Ending Racism in America Isn’t What the Media Is Telling You

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Opinion

By now everyone has heard the chatter on television. The media would like to tell you that requiring voter ID is racist because black and brown communities don’t have the same access to obtaining ID that white communities do. This has been a talking point of the left for years now.  While the media is busy telling you that secure elections are “racist”, they are failing to tell you that almost all gun laws were born out of racism.  

In Dred Scott v. Sandford, Chief Justice Roger Taney argued that one reason Black people could not be citizens under the Constitution was that it “would give to persons of the negro race” the right “to keep and carry arms wherever they went.” After the Civil War, the Black Codes enacted in the South made it a crime for a Black person to have a gun. Even facially neutral laws were used in a racially discriminatory fashion; Martin Luther King Jr. was denied a concealed carry permit even after his house was firebombed. For much of American history, gun rights did not extend to Black people and gun control was often enacted to limit access to guns by people of color. A Florida law enacted in 1825 took gun control one step further by authorizing white people to “enter into all Negro houses” and “lawfully seize and take away all such arms, weapons, and ammunition.

Keep in mind that many black gun owners in early America carried firearms not only to protect themselves from the dangers of a mostly unsettled country, but also to protect themselves from the threat of being captured and sold into slavery. While many monuments have been destroyed in America by the radical left due to “loose connections” to racism and slavery, it is important to ask why gun control is still being championed by the left. Gun control was enacted purely out of racism and no other reason.  

Even if gun laws today are not purely racially motivated, some of them likely have a racially disproportionate impact, and the history of racist gun laws serves as a reminder to try to avoid, eliminate, or at least minimize such discriminatory effects. People of color are far overrepresented among those convicted of federal firearms offenses. According to recent data, approximately seventy percent of all defendants convicted of federal firearms offenses were minorities, even though those same communities make up only about forty percent of the population. The widely popular ban on possession of firearms by felons has a distinctly racially disparate impact.

Black and Latino people are disproportionately represented among those who are arrested and convicted of felonies generally, so they make up a relatively large share of the people prohibited from possessing firearms. The lifetime duration of the federal ban means the numbers quickly add up, and it has been estimated that approximately one in four Black men in the United States has a felony conviction on their record. That means that one in four Black men do not enjoy the right to keep and bear arms.

Banning high-capacity magazines — a proposal popular with gun-safety advocates — might also be expected to have a racially disproportionate impact on communities of color. In cities and states that have adopted bans on the possession of high-capacity magazines, there appears to be widespread noncompliance, with little evidence of gun owners discarding their now-illegal magazines or surrendering them to authorities. The law is in the books, but people still have their high-capacity magazines and there is no practical or constitutional way for the government to search people’s homes to find them. Instead, the ban will often be enforced when someone who happens to have a high-capacity magazine is stopped, searched, or arrested by the police. Due to condemnable but nonetheless highly predictable practices of over-policing in minority communities, a disproportionate percentage of those convicted of violating the ban on high-capacity magazines are likely to be people of color.

We have reached a point in American race relations where we must get rid of everything with a racist connection if we are to get rid of anything with a racist connection.  We often hear from the liberal media how we must make amends for America’s racist history.  The clear way to make amends for this history is by eliminating gun laws and arming black citizens.  Liberty has no middle ground.  Americans are either free or they aren’t. 

Follow Tim Sharp on X at @realtimsharp.

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