our society. Many accuse the left of defending the right to free movement out of a desire to increase their voting base, for one example. If true, does that mean the principle of free movement is wrong? Certainly not. Such is the case with the Second Amendment. The principle is good, even if the arguments in its favor have not always been without ulterior motives.

It is correct that our Founders did not craft the Bill of Rights for all people, notably excluding women and ethnic minorities from its legal protections of our natural rights. Various groups of people, including black people, Native Americans, and even white populations like the Irish, have all been subjected to violations of their rights at times throughout our history due to this hypocrisy.

But to allege that the right to self-defense, or the right to fight back against oppression—which are the natural rights the Second Amendment is meant to restrain government from infringing upon—are inherently racist is detached from history and reality.

In fact, it is the removal of this right that has led to systemic oppression. As discussed, the implementation of gun control targeted and negatively impacted black communities throughout our past, preventing them from rising up to defend their other natural rights.

It is when we have seen the black community organize and peacefully take up arms in self-defense that we have seen the greatest increase in civil rights. The Second Amendment is a weapon against oppression, not a tool of it.

Historically, the ACLU has been one of the most important and consistent champions of free speech in our country, although that support has unfortunately waned in recent years.

For their prior work, they deserve praise. Were it not for their advocacy, specifically in the courts, it is likely we would have seen a much greater erosion of free speech over the past several decades.

But while they have been a tremendous champion of one civil liberty, they have simultaneously failed to recognize and uphold another that ensures its survival. In practice, freedom of speech and the freedom to bear arms are just different facets of the same human freedom.

The economist Ludwig von Mises once said, “Freedom is indivisible. As soon as one starts to restrict it, one enters upon a decline on which it is difficult to stop.”

Without the freedom to bear arms, individuals are helpless against government infringements on their freedom of speech or any other facet of their freedoms. Liberties quickly erode when the people have no means by which to defend them.

This is why we’ve seen the government work so hard to block those they view as a threat from fully accessing their fundamental rights. And it’s why we’ve seen such tremendous gains for civil rights when oppressed communities have finally accessed it.

Olivia Rondeau is a
political science major at the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, where I’m also a member of the wrestling team. Hannah Cox is the Content Manager and Brand Ambassador for the Foundation for Economic Education.


This article was originally published on Read the original article.

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      • Because stupidity allows it the ACLU and other Gun Control Zealots can pick up the race card anytime they want and run with it. This is what happens when fumbling, blundering gun owners sit on their behinds and cry about bump stocks, the NRA and point their fingers at gangs filled with demoCrap. And after all the crying and finger pointing they sit silent waiting for courts to decide between Gun Control Garbage and The Second Amendment.

        This all goes on daily while the political party that owns the legacy of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, the KKK, lynching, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities skates by unscathed and as they pass they hang the race card around the neck of The Party of Lincoln.

        Gun Control is the biggest racist nazi based turd remaining in America today. The human suffering left in the wake of Gun Control throughout history is unspeakable. Even when they are told Gun Control and its racist genocidal baggage does not register with some people. Their silence confirms it.

  1. honestly, the black gangs in chicago (or anywhere similar) seem to have unlimited access to all the firearms they want, yet their situation seems not to have improved with the widespread presence of offensive weaponry. iiuc, blacks have always been killed by other blacks far more than by whites, even in the kkk heyday. even today “black lives matter” demonstrates clearly that black lives matter only insofar as political exploitation of any black killing contributes to the advancement of “blm” as an organization, and that blacks being killed by blacks simply is not an issue for either the leaders or their supporters. and gun control today is not aimed at blacks, but rather at citizens – mostly whites – who simply are not the source of any significant amount of gun violence (at present).

  2. Complete red herring. So what if police are racists with itchy trigger fingers? If you’re not wyldn’out when stopped and you behave yourself like a rational, thinking human being the cop should never know you even have a gun on you.

    I’ve been stopped many times while armed. Don’t give the cop a reason to get in your face or put hands on you and they’ll never know if you’re armed or carrying a pound of cocaine or anything else you might be up to.

    Regardless, has absolutely fuck-all to do with the rights of ALL individuals.

    • “If you’re not wyldn’out when stopped and you behave yourself like a rational, thinking human being the cop should never know you even have a gun on you”

      indeed. there were three other blacks in the car with rodney king, they simply sat on the curb for a while and then went home. iiuc floyd had two other blacks in the car with him, they were questioned and released and went home. just say “sir”, follow police instructions, and the chances of anything going bad are almost zero.

    • Not sure what you mean? Open carry isn’t “wyldn out”, if that’s your area’s patois for “committing a crime”.

  3. “the unequal enforcement of gun laws”

    cops who hang out in the “white privilege” business districts and suburbs and gun ranges simply aren’t going to have much opportunity for many arrests, while cops that hang out in the “oppressed” parts of town will have more opportunities than they have time for.

  4. If everything is racist then why bother worrying about it? My very being is racist so why care? No one listens to this racism stuff anymore because you can’t do right. The 2A is for everyone but it’s still racist.

    • “because you can’t do right”

      sure you can. they want you to sit still and say nothing while they do wrong. to them, that’s right.

  5. The second amendment is just like the rest of the bill of rights, it’s for everyone. But let’s be honest here and I say this coming from a deep deep blue state which is may issue, gun laws are passed to lock minorities out from gun ownership, period end full stop. All kinds of requirements are put up as barriers to entry. If one is a member of the professional class, law enforcement, medicine, law, one can quite easily be licensed and secure in the knowledge that one can take control of one’s own self defense. But that’s where the second amendment ends in my blue state.

    If the left actually supported the second amendment then they wouldn’t need to attend Robin D’Angelo seminars and proudly state their racial proclivities and then hypothesizing endlessly about everyone else. The ACLU today is a nice slice of the white progressive liberal mentality and it’s a pox on the ACLU. I used to really admire their work, now they are just mediocre and easy to ignore. If they support a cause then I look the other way because I know it’s only politically motivated. They lost the plot on actual civil liberties a long time ago.

    • “They lost the plot on actual civil liberties a long time ago”

      they were never about civil liberties. they simply used that as a stepping stone towards their final goal.

  6. There is not one word in the language of the Second Amendment or in the debates that preceded it suggesting any discriminatory purpose or intent. Instead, the intent was to wrest sovereignty from the King and place it in the People as an adjunct of their pre-existing rights. That slaves, being property, were not recognized as possessing rights changes that not at all. The fact that Blacks have been discriminated against under (mostly state) laws does not denigrate the federal right at all, any more than the right in and of itself is denigrated by the repressive gun control regimes inflicted on the people of states such as California, NY, NJ and Mass. The position of the ACLU, presumably an out growth of the (ahistorical) 1619 Project, is hogwash.

    • “There is not one word in the language of the Second Amendment or in the debates that preceded it suggesting any discriminatory purpose or intent”

      the thinking is that “equality” is a cover for systemic racism – that any equality system results in, in fact outright imposes, unequal results on blacks …

      “has absolutely (nothing) to do with the rights of ALL individuals”

      … and that the only way to achieve equality is to impose inequality in favor of blacks.

      obviously they’re right.

      • There should be no more than equality of opportunity; equality of outcomes cannot be assured. Outcomes are dependent on the effort of the individual. Effort of the collective, as practiced for so long in the USSR, leads to mediocre or worse performance. Anyone arguing for equality of outcomes is a Marxist–and a denier of the individuality of each of us.

        • “Anyone arguing for equality of outcomes is a”

          ruler. recall that greek king who, when asked how to rule, responded by going out to a wheat field and whacking down to the common height any stalk that stood taller than the others.

  7. People are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, and are created equal. That was the crux of the formation of the USA and a federal constitution. Any racist or woman hater would have to foresee that as progress was made, any state laws contrary to the constitution would have to eventually give way. Yes it would be hard and deadly, but progress was made.

    As to the ACLU. Until they renounce their communist affiliations and work for all freedoms of all citizens, I could care less about their distorted opinion.

    • while you are inattentive with unconcern, their distorted opinions are gaining political influence and control. it’s not “their monkeys their circus”, it’s “their monkeys your circus”.

  8. The ACLU has NEVER been a friend of black people. They have always been a dangerous enemy.

  9. I look at the ACLU like JD Power, The BBB or Yelp.
    JD Power awards are bought.
    The BBB can 600 complaints and settle one giving the business a A+ rating.
    Yelp is pay to play and the ACLU does nothing for any white male.
    If you find that racist then find out how many white males they represent.

    • The ACLU did pretty well by the American Nazi Party and its wish to march in Skokie, Illinois.

      • As repulsive as they are the nazis have as much right to peacefully march as any others. I understand citizens getting pissed at seeing folks like SA-Mann dacian and SA-Truppfuhrer miner49er moving through their peaceful communities but so long as they’re not burning and looting they have the right to march.

        • The Skokie march never happened. The ACLU struck a deal that the Nazis could “march” in Marquette Park in Chicago. Unlike in the “Blue Brothers” the Nazis were allowed to march but out of sight of the public. The scene were they have to jump off of the bridge is a movie script, pure fiction. They were escorted to Marquette Park by the CPD and were allowed to march behind a hill, out of sight of the public. The Polish/Lithuanian people who gathered to watch this spectacle had rotten produce up to bricks to throw at the Nazis but you couldn’t even see them, they were hidden in a staging area and their “march” was behind a hill out of sight of the public and far away.

          In the end the ACLU got a lot of free publicity (which they still get to this day), Skokie is mostly Muslim now, Frank Collin who was the leader of the Nazis went to prison for being a child molester and Marquette Park which was a Polish/Lithuanian neighborhood is now called Englewood West because it’s mostly Black/Hispanic and crime is rampant in Marquette Park.

          I don’t even have to look this up, I lived in Gage Park which was the neighborhood to the south of Marquette Park. I have twin brothers who are 12 years older then me who dragged me to Marquette Park to watch the “show”. The Nazis lived about 20 blocks south of where we lived.
          I learned to fish in the lagoons in Marquette Park, mostly bluegill and sunfish.
          A few times a year they will find a body floating in the lagoons, Marquette Park is now a ghetto.

          I figure there will be people who don’t believe me and remember The Blues Brothers as fact. Here’s a link to something that happened 43 years ago involving the ACLU and Nazis.

          My comment was directed at modern day and not 43 years ago. How many people do the ACLU represent in cases that are white males? The simple answer is very few if any because the modern ACLU are social justice advocates. White males do not need “social justice” because of “white privilege”. The ACLU is moving more towards the mindset of BLM and the NAACP.

          Google the ACLU and first thing that will come up is how they defended Nazis 43 years ago. I was 8 years old at the time. Since then they only take on cases that involve minorities. This isn’t racist, it’s the honest truth.

        • “it’s mostly Black/Hispanic and crime is rampant in Marquette Park”

          and the old naazi’s are thinking, “told you.”

        • “the skokie march never happened.”
          not in ’72. but there was an assemblage later that decade which took place in lovelace park, nw evanston, bordering skokie.

        • It was 1978 and not 1972 plus I was 8 years old.
          I cannot find anything about Nazis in Evanston.
          I believe you but can you provide a citation?
          The reason I know that Skokie is mostly Muslim now is that is my neighbors UPS route plus the Uber driver who rear-ended me was named Muhsin Khan. His DL listed Skokie as his residence. He was from some middle eastern country and it wasn’t Israel.

          Life lesson: Don’t get hit by an Uber driver, their insurance doesn’t pay claims at all. I just wanted my car fixed, no medical injury nonsense.

          I want you to read the last two paragraphs of my post. This isn’t about Nazis 40 or 50 years ago, it’s about present day.

          “How many people do the ACLU represent in cases that are white males? The simple answer is very few if any because the modern ACLU are social justice advocates. White males do not need “social justice” because of “white privilege”. The ACLU is moving more towards the mindset of BLM and the NAACP.” Do some reading up on the ACLU, if you are a minority you have a slight chance of them looking your case, If you are a white male you have zero chance of them even looking your case. They are more BLM or the NAACP compared to the ACLU who would fight for anybodies civil rights.
          Like I have stated twice, I’m not trying to be racist.
          The ACLU hasn’t taken a case involving a white male in probably 40+ years.

          “it’s mostly Black/Hispanic and crime is rampant in Marquette Park”
          and the old naazi’s are thinking, “told you.”

          No, they moved, that area is pretty rough now plus their ex-leader is a pedophile. They kicked him out of the Nazi party.

  10. Look, Dude, if you wanna fellate the guy, stop talking about it here, ask him for his phone number, meet up with him, and blow him to your heart’s content. There’s no reason to keep coming here and awkwardly baiting him with sexual innuendo; Just DO it. Of course, I could be mistaken, and you are hoping for a reach-around; You can always ask. But do SOMETHING; All of this one-way sexually-charged banter is annoying, and you seem to be getting more desperate.

    • Hey ‘John’, rather than being such a dick, you should give Chewy pointers. After all, you must have mad game to pull all that cock up there in AK…

      • Another one. This isn’t the place for you. There are dedicated sites for sexual deviants such as yourself, where you’ll be welcomed with open. . . orifices.
        Perhaps you can find a site with small children or animals, more in tune with your proclivities.
        But you really, truly are unwelcome here. We are not like you.

  11. Chewballs is a sorry looser pedo perv. Typically BLOWviating how everyone else is a perv.but its just him, alone, wishing for a trucker to stop by.

  12. I have a correction to make. Gage Park was NORTH of Marquette Park.
    We lived at 5100 South and Marquette Park is 6700-7100 South.
    The Eastern edge of Marquette Park was about 5 blocks West of where we lived.
    I was 8 years old on an old Schwinn kids bike and my brothers who were 20 had 10 speeds.
    I liked going to Marquette Park but 16 blocks each way plus riding around the park was a bit much.
    32 blocks on a a bike the size of a 20″ BMX bike with one speed is rough at 8 years old.
    We would make a evening of it, usually going after dinner and getting home when it was dark.
    That trek would probably kill me now and I’m in pretty good shape.
    Anyway I doubt anyone reads this but they were good times.
    When I see that they found a body in a lagoon there, it bums me out.

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