Race, Flags, and the Second Amendment

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The shooting in South Carolina once again showed us the connection of guns and race. Statistics of inner city gun violence always showed the connection.  In this context, the National Rifle Association actually believes in gun control.

 

“Nothing” says the NRA should infringe on the right of “law abiding citizens to bear arms.”  So, everybody not “law abiding” gets controlled. 

But does “not law abiding” mean black people? History says yes. 

In the late 1960’s the Black Panthers creed was “the gun is the only thing that will free us.”  In 1967, they invaded the California State Assembly with guns in hand protesting the Mulford Act, which made it illegal to carrying loaded firearms in public. 

The NRA later supported the Mulford Act and that icon of American conservatism, Governor Ronald Reagan, signed the law stating  “I see no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons," the Mulford Act "would work no hardship on the honest citizen."  The national Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 followed, which the NRA did not oppose.  The “not law abiding” blacks got controlled. 

But the history goes back further.  We associate the American south as the most anti-gun control part of the nation -- in reality it was always the most gun controlled. From before the American Revolution until the well after the Civil War slaves couldn’t touch a gun without the master’s permission.  Laws prohibited even free blacks from having a gun, a situation that persisted throughout the Jim Crow south well into the 20thcentury.  This was strict gun control. 

A slave with no rights under the law by definition cannot be “law abiding.”      

D.W. Griffith’s racist silent film The Birth of a Nation (aka The Clansman) (Epoch Film Co. 1915) was the first American blockbuster and ends with the disenfranchisement and disarming of blacks.  The Birth of a Nation remains a Klu Klux Klan favorite and recruiting tool.

So, guns and race were connected. They are connected again at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina.  Dylann Roof chose his venue and victims with purpose. 

And if the connection of guns and race was not clear enough, Roof murdered under the banner of “the Confederate Flag.” 

The so called “Confederate Flag” was actually not the flag of the Confederacy but of the Army of Northern Virginia.  It’s graphically appealing.  We grew up with theDukes of Hazardand the “General Lee” racer draped in the Confederate flag invoking good natured mischief and independence. But this obscured history.   

Assertions of southern “heritage” and “pride” and “states’ rights” cannot change the Confederate Flag’s as an icon of the fight to maintain slavery and insurrection.  Dylann Roof made the point as he waived his Confederate flag while burning the American. 

Claims of “heritage” cannot just look to a putative ancestor who may have fought bravely for the Confederacy.  The heritage is itself hateful.  As Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens, stated in 1861, the Confederacy “corrected” Thomas Jefferson’s statement that “all men are created equal”: 

“Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.”

Claim Southern heritage and pride, but if you wave the “Confederate Flag” it comes with the violent racist cornerstone that was the Confederacy.  As much as the KKK hood, the Confederate flag remains the enduring symbol of white supremacy.  This is why when Dylann Roof walked into a bible meeting with a gun it was about race, gun control, and a flag. 

Why we need yet another reminder of how race is still an issue, guns need regulation, and that a symbol of racism needs to be removed is really the only question.  

About the author:

Robert McWhirter uses the Constitution and Bill of Rights every day as a practicing criminal lawyer and authority on immigration law and trial advocacy. His vast experience and impressive credentials in the field of law have prepared him for his latest contribution to all American citizens as author of Bill, Quills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights [American Bar Association, August 2015]

Haute Tease

  • TRISHNA, A Tragic Love Story, From Director Michael Winterbottom

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    TRISHNA, a tragic, ill-fated, love story, highlights the societal struggles in contemporary India while weaving a tale of lovers who try to move beyond the confines of position, cultural structure and boundaries.

     
  • Argentinian Psych/Indie Rock Band Iguana Lovers Set to Release Surfing Caos

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Iguana Lovers, the extremely popular Argentina rock band which has been rocking audiences with their electric sound for nearly two decades, is set to release their 13th Album, "Surfing Caos," and with global radio play the tune is set to go viral.  

  • Celebrity Interview & Review: Oliver Stone’s South of the Border Review: Sizzling Hot

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Oliver Stone's newest film SOUTH OF THE BORDER, "A Political Road Movie" fills the back seat of the old beat up opinion and travels, through the seven countries of South America, serving up more heat than the media can handle.

     
  • Moana Review - Awesome, Magical, Gorgeous South Sea Adventure

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Moana, from Walt Disney Animation, brings to the screen a stunning south sea adventure with lush tropical flora and fauna, beautiful crisp blue oceans, breathtaking starry skies, and a Fijian tribe of seafaring adventurers and of course, one demigod.

     
  • Dr. Christopher Calapai Offers A Tip Sheet of Favorite Natural Skincare Options

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With Spring’s unpredictable weather approaching, keeping your skin healthy and glowing can be a challenge. From the heat’s dehydrating effect to humidity’s pore-clogging grief, an at-home facial is sure to provide a quick fix.

     
  • CyberInt Completes $18m Funding Round

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Israeli cybersecurity detection and response services company CyberInt, which addresses cyber, fraud, and brand threats with a unique outside-in approach, has completed a $18 million financing round led by Viola Growth, with the participation of its existing investors.  

  • Ready Player One Review – A High Tech, Action Adventure, Thrill Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ready Player One, from Amblin Entertainment, presents a high tech, multi-dimensional, thrill ride as the new world order pits the independent gamers against the corporate developers in the ultimate quest to find three magical keys that unlock the future.

     
  • Ten Game-Changing Cocktail Trends - From Whimsical To Wild

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mix up your spirit selections and take your soirées to an unforgettable new level this season with libations that eradicate expectations. There’s no need to hit the bar for a stellar craft cocktail, as killer concoctions are a snap to make at home!

     
  • Who Gets What - Ranking The Countries That Receive the Most Foreign Aid From the U.S.

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The United States’ role abroad remains a contentious issue in politics and elections. From the muscular foreign policy efforts, in the modern era of former President Woodrow Wilson ’s to the flabby and soft efforts of the current administration.  

  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Eco Pledge; Syria/Aleppo; Election; Italy; Victoria Martens; National Parks

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, in recognition of the Centennial celebration of the National Parks, signed two designations to create Maine's North Woods a National Monument and adding to Hawaii's Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument increasing protected lands to 265Million acres.

     
  • Beltway Insider: U.S. Russia Collide on Ukraine; Boston Bomber News; Education Gifts Top 1B; Gas Tax Hike Possible

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama issued a strong warning against Soviet acts of aggression in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to violate the "territorial sovereignty" of the politically distressed Ukraine.

     
  • Money News: World Markets Rebound; DOW Up, American Markets Steady

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The US Markets continued to show strong signs of steady growth, with Asian and European Markets also showing signs of consumer confidence, as shoppers are positively responding to consumer friendly incentives and the November Jobs report caps a year of economic growth to end 2014.

 

Login Form