Gun Rights as Civil Rights


Dr T
July 7, 2010, 10:55 AM
There is a excellent article highlighting the history of the role of the 2nd amendment as the guardian of our civil rights at

I commend it to your attention.

It also discusses, briefly, the recent Supreme Court Ruling.

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Art Eatman
July 7, 2010, 11:37 AM
Come back and add some quotes in order that the thread not be closed.

Dr T
July 7, 2010, 01:32 PM
On the Supreme Court Opinion:

"...both opinions emphasize the racial history of the Fourteenth Amendment — the story of the post–Civil War South and the federal government’s crusade to ensure fair treatment for blacks therein.

"The heart of the problem was that, in an effort to stave off rebellion and maintain the racial caste structure that had developed under slavery, state and local governments refused to respect freedmen’s constitutional rights. Crucial to the South’s efforts were gun-control laws that applied to blacks and blacks alone.

"This does not show that modern gun controllers are racist, or even that the modern gun-control movement has “racist roots,” as some have suggested — the concerns that motivate Sarah Brady are neither the same as nor descended from the concerns that motivated racist southern governments. But this does show that when a government has the ability to forbid gun ownership, it has the ability to render groups it dislikes helpless to defend themselves. "(emphasis added)

July 8, 2010, 02:58 PM
The article is incomplete and ends abruptly, as if it was condensed to fit the allocated space. We know what drives the Brady group. Race has nothing to do with modern attempts at gun control.

Dr T
July 8, 2010, 04:44 PM
The entire article in the National Review (see the URL) goes for a couple of pages. I just posted a quote from the initial paragraphs.

The whole thing is worth a read, particularly given the interplay between the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.

Dr T
July 8, 2010, 04:46 PM
Here is another excerpt:

"It was gun-control laws — along with other laws that violated virtually every right blacks had — that led to the Fourteenth Amendment, which authorized the federal government to ensure that state and local governments respected citizens’ rights.

"The Freedmen’s Bureau Act of 1866, passed just two years before the amendment was approved, made it clear that the right to keep and bear arms was an important right for freed blacks to have: “The right . . . to have full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty, personal security, and the acquisition, enjoyment, and disposition of estate, real and personal, including the constitutional right to bear arms, shall be secured to and enjoyed by all the citizens . . . without respect to race or color, or previous condition of slavery.” Advocates of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 cited the disarmament of freed blacks as a reason the law was necessary.

"These laws, however, didn’t work. Southern governments refused to enforce them, and the Supreme Court — which was far less powerful then than it is today, anyhow — did not intervene."

July 9, 2010, 12:01 PM
A good article. I think the historical race-based restrictions on RKBA is a useful tool for discussion with folks who support individual rights under the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th amendments but have not yet come around on the 2nd. It provides context for the history of state restriction on the individual right and demonstrates how important and fundamental that right is. This point is lost on people who have not had firearms in their lives and can only see RKBA as a "gun violence" issue rather than a constitutional rights issue as important as any other constitutional right.

July 10, 2010, 11:36 AM
"Gun control" has already been used for racist purposes, it could certainly be so used again.

Liberty - There is no substitute.


July 11, 2010, 09:36 PM
This might be a doomsday scenario and is unlikely to happen... but follow me on this anecdote:

- The Left recognizes that most gun owners are Repubs/Libertarians. They also recognize those groups' general penchant for state (and local) rights.

- Arizona's new law to (basically) enforce existing federal law is a slap in the face of federal sovereignty. To the Left, Arizona is the tip of a very
big iceberg and they want to nip it in the bud -- for many reasons (I'll list some if anyone's interested).

- The Left believes that the Right would indeed use their firearms to aid their states/localities in the enforcement of immigration and other laws surrounding illegal aliens.

Possibility: BATF/FBI/National Guard (etc.) are ordered to confiscate firearms from known Repub/Libertarian voters in states considering anti-illegal (IE: enforcing existing federal law...) state legislation similar to Arizona's.

This is unlikely: it would be dumb to hostilely attack American citizens' 2nd Amendment rights in fear that said rights would be used to quasi-enforce controversial state laws; political suicide to favor illegals -- who are criminals by definition -- over tax-paying American citizens.

But when you consider the firepower we have and Washington Left's embarassment at basically being made to look like a lazy/shiftless/weak UN, unwilling to use force to enforce existing laws... might such shame/jealousy drive them to try to steal the Right's weapons?

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