Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Boston Globe Readers Discover The Racist History Of Gun Control

By Cam Edwards Bearing Arms

Given the anti-gun attitudes of the editors of the Boston Globe, I was shocked to see a column headlined “The Very Racist History of Gun Control” on the paper’s website this weekend. I’m sure the piece by longtime columnist Jeff Jacoby has caused some heartburn in the newsroom, not only because the op-ed is chock full of inconvenient truths for fans of gun control, but because it directly takes aim at the claims of historian Carol Anderson, whose new book “The Second” is based on the premise that the right to keep and bear arms itself is rooted in racism.

As Jacoby persuasively points out, there’s nothing implicitly or explicitly racist or discriminatory about the Second Amendment or the right that it protects. Instead, it’s the efforts to keep people from keeping and bearing arms that have largely been based on racist beliefs of white supremacy over the years.

Jacoby quickly runs through some of the low-lights of racist gun control laws in pre-Civil War America, including an 1831 law in Maryland that barred free blacks from possessing firearms. He then turns to the establishment of similar laws in the post-Civil War South before turning his attention to the role that gun ownership has played in the fight for equality.


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