What say you?
Are black people who legally carry guns discriminated against? There is anecdotal evidence to indicate that it happens, particularly in crime-ridden urban centers. Students and retired police friends and acquaintances have told me that when guns were found in the possession of black men, in most urban centers, three or more decades ago, the guns were confiscated, legal or not.
That was before the concealed carry revolution, when only a few states issued concealed carry permits, and they were often issued only at the discretion of the police chief. Many of the gun control laws were designed specifically to disarm black men.
In 1967, the Black Panthers launched a bit of lawfare that brought about a ban on the open carry of loaded guns in California. It is hard to believe that the change in law was not what the Panthers intended, though they claimed to support the right to bear arms. Remember, the Panthers openly supported armed revolution in the United States. The day the gun control bill was before the legislature, the Panthers showed up at the capitol, carrying their guns in a threatening manner, unlike the open carry protests of today. The summer of 1967 was the year of race riots in much of the nation.
The panthers’ demonstrations resulted in the ban on the open carry of loaded guns that was signed by Ronald Reagan. This has been twisted by the left to claim that the Panthers initiated the gun rights movement in the United States. Nothing could be further from the truth. California had always been less than supportive of the second amendment. California does not have a right to keep and bear arms clause in its constitution, because the state government wanted to be able to disarm Mexicans and Chinese. California concealed carry law was originally passed in 1923, with the intention of making sure that minorities were disarmed.
We can never know for certain if the Panthers intended to have more gun control passed. More controls were certainly supported by the left, and the Panthers were strongly supported by the radical left, as noted in David Horowitz’ “Radical Son”:
While no one would publicly say so, it was the Panther’s violent image that provided their real attraction to the New Left. Blacks would seek liberation, Malcolm said, though the “ballot or the bullet,” but no radical believed that the System could be changed by peaceful means.”
Because leftist “revolutionaries” embrace deception as part of their tactics, the fact that some Panthers claimed to support the second amendment is inconclusive. The gun culture is intimately familiar with politicians who say “we support the second amendment” during elections. It is clear that the left supported restrictive gun legislation. It was only a year later that the United States Congress, at the urging of Lyndon Johnson, passed the most restrictive federal gun legislation up to that time, the federal gun control act of 1968.
More gun laws did provoke a backlash, but not against black people. The backlash was against the increasingly restrictive gun laws. The gun culture organized and developed means of communication outside of the dominant media. It fought back against the restrictions as the old media pushed for more and more. The gun culture fought for the right to bear arms for all citizens, regardless of color. Otis McDonald is a hero of the modern gun culture for his advocacy of the second amendment in McDonald v Chicago.
The Black tradition of Arms is covered extensively in a 379 page book that was published this year. It shows that black peoples’ use of arms, and the attempts to disarm them, have an extensive history. Read more at ammoland.com