A year after passage, the Civil Rights Act was the subject of a report from President Grant to Congress which stated that parts of the South were under the control of Ku Klux Klans, the objects of which were “to deprive colored citizens of the right to bear arms and of the right to a free ballot ….” In debate on a bill to expand civil rights protection, Senator John Scott explained how Klansmen seized the firearms of their victims before lynching them. But Senator Pratt observed that the Klansman “fears the gun” of a man in his “humble fortress.” The Klan targeted the black who would “tell his fellow blacks of their legal rights, as for instance their right to carry arms and defend their persons and homes.”
In sum, the Civil Rights Act of 1871 was understood to provide a remedy to persons who were deprived of the right to carry firearms for self defense. This is such a case.
Stephan P. Halbrook
May 25, 2011
AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY, INC., IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANTS AND IN SUPPORT OF REVERSAL
EDWARD PERUTA, et at., Plaintiffs-Appellants v. COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, et at., Defendants-Appellees
[Via David Hardy.
The right to keep and bear arms is a civil right. The first laws in this country to deprive people of this specific enumerated right were specifically intended to keep slaves, and sometimes more generally all “people of color”, from possessing firearms. When governments expand the prohibitions to include nearly all people what they are implicitly saying is the people in general should be treated as slaves with the upside down relationship of the public servants being treated as the masters.
This arrogance of public servants cannot be tolerated. Sometimes servants need to be reminded of their position in life. This is one of those times.—Joe]