black gun owners minority minorities
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By Larry Keane

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) needs to change their name. At this point, it’s just false advertising.

The ACLU recently argued that, “anti-Blackness determined the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and has informed the unequal and racist application of gun laws.” That’s plainly arguing that the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights as a tool of racist control of slaves.

The posting by communications intern Ines Santos was an introduction to a podcast that included opinions from several professors who wholeheartedly agree the Second Amendment is racist and is a tool to deny civil rights to African-Americans.

It’s clear the ACLU is a shadow of its former self. It’s not the bastion to protect God-given liberties, but to drive special interest agendas. The ACLU’s disdain for the Second Amendment as a foundational and individual right isn’t new, but it is an attempt to flip it on its head. The ACLU‘s argument that the Second Amendment is a tool of oppressors doesn’t just ignore history. It is rewriting cold, hard facts.


The criticism over the outlandish claims was as quick as it was severe. The Twitter-sphere lit up with reactions denouncing ACLU for peddling falsehoods.

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby noted the irony that the ACLU was denouncing the Second Amendment at a time when African-Americans are claiming their gun rights in record numbers. “The ACLU has completely lost the plot. Meanwhile, the [sic] National African American Gun Association, which began in 2015 with a single chapter in Atlanta, now comprises more than 75 chapters with 30,000 members,” Jacoby tweeted.

NSSF’s own retailer surveys in 2020 showed African-Americans were buying guns at a 58 percent increased rate over 2019. At the same time, Hispanic-Americans were buying guns at a 49 percent increased rate and Asian-Americans at a 43 percent increased rate.

National Review writer David Harsanyi lambasted the claims as “nonsense,” and linked to a previous article where he debunked the same claims pushed by the 1619 Project as “wishful thinking.” Harsanyi refuted the theories, pointing out that John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams were abolitionists who argued against slavery and for the right to keep and bear arms. Harsanyi pointed out the ludicrous presumption that if African-Americans are being denied their rights, then that right must be stripped of all Americans.

“We don’t attack the idea of free speech simply because people are denied its protections,” he wrote. “That fact only accentuates its importance. For most of our history, self-defense was also seen as an immutable right that existed with or without the sanction of the state.”

Real Racist Roots

Maj Toure, founder of Black Guns Matter, told The Daily Caller in his usually blunt fashion that claims the Second Amendment is racist is an attempt to, “brainwash black people into believing that having the means to defend themselves is nefarious. I think gun control is racist, not the Second Amendment.”

Black Women Guns
(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

Toure explained to The Daily Caller these attempts to twist history are exactly why he and his organization are dedicated to educating the public about their rights.

That used to be the role of the ACLU – to educate the public and defend civil liberties from government infringement. The Second Amendment is a second-class right in their estimation, though. The ACLU doesn’t agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2008 Heller decision that affirmed the Second Amendment as an individual right. They contend, still today, that owning a gun is a governmental matter.

“Given the reference to ‘a well regulated Militia’ and ‘the security of a free State,’ the ACLU has long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right,” the ACLU website states.

The ACLU isn’t just ignoring a Supreme Court ruling that’s over a decade old, they’re ignoring legal history that’s nearly 400 years old. That’s the racist history of gun control laws. Gun control is literally rooted in slave codes and Jim Crow laws. Some of those laws – like requiring local sheriffs to approve handgun sales – still exist in North Carolina.

The Atlantic, a liberal news publication pointed out that in 1640, Virginia already had laws on the books preventing Blacks from owning guns. In 1712, a law for a total ban on black gun ownership was enacted to prevent slave revolts. Slave Codes were renamed Black Codes after the Civil War.

Even as late as 1994, the Clinton administration “introduced H.R. 3838 to ban guns in federal public housing, which would have affected 3 million individuals.”

Attempts to twist history to fit a particular narrative aren’t in anyone’s interest, least of all when those who would do it pretend it is for greater good. Nothing is further from the truth. The Second Amendment clearly isn’t a white right, or a Black right. It is a God-given right of all Americans to freely exercise at their choosing. If the ACLU can’t defend that, they need to change their name.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.


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  1. Who ever claims the aclu is a civil rights .org hasn’t been paying attention. Just like the folks that sill think the dems are leftist. They went full fascist years ago.

    • Under the umbrella of “leftist” is Communism, Socialism, Marxism, some argue Anarchist and…yes, Fascism.

      The word you were looking for was “Liberal”. Which is derived from Liberty.

      Which is another way of saying Freedom.

      • Fascism is a concept of the extreme right and deplores the “weakness” and “corruption” it sees in Western Democracies. There is nothing Liberal or Marxist about it. To be a Fascist is to be the natural blood enemy of all other forms of government.

        An Anarchist can be either left or right wing. But the central point of disliking any authority structure is key.

        All things Marxist (Socialism, Communism) are indeed leftist concepts. But to an extreme, for the vast bulk of left wing politics has zero connection to Marxism.

        • Then again Fascism might be extreme left, as it has become a well used tactic of the democrats and their antifa foot soldiers in the U.S..

          I often get confused over all of these terms.

        • Enuf “All things Marxist are indeed leftist … left wing politics has zero connection to Marxism.

          So Marxist aren’t really Marxism….. F’ING BRILLIANT!

          No wonder your name is synonymous with dog shite.

        • You are confused. Leftists love to blame the National Socialist German Workers Party on the right. But who did they align with in World War II? Why….. the the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, of course.

        • Nazis, so literally national socialists, members of the national socialist german workers party, are on the left. Authoritarian far left. They only sat on the right side of the german parliament because of the historic seating order that comes from the pauls church national assembly in 1848, and the french parliament before that. There, pro emperor people sat on the right, and Hitler liked the emperor. That’s all. The germans had a different definition of “right” that had nothing to do with individual or economic freedom.
          That being said, a Nazi usually wants a fascist economy instead of outright socialism, he prefers the appearance of a free market – but due to government overregulations and big monopolies you have no real shot at it. Government programs and high taxes, but pretend like the worker gets at least some of the fruits of his labor.
          Sounds familiar? Yeah, the FED and the federal government and big tech send their regards…

      • If liberal is another word for freedom there are no liberals left amongst the dems or their supporters. They accepted the mantle of fascism openly and proudly.

        • They called themselves liberals because it was considered to be a good thing. Being a progressive had come to mean something bad. 100 years later and people forgot how bad the progressives were. Plus they feel emboldened by the constant propaganda and indoctrination provided by the media and schools.

  2. In simplest terms:

    “Well Regulated Militia” refers to training in arms and good discipline. Not in controlling what anyone may own or carry.

    A Well Regulated Militia is not possible without individuals owning and being familiar in the use of the arms they own. Thus the Collective Right to arms without an Individual Right to arms is no right at all.

    If there is no Collective Right then the Security of a Free State is only Insecure.

    If there is no Individual Right then the Collective Right is a foundation made of mud, insubstantial and useless.

    Thus the expressed “Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed” is stated as a simultaneously collective and individual right. For each depends upon the other.

    • That is interesting.

      Now tell us about “Trump Derangement Syndrome” or TDS.

      As someone who is deeply affected by this terrible mental disorder, maybe you can offer some insight.

      For example, how TDS caused you to donate “big money” to a group of Pedophiles (The Lincoln Project).

      Or how you proudly voted for the most anti-gun, anti-2A candidate ever.

      (As a side note, Joe Biden, the man you voted for, just said he was VP under Donald Trump, and he used to drive 18 wheelers for a living. Joe Biden; “And, anyway, I used to drive an 18 wheeler, man! I had to!”


  3. Devil’s advocate but let’s say the 2nd is racist to its very core. So? Make it yours. Take it back. Isn’t that the argument behind using the “n” word every chance you get? How does it help your liberty to throw away an unalienable right?

    As far as the ACLU is concerned they’ve gone full retard on even the rights they claim to like by embracing limitations on the 1st in recent years. They’re simply another arm of the totalitarian state at this point. Controlled opposition at best and blatant justification of tyranny at worst.

    • The ACLU does not believe that you have an inalienable right to arms, at least the NY office is of that opinion (but there are schisms with other offices), so anything that denigrates that right is a fair argument for regulation in the “interest of the public good.”

      • I got a “survey” — aka a thinly veiled leading questions designed to make people feel good about sending them money — and the entire thing could’ve been copied and pasted from Ibram X. Kendi’s Twitter account. All about fighting figments like systemic racism, countering “whiteness,” and stopping “hate speech.” Not a single mention of the Constitution or civil rights.

        I ripped it up and threw it away. The ACLU doesn’t believe in individual rights or civil liberties at all — only privileges for certain identity groups. And its own revenue stream above all.

        • Equality means treating everyone the same. Teaching people to treat people differently based on [insert characteristic or identity] is specifically anti-equality. Authoritarians despise equality.

          My parents never taught me to treat black people or gay people different. They never even mentioned it. So how did I grow up knowing how to treat everyone? It ain’t complicated. The current Left doesn’t get it because they’re bigots. All of this “hate speech” talk is a cover for their bigotry and authoritarian impulses.

  4. Heck, the majority opinion in Dred Scott v Sanford said if Mr. Scott was not property, he would have all rights enshrined, including the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    The old joke of how does the ACLU count to ten: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10..

  5. Cuz you know when the Philistines cornered the market in iron works thousands of years ago . . . Oppressing black people was on their minds.

    1 Samuel 13:19-21
    Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened. The price was two-thirds of a shekel for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.

    Arms control. It is that old!

  6. The ACLU was founded by Communists, and declared over 40 years ago that they did not support the Second Amendment.

  7. In other news, water is wet. The ACLU departed from being an actual “civil liberties” organization decades ago.

    For decades, the ACLU was considered to have well-reasoned, consistent philosophies on civil liberties. While you might not like their views of constitutional rights, they’d be based on scholarship and cogent legal reasoning. Tellingly, the ACLU of old was willing to put their money where their mouth was, regardless of who the plaintiff was; e.g., they’d defend the free speech and assembly right of communists and American NAZI’s, Black Nationalists and Klansmen, etc. When I was in law school, I recall that in the mid-1980’s, the ACLU and two UT law professors (both of whom had nothing but disgust for the Klan) successfully took the City of Austin down over its refusal to grant the KKK a parade permit.

    Indeed, I recall that back in the late 1970’s (it might have been in one of Knox the Elder’s books or articles), an ACLU official was quoted as recognizing that the Second Amendment *did* apply to individuals, but that the ACLU believed that Second Amendment should be amended.

    However, starting roughly about the time of the Bork nomination, the ACLU went full partisan, and since then increasingly abandoned any pretext of being in favor of civil liberties writ large. Instead, it has become just an advocacy group for “civil liberties” (now defined as “anything we are in favor of”) for only the “correct” people.

  8. I have never believed that the ACLU supported civil rights. I have always said there’s no proof they have a record of supporting civil rights. They never supported the Second Amendment. I have followed their anti-second Amendment statements since the 1970s. Also the ACLU has never supported the First Amendment. They support flag burning. They support cross burning. Whether you want the cross burned on your private property or you don’t want a cross burned on your private property. The ACLU supports it. The ACLU has never supported private property rights.

    The ACLU has never supported the right of anti-abortion protesters. Like they supported the right of anti-war protesters. The ACLU helped to destroy the Boy Scouts by suing them.

    This has always been my test. If you are a supporter of the ACLU then you really don’t believe in the concept “Freedom being messy”. What you probably believe in is the support for having sex in public and denying civil rights to religious people, and you dont support open carry. You really don’t believe in the concept of Freedom being messy. The ACLU sued to force the turning off of police cameras before Trump supporters were beaten.

    Gun control is racist. And anyone who supports gun control is a racist.
    I don’t care what your skin color is. I don’t care what your sexual orientation is. You are a racist who supports an Authoritarian State. With it’s boot on the neck of the Citizenry.

    Jeff Cooper founder of Gunsight was correct. The only real way to solve the high amount of violence in the inner cities is to supply the residence with the guns and ammunition. This way they will solve their own problems without government involvement. And that is an example of “Freedom being messy”. Something that very few people who claim to support Liberty, really do not support.

    The ACLU has NEVER been a friend of black people. But you can find examples of blacks working for them who were paid in silver. 30 pieces worth.

  9. Extreme Far Left or Extreme Far Right, are just two hallmarks of Fascist Ideology. The differences are too slight to warrant argument. Just accept that neither are good for a Society.

    Some Antics vs Semantics!

  10. The first anti-2A gun control laws passed in the US during the 19th century were for the purpose of disarming blacks and bereaving them of their 2A rights. Strip the ACLU fake lawyers of their law licenses and send them back to pre-school.

  11. Well, uh, no shit. The ACLU is primarily devoted to the 1st Amendment. Just as the NRA concentrates only on 2nd Amendment. The two organizations decided they had a mutual interest a number of years ago when the NSA’s activities were exposed by Snowden. It’s called politics and developing strange bedfellows when necessary.

  12. Regarding the title, absolutely accurate, unfortunate but absolutely accurate. Additionally, I submit that the thing was put a whole lot more politely than was warranted.

  13. The ACLU gave up on civil rights, privacy and a whole host of issues they held near and dear a long time ago. I still remember the ACLUs Voltaire-esque full throated defense of free speech from a generation ago, but today? The A in ACLU stands for Anti as in Anti-civil liberties union.

  14. It was obvious the ACLU was only about the rights it liked before I finished my university science degree thirty years ago.

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