Jesse Jackson needs a history lesson on race and guns

Jesse Jackson needs a history lesson on race and guns

Feb. 4, 2013

By John Seiler

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal (YouTube below), Jesse Jackson said of defenders of the Second Amendment, “They’re fighting the government. This is a Confederate ideology. This is like serious [unintelligible] power with something to do with how they feel.”

For the record, I’m a Michigan Yankee living in California.

And he has the history of gun control exactly backward — during Black History Month, no less. The first gun control in America occurred after the Civil War when the Ku Klux Klan used the governments of the South to seize the guns of blacks, leaving the blacks defenseless against lynchings and other violence.

White racist gun controllers

UCLA constitutional law professor Irwin Winkler, although a liberal, concedes:

“It was a constant pressure among white racists to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans, because they would rise up and revolt. The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns. During the Civil War, blacks kept guns for the first time — either they served in the Union army and they were allowed to keep their guns, or they buy guns on the open market where for the first time there’s hundreds of thousands of guns flooding the marketplace after the war ends. So they arm up because they know who they’re dealing with in the South. White racists do things like pass laws to disarm them, but that’s not really going to work. So they form these racist posses all over the South to go out at night in large groups to terrorize blacks and take those guns away. If blacks were disarmed, they couldn’t fight back.”

It’s also worth mentioning that the much-demonized group the National Rifle Association was formed in 1871 after the Civil War by former Union Army officers to help the marksmanship of soldiers. In 1871, the Union Army still was occupying the South as part of Reconstruction. That is, the Army was insisting that the South continue is abandonment of slavery mandated by the 13th Amendment.

And the Union Army enforced the 14th Amendment, Section 1 of which reads:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

That means that anyone who’s a “citizen” of the United States, which included blacks after manumission, is entitled to “the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” mainly meaning the Bill of Rights.

And the Bill of Rights includes the Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms.”

But when Reconstruction ended in 1877, the U.S. government no longer enforced many of the rights the 14th Amendment had granted to blacks. The Ku Klux Klan arose to deny blacks their rights, including the Second Amendment, meaning the Klan got governments to take away the blacks’ guns.

If Jackson wants to help blacks, he’ll instead encourage them to arm themselves, get some training by the NRA and fight the hoodlums in Chicago and elsewhere that he rightly has attacked for the increase in murders.

As in the South after the Civil War, the way for blacks to protect themselves, from murderous local hoodlums as well as against Jackson’s imaginary neo-Confederate terrorists, is to arm themselves.

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