Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Chicago's Top Cop: The Racist Roots of Gun Rights?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, newly appointed by anti-gun Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has wasted no time in sharing his views on Chicagoans’ individual right to keep and bear arms. Less than a month after his approval by the City Council, McCarthy attended a service at St. Sabina’s Church (a parish led by anti-gun extremist Father Michael Pfleger) and made a speech claiming that a lack of restrictive gun control laws is “government sponsored racism.”

Those with a better understanding of history will find themselves confused trying to interpret McCarthy’s logic, as decades of scholarship have proven just the opposite; that gun control, rather than its absence, has often been used as a means of government sponsored racism.

In his 1995 Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy article, “The Racist Roots of Gun Control,” Second Amendment scholar Clayton E. Cramer outlines the historical case that “racism underlies gun control laws.” Cramer notes that racist gun control in America stretches as far back as 1751 with a French law in the Louisiana territory that required colonists to “‘[i]f necessary,’ beat ‘any black carrying any potential weapon, such as a cane.’”

Though Superintendent McCarthy might be excused for not looking that far back, he should certainly be aware of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the case of McDonald v. Chicago.  In a concurring opinion in that case, Justice Clarence Thomas explained that in the years preceding the Civil War, “Many legislatures amended their laws prohibiting slaves from carrying firearms to apply the prohibition to free blacks as well.” After the Civil War, little improved.  Justice Thomas writes: “Some States formally prohibited blacks from possessing firearms… Others enacted legislation prohibiting blacks from carrying firearms without a license, a restriction not imposed on whites.”

Other Reconstruction Era (and later) laws were less candid. For example, an 1870 Tennessee law barred the sale of all but the most expensive pistols, effectively disarming newly freed blacks and the poor.  New York’s Sullivan Law of 1911, requiring a permit for handgun possession, was largely targeted at Italians and other disfavored immigrant groups. (That law is still on the books.)  And the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was denied a concealed carry permit in Alabama under a similar discretionary permitting law—even after his house had been bombed.

We suggest that in the future, Superintendent McCarthy might do a little more research before conflating respect for a fundamental individual right with its antithesis, government-sponsored racism.

TRENDING NOW
Beto Going All-In on Confiscation

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Beto Going All-In on Confiscation

Democrat Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke continues to struggle to gain any sort of traction for his campaign. With some polls putting him in 10th place, and his average sitting around 7th, some might say that it is desperation ...

Tell Your Lawmakers: No Semi-Auto and Magazine Ban!

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tell Your Lawmakers: No Semi-Auto and Magazine Ban!

The Democrat Party is now so aligned with gun control that every major candidate running for its 2020 presidential nomination recently appeared in a propaganda video produced by one of the nation’s most active firearm prohibition groups. ...

NRA Files Suit Against San Francisco for Violating First Amendment

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

NRA Files Suit Against San Francisco for Violating First Amendment

On September 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors smeared millions of law-abiding Americans by unanimously adopting a resolution that designated NRA a “domestic terrorist organization.” Less than one week later, on September 9, NRA filed a federal lawsuit ...

New Hampshire: House to Vote on Gov. Sununu's Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New Hampshire: House to Vote on Gov. Sununu's Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

On Wednesday, September 18th, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on Governor Chris Sununu's vetoes of three anti-gun bills sent to his desk by the General Court.  Anti-gun Representatives who remain stubbornly committed to ...

House Democrats Continue Unprecedented Push for More Gun Control

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

House Democrats Continue Unprecedented Push for More Gun Control

As was continually threatened while Congress was on its six-week Summer break, House Democrats hastily convened a hearing on Tuesday to promote their latest batch of anti-gun bills.  The House Judiciary Committee’s markup of three bills, ...

California: Carson City Council to Hear Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

California: Carson City Council to Hear Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Today, September 17 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering a late addition to this evening’s City Council meeting, Resolution 19-1693.  ​The resolution is being pushed by Mayor Albert Robles in an effort to prohibit firearm ...

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

News  

Friday, August 30, 2019

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

After decades of NASCAR drivers literally turning left for hours every race day (road course races excluded, of course), the governing body appears to be taking a figurative left turn, politically. K-Var, a retailer in outdoor and ...

Playing Games with Numbers

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Playing Games with Numbers

Stanford Law Professor John Donohue and Theodora Boulouta, a Stanford undergrad, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times that claims their new research shows the 1994 “assault weapons” ban really did work.  Their finding is ...

Monday, August 19, 2019

Florida Alert! "Assault Weapons" Ban Amendment Bans ALL SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS

The so-called "assault weapons" ban that is proposed for a constitutional amendment to be on the 2020 Election Ballot bans the possession of: “any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun CAPABLE of holding more than ten (10) rounds ...

California: Carson City Council Fails to Pass Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

California: Carson City Council Fails to Pass Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Yesterday, September 17, the Carson City Council failed to pass anti-gun Resolution 19-1693.  ​The resolution was being pushed by Mayor Albert Robles in an effort to prohibit firearm dealers and firearm possession in the City of Carson to the ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.