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Democrats Disarm New Gun Owners with the Same Old Racism

Our history isn’t very pretty, but it is fairly clear. After the Civil War, we told recently freed black men and women that they couldn’t own guns to defend themselves from groups like the Knights of the White Camelia, the Ku Klux Klan, and the White League. Freed black men voted for Republicans until local Democrat officials prevented them from voting. It is embarrassing to see Democrat Attorneys General from several states point to those same discriminatory laws as they try to justify disarming honest citizens today. I’m ashamed, and I’m surprised that more Democrat voters aren’t deeply embarrassed by this too.

Right after the Civil War, freed blacks in the South voted for Republican politicians. They elected 22 black politicians into federal office in Congress and in the Senate. All were Republicans. Local Democrat politicians revised the voting laws to disenfranchise black voters. The laws didn’t say that only whites could vote. The laws said there was a literacy test or a poll tax. That disenfranchised enough black voters that Democrats regained control of government.

The laws didn’t say that only whites could own and carry guns after the civil war. Instead, the laws said that you needed a permit to purchase a gun. The local sheriff had to approve your purchase. You had to demonstrate “good moral character” and have a “justifiable need” before you could get your firearms purchase permit. Blacks and other minorities were routinely denied the right of armed defense.

Newly freed slaves didn’t have a lot of money. Newly enacted gun laws said that only expensive handguns could be sold. Handguns were far cheaper than rifles so those laws kept poor blacks from buying guns. The results were exactly as you would predict.

It is easier to burn down a black person’s home and assault them on the road if they can’t defend themselves. Those gun laws never said that only whites could keep and bear arms, but those discriminatory regulations had the effect of allowing local officials to deliberately disarm black men and black women. That finally changed.. almost.

In the middle of last year, the US Supreme Court finally recognized that there is a right to go armed in public for self-defense. The court said that states must grant a license to carry a firearm in public if the applicant has a clean criminal record and is not otherwise precluded by law. The decision to issue a permit must be based on objective factors rather than the subjective (political) whim of the government official.

Ideally, the Democrat-controlled states that still restricted legal firearms ownership would have rewritten their laws to be in compliance with the US Supreme Court’s decision. Instead, many Democrat-controlled states further restricted who can be issued a license, where they were allowed to carry a privately owned firearm, and what firearms they were allowed to own. In practice, it was the same old “justifiable need”, “good moral character”, and expensive guns all over again.

Let me give you an example. Even after the recent US Supreme Court’s case was decided, the New York Attorney General’s office said that a woman didn’t need to have a permit to carry a firearm because her husband had one and that should be enough to protect her. Note that both the husband and wife carried large amounts of cash from their business to the bank.

Do you hear this the way I do? You don’t need to speak because your husband’s voice can represent you. You don’t need to own property because your husband can hold property in your name. You don’t need to vote because your husband’s vote can elect the officials you would have chosen.



Excuse me. What did you say? That is so embarrassing it is hard to believe. I thought we decided those issues decades ago. I guess not if you’re working for the State Attorney’s Office in New York.

I so wish the bigotry stopped there, but, unfortunately, it didn’t. Several Democrat-controlled states said that honest civilians shouldn’t own modern firearms even if the basic designs for those guns were created back in the 1800s. We’re not talking about machine guns, but ordinary handguns and rifles. Anti-rights Democrats said that ordinary honest citizens didn’t have the right to protect themselves with a modern firearm. As you would expect, many government employees were exempted from those regulations.

Those laws were immediately challenged in court, and this is where it gets really embarrassing for Democrats.

The State Attorneys’ General and their lawyers then looked at the bigoted history of disarming minorities. They said that since we imposed racist gun-control laws after the Civil War, Democrat politicians today were merely following a long historical tradition of firearms regulation. If you don’t believe me, then please read the court filings from California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey yourself.

Democrats said that since they imposed and then denied firearms permits during reconstruction, it was legally justified to do that today. I’m sure the state’s attorneys would have pointed to more appealing cases if they could, but the history of gun control is really that racist.

Like the original laws passed during Reconstruction, the gun laws today don’t say they disarm the poor. Democrat politicians today don’t say they want to disarm minorities, but that is exactly what they are doing in our Democrat-controlled states and cities.

It is in these violent Democrat-controlled cities that the poor and minorities are at the greatest risk of violent crime. That is where they most need to protect themselves. Democrat politicians and their supporters told me that Democrats wanted to protect women. They said they wanted to protect minorities. I guess that isn’t true if women and minorities want to protect themselves. This isn’t a small issue of semantics, but a matter of life and death.

Do you find that hypocrisy as obvious and embarrassing as I do, or am I being overly sensitive?



Black Republicans elected during reconstruction-

Racist roots of gun-control-

And here-

US Supreme Court rules New York carry permits-

Woman denied carry permit in New York-

History of Semi-automatic firearms-

Court records in California case of Miller v. Bonta-

Sources for gun-control legal cases-

Rob Morse

Rob Morse works and writes in Southwest Louisiana. He writes at Ammoland, at his Slowfacts blog, and here at Clash Daily. Rob co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast, and hosts the Self-Defense Gun Stories Podcast each week.