America would not have even been created without firearms. Some people say it’s a contradiction for me as an African-American man to have a position: “When they wrote the Second Amendment, they didn’t mean it for you.” I don’t give a fuck who they meant it for. It’s mine now.
December 26, 2017
Why Black People Own Guns
[Actually, the Second Amendment applied to all free people. Maj Toure is not a slave. He is a free man. It always did and still does apply to him.—Joe]
the way judicial review works, what the legislators wanted a law to mean is utterly beside the point. the only thing that matters is how the relevant appellate court interprets the letter of the law. and SCOTUS made no racial distinctions in Heller nor in McDonald, so what the framers might have meant two centuries ago is now irrelevant; the right to keep and bear arms is colorblind.
The Bill of Rights clearly applies to everyone, regardless of race, color, financial status or creed. That was brought to the forefront during the debate over the thirteenth amendment (after the Republicans [the abolitionist party] had defeated the Democrats [the pro-slavery, confederate party which created the KKK] in the Civil War), wherein it was pointed out that freed slaves would be free to “carry arms wherever they went”.
The original founders of the Republic understood at the time that slavery was an evil institution which had to be abolished at some stage. There were also black founding fathers– Maybe Mr. Toure was not aware of that. There were also some black slave owners.
It was not until the late 1960s that what we might herein call the “Toure Narrative” was established by Democrats in an attempt to hide their racist and Eugenicist roots, in part by practicing a form of Public Projection (“Accuse others of what you do”). The slavers and the Democrats, not the founders in general, are the ones who wanted black people disarmed, for the advocates of coercion are the advocates of disarmament.
And so Toure is right of course, but some of his premises may have been wrong. America was founded AMONG racism, no question, much of the world was racist, and practiced slavery (not the same thing), except among the real Christians and a few others, but she was not founded UPON racism. Quite the opposite; “…all Men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” is right there in the founding document. It did NOT say “…all white Men…” or any such. It doesn’t even say “all free Men”, just “all Men”.
Now you can always argue semantics, and attempt to insert your own ideas of what was in the hearts and minds of the founders, but certainly they did not enshrine racism, nor slavery, in their ideals for America, and many were quite open about their disdain for slavery.
One day, I hope and pray, America will for once fulfill her promise. Let’s not throw the baby of liberty out with the bathwater of America’s sins. Let us all acknowledge those sins, seek redemption from them, and endeavor to grasp and uphold America’s Promise all the more for having seen the terrible alternatives.
It comes down to the matter of whether we define America by her sins, or by her ideals. The sins do not condemn the ideals. Rather, America’s ideals are the only escape from her sins.
Well, not precisely.
On the one hand it is certainly true that the protection expressed in the 2nd Amendment is not and never was dependent on the color of the individual.
On the other hand, the “Bill of Rights” is not really that. It’s more accurately called a “Bill of Prohibitions” (credit to L. Neil Smith). Each of its articles states things the government is not allowed to do. (Or, in some cases such as the 1st but not the 2nd, what some governments are not allowed to do.) So, technically speaking, the 2nd Amendment doesn’t apply to you or me or Maj — it applies to Congresscritters and judges and police officers and other “public servants”. It specifically calls out a right held by us that they are not allowed to tamper with, restating what was already obvious from Article 1 Section 8 but in the opinion of many needed emphasis.
This isn’t a trivial distinction. For example, people sometimes argue at what age the 1st amendment starts to apply, which comes up in discussions around schools pretending they can stop free speech because “the 1st amendment doesn’t apply to children”. But that’s a nonsensical assertion. The correct statement is that the 1st amendment prohibits the government — any part of it thanks to the 14th — from infringing on the freedom of speech. The age of the speaker is not mentioned in that ban and isn’t relevant to the discussion in any way. A government school has no right to infringe the freedom of speech of anyone; adult or child, it doesn’t matter. (Here too: credit to Neil Smith, I’m not sure what source, probably his essay bundle “Lever Action”.)