the National Rifle Association was for gun control. Of course, that was back when the Black Panthers were "patrolling" the streets with loaded weapons. California Gov. Ronald Reagan was alarmed by the Panther's armed patrols and their increasingly bellicose rhetoric about using their Second Amendment rights to fight an oppressive government (sound familiar?) and passed the Mumford Act, which prohibited carrying loaded weapons in public -- with the NRA's help and blessing. That's right, the NRA helped make concealed carry illegal in California.
But of course, it was because of the scary black people that guns needed to be controlled. Once the anti-government armed-militia talk shifted from urban blacks to rural whites, it also went from dangerous sedition to admirable patriotism. In fact, in the years since, the NRA has used the spectre of street crime and gang violence to frighten whites into buying guns. They never really dropped the scary black people messaging, it just shifted from "they shouldn't have guns" to "they have guns, so you need them too." This idea is so ingrained in gun culture that ads and articles in gun magazines seem to assume that "legitimate" gun owners are white.
So, when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg bragged that his city's stop-and-frisk policy had "has taken some 8,000 guns off the street over the past decade," you heard crickets. Here was one of the right's favorite targets -- a man who they call "Nanny Bloomberg" and use as the epitome of "big government" overreach -- admitting that stop-and-frisk was basically a gun grab. And did the right condemn him for it?
No, they applauded.
After all, isn't this exactly what the NRA pretends to panick over every time someone mentions gun control? Your guns will become illegal and the government will send it's goons to round them all up. Well, there you go. It's happening -- or was until a judge stopped it -- and, while the NRA is silent on the issue, their allies in Washington and in the punditry aren't siding with the gun owners, they're siding with the government goons and "Nanny Bloomberg."
When gun control takes guns away from black people, it's common sense policing. When it takes guns away from white people, it's TYRANNY!!
It's not my intention to defend carrying illegal weapons, to attack those who make certain weapons illegal, or to oppose the confiscation of illegal weapons. It's my intention to point out the double standard the right has for "Second Amendment freedoms." The message I'm getting here is that guns aren't for minorities, guns are for white people to protect themselves from minorities. Dark skinned people with guns are street thugs, light skinned people with guns are Second Amendment Heroes.
The difference between a "firearm for legitimate use" and a "dangerous gun" that needs to be taken off the streets is the color of the skin wrapped around the grip.
[photo by Anas Ahmad]