We activists have been saying all along that “gun control” is really victim disarmament. I can’t recall our enemies ever addressing that issue directly, but now one of the biggest guns (you’ll pardon the expression) in the anti-gun movement has admitted the truth. And boy, did he admit it in a big way.
Michael Bloomberg is now on record as saying that he wants to take guns away from victims. Not perpetrators. Victims.
But oops! In admitting he really is a victim disarmer, he also admitted another secret truth of gun banning. He’s most urgently interested in disarming black people. And Hispanics.
Wow. And the anti-gunners like to call us racist.
Bloomberg made his remarks at a speech before the Aspen Institute (based in DC but named for the billionaire haven of Aspen, Colorado, where it has a campus). He said: “You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people getting killed. First thing you can do to help that group is to keep them alive.” He then identified “the people getting killed” as “male, minorities, 15 to 25.”
To be fair to Bloomberg (even though he’s so very unfair to his fellow Americans), he also stated that the perpetrators of the shootings are usually also “male, minorities, 15 to 25.” And that’s generally true, at least in big cities. Given that much of that inner-city violence is gang-related, it may be that the biggest difference between most victims and most perps in gang shootings is which criminal is on which end of the gun.
Whatever the case, though, victims and killers are often of similar age and ethnicity, so Bloomberg may want to take guns from perps, too. But he specified disarming victims.
That’s bad enough. But to decree that anyone should be denied the right to self defense simply because they fit some sociological profile is outrageous. Against every principle of individual liberty and the rule of law. And in this case, absolutely, undeniably racist.
If Bloomberg had blurted that about anything other than firearms, the mainstream media and the Twitterverse would have been all over him for his bigotry. Instead, only the gun blogosphere paid much attention.
Some of that attention was, however, savage. My colleague Kurt Hofmann wrote, “OK—so technically, he wants people disarmed on the basis of not only race, but of gender and age, as well. But that’s OK, because it’s for their own good. How cities would do this is a bit of a mystery. Federal law permits the purchase of firearms from federally licensed dealers at the age of 18 (21 for handguns), regardless of the race and gender of the prospective buyer. Then of course there’s the inconvenient fact that much of this nation’s ability to defend itself against hostile foreign powers relies on young, armed males, many of whom are not white, serving in our military forces. Should the military reject all prospective African-American and Hispanic recruits who are under the age of 26?”
As soon as his remarks came to light, Bloomberg desperately (and successfully) pressured the Aspen Institute to suppress footage of his bigoted admission. But somebody had been audiotaping, and Bloomberg couldn’t silence that.
The truth is out and the truth is ugly. So-called “progressives” want exactly what the Ku Klux Klan wanted: minorities who can’t shoot back.
For years, gun-rights activists have pointed out that most anti-gun laws in the U.S. were historically passed for racist motives. Clayton Cramer’s well-documented 1995 essay, The Racist Roots of Gun Control, is online at The Constitution Society (www.constitution.org). Legal scholar Dave Kopel more recently updated the racism of “gun control” with his article The Dark Secret of Jim Crow and the Racist Roots of Gun Control (www.davekopel.com/2a/mags/dark-secret-of-jim-crow.html). Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) produced a video cheekily called No Guns for Negroes.
A clear history of racism in firearms laws goes back to before the Revolutionary War. The attempt to disarm blacks ramped up after Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion and again during Reconstruction, when too many newly freed slaves were getting “uppity.” The bigotry continued into the 20th century, when the Black Panthers’ bold displays of arms were part of the inspiration for the Gun Control Act of 1968.
(Although no smoking gun proves that the GCA was explicitly anti-black, we know for sure it has racist roots in another sense: as JPFO demonstrated many years ago, GCA ’68 is based on a Nazi German law that “liberal” anti-gunner Sen. Thomas Dodd brought back from Europe after his stint as a prosecutor at Nuremberg.)
In many cases, the early U.S. “gun control” laws stated their purposes blatantly. After Turner’s rebellion, Tennessee abruptly changed its state constitution from “the freemen of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence” to “the free white men of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence.”
Virginia repealed a law that had allowed blacks occasionally to get a license to carry firearms and forbid them to possess any arms or “military weapons” whatsoever. In fact, the terror of armed blacks became so extreme that even canes and dogs were codified as weapons—as long as the “wrong” people owned them.
Cramer notes, “The various Black Codes … are sufficiently well-known that any reasonably complete history of the Reconstruction period mentions them. These restrictive gun laws played a part in provoking Republican efforts to get the Fourteenth Amendment [requiring equal protection under law] passed. Republicans in Congress apparently believed that it would be difficult for night riders to provoke terror in freedmen who were returning fire.”
With passage of the 14th Amendment, the blatantly anti-minority language had to stop. But the bigotry against armed minorities didn’t. Not even to this day. Enforcement can remain as racist as any government likes. Where do we see random “stop and frisk” searches for weapons and other contraband (a Bloomberg-originated policy, by the way)? In black neighborhoods.
The caption for the image goes here – directly beneath the image, it’s centered and italicized.
Where have we witnessed warrantless house-to-house searches for weapons? In inner-city housing projects. Even if you believe, as Bloomberg does (and as statistics bear out) that urban minorities are at the highest risk of violence and are the predominant perpetrators of violence, nothing justifies treating any entire class of people as less than full citizens, not entitled to the protections of the Bill of Rights. One shouldn’t be deprived of legal, constitutional rights because of being black. Or Hispanic. Or young. Or male.
But “progressive” Bloomberg thinks they should. And it shouldn’t make us feel any better just because we may happen to be old or female or middle aged or white or live in the suburbs.
(Side note to Bloomberg: The few murders committed in my rural redoubt have all been white-on-white despite the fact that we have substantial Hispanic and Asian minorities. Two of the ickiest were committed by a middle-aged woman. The victims included women of various ages and an elderly gay man. When you get around to deciding who deserves to be disarmed in my neighborhood, you’re going to have a tough choice.)
Never forget: Tyranny and every form of injustice are always visited first upon the least popular or the most politically helpless. Once a precedent has been established of denying fundamental rights to minorities or the poor or children or the institutionalized or some other subject population, the same outrages can be perpetrated more freely upon the rest of us.
Which of course would make Mr. Bloomberg very happy, as he sits in his gated mansion behind his phalanx of heavily armed bodyguards.