The Racist Roots of Gun Control
Adam Ruins Everything explores the roots of gun control laws in the colonies and in present day USA.
This new video from Adam Conover on gun control, with its usual nerdy wit and charm, is making the rounds on social media, and it makes some interesting points about the nature of gun laws, the concept of gun control, and how they originated.
Second Amendment supporters realize the futility and unconstitutional nature of many gun laws at the federal and state level—and they know that some of them are downright ridiculous, but did lawmakers pull ideas like the NFA and California’s strict rules about what is and isn’t allowed out of the thin air?
The video argues that many gun control laws had and continue to have racially motivated origins, and that they are frequently used to control people of color by not allowing them to exercise their 2A rights—and that those restrictions are, of course, placed on everyone when the laws are written.
On the topic of gun control, Adam begins by saying, “All too often, black people are left completely out of the conversation.”
Adam: “Historically gun control has been used to control and criminalize people of color. In the early years of our country, many colonies and states had laws barring Native Americans and free black people from buying or owning guns,” Adam continues. “And racist fears of black people have continued to inform our gun control laws.”
“In 1960s California, the Black Panthers resisted police violence in Oakland by patrolling the city with guns.”
Fictional Black Panther: “We have a right to protect our communities against police officers abusing their power.”
Senior Citizen: “Defending yourself against a tyrannical government, I’m all about that.”
Adam: “Well, state lawmakers responded by passing a bill that banned open carry. The bill applied to all Californians, but it was meant to blatantly target the Black Panthers. And that bill was signed by then California governor and NRA member, Ronald Reagan.”
Then, another voice takes over to address policies like New York’s Stop-and-Frisk initiative, which on the surface are meant to combat illegal guns and use strict gun control laws to justify their implementation, but actually do very little to get guns out of dangerous hands, and are ultimately racist violations of the 4th Amendment.
Eva: “For years, New York City had an official police to stop black and brown people on the street just to see if they might have guns or drugs. Records show that these stops almost never found guns. Between ’04 and 2012, 4.4 million people were stopped, but only 1.5% of them had weapons.”
Now, Carolla is not pro-gun rights, nor is he completely anti-gun, but this kind of information is important for everyone to understand so that they can take a step back and realize that hammering on the same failed “gun control” policies that have been around for decades and writing more and more restrictive laws that have never and will never reduce crime or violence is not the answers to any of the nation’s problems—and ultimately, these laws often violate the Constitution on which the United States is built, not just the Second Amendment.
And in case you need a refresher, here’s Penn and Teller explaining the grammar of the Second Amendment, something many people, it seems, will never understand.