Historical Ignorance And The Second Amendment

I had planned a post about a self-proclaimed Progressive feminist getting her comeuppance when her college-age son ended up on the wrong end of a college PC tribunal. But something more interesting and closer to home came to my attention while perusing our local newspaper's Letter's to the Editor, so that post will wait until tomorrow.

One of our local liberals had his diatribe against the Second Amendment in April 17th edition of the Laconia Daily Sun. I can only describe as being long on 'feelings' and ignorance and short on fact. Here's part of what the fellow had to say:

The 2nd Amendment is a racist piece of legislation that should have been removed with the abolition of slavery. Only the most irresponsible gun owners believe that the 2nd Amendment actually “protects” our freedoms.

The fellow goes on to disparage the NRA, equates Glocks to drones and tanks, and believes private ownership of guns is a “hindrance to human progress.” He also labels the Second Amendment as “a piece of legislation”. It is not. If it were, then merely passing a law in Congress would suffice to repeal it. He is showing his ignorance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

What a putz.

Here is what I e-mailed to the newspaper in response to this fellow's ignorance-laced rant:

I am writing in response to George [M's] letter about the Second Amendment being racist. It was apparent to me that Mr. [M] has little understanding of the Second Amendment, the 1860's, or the history of gun control laws.

First, when the 13th Amendment that ended slavery was ratified, there was no possibility that the 2nd Amendment could or would be repealed. Most of the populace of the United States was armed, it being just after the Civil War. Many were veterans of that war, both Union and Confederate. The frontier was still open, territories will still being settled, and law enforcement was spotty at best. There was no way the states would have ratified a repeal of the 2nd Amendment under those conditions, Mr. M's contentions to the contrary.

Second, gun control laws were first prevalent in the South after the Civil War. These laws were aimed at keeping the former slaves from being able to arm themselves. This was done in order to head off possible retaliation by blacks against whites, or at least that's how the idea was sold. A less openly known reason was that it prevented blacks from being able to protect themselves against the predations of whites trying to "keep them in their place."

Mr. [M], the 2nd Amendment isn't racist and never has been. It is the gun control laws you seem to love that are racist at their roots. Perhaps you should do a little more historical research before making such ill informed accusations.

I find that the folks who make claims about the racism of others are often the only racists in the room. But their racism is more subtle and backhanded, and therefore a more dishonest form of racism. What's worse is that they often don't realize that they are indeed racist.