The Racist Roots of Gun Control

Here’s a piece by Fordham Professor Nicholas J. Johnson that Jason Whitlock and Bob Costas should read. But being incurious liberals, they won’t.

It is no accident that the two seminal Second Amendment cases of our age were led by Black plaintiffs.  The concerns of people like Shelly Parker and Otis McDonald, have long driven the robust Black tradition of arms.   The benefit of arms in the hands of good people like this, for example reductions in hot burglaries and a general disincentive to criminals, are arguably more important in Black neighborhoods than elsewhere.  Moreover the fundamental justification for self-defense – the structural limits on the state’s ability to interdict imminent threats – is more pervasive in Black communities than in other places. Police response is slower. Personal threats are more common. Public resources are spread more thinly.

The only possible foundation for comments like Whitlock’s is the erroneous assumption that personal firearms render no benefits. That is demonstrably false as summarized in my previous post and illustrated extensively in my other work.   And there is no indication that the benefits of firearms ownership and use discriminate on the basis of race.

Finally, one wonders whether Whitlock even appreciates that the history of supply-side gun control in America is rooted in racism. As described in detail in my book Firearms law and the Second Amendment, the first generation of supply-side gun controls were explicitly racist. Ironically, these laws worked hand-in-hand with oppressive state regimes and terrorist organizations like the KKK. On this score Whitlock’s invocation of the KKK is ironic and perverse.

By invoking the specter of racism, Whitlock appropriates and exploits a public good that has been paid for in the sweat and blood of countless Black folk both here and gone. His cavalier deployment of this resource degrades those people and their sacrifice.  Whitlock makes hay by presuming to speak for Black people as a group.  Through the grossest invective he smears those who would disagree with him. I have to believe that he does not realize that this includes millions of lawful Black gun owners who reject the demonstrably flawed approach of relying on the state for their personal security.


Much more at the link.

Shouldn’t both Jason Whitlock and Bob Costas be fired for their rank incompetence? Never mind their illogical leap to gun control when self-control was what Jovan Belcher lacked. In his comparison of the NRA to the KKK, Whitlock showed both his lack of objectivity and his inability to research basic facts. Both of those should be important to a journalist. Bob Costas showed that he is, at best, a somewhat convincing reader of other people’s words.


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