January 26, 2013
Gun Control: A Failed American ExperimentBy Timothy Birdnow
The United States has had gun control from its founding. And the results have been dreadful.
Georgia was hardly alone in this, and the pre-colonial powers were fully aware of the need to disarm slaves. The French Black Code of 1751 banned the possession of weapons by slaves in Louisiana, for instance, authorizing the offending slave be shot on sight.In Virginia Nat Turner's Rebellion of 1831 led to strict gun control laws for slaves and even for free blacks. Tennessee changed its constitution in 1834 limiting the right to keep and bear arms to whites only.In fact, gun control began in 1644 for freed blacks.A 1680 law reads;
Similar restrictions were put in place over both slave and freedman in Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, and elsewhere.
So why did slavery flourish in the United States? One reason undoubtedly is because the slaves were denied the tools to resist.
John Lott made that very point to the horror of Soledad O'Brien on CNN.
And life as a freedman was perilous, thanks in no small part to the ban on gun ownership by free blacks in many states. Often freedmen were seized by bounty hunters or unscrupulous slaveholders as runaways, and without a means to resist, the free blacks were powerless to stop it.
It is no coincidence that the places with the strictest gun laws today are often the places with the highest crime rates in America -- and with high African-American populations; the vestiges of slavery leads "the Man" to try to disarm the African-American population, and the law is ignored by the criminal element -- just as the law was ignored by criminals in the 18th and 19th centuries.
There were prohibitions against selling firearms to the Indian tribes, too, and yet the Indians were always well armed. They weren't making their own guns, either, but were purchasing them illegally. But the Indians were free to roam while the slaves were kept within a mile or so of the plantation, and the laws restricting guns were quite effective in that instance.
Now the Progressive will argue that this proves that "reasonable restrictions" were always part of the American historical context of gun ownership and so makes their case. Nothing could be further from the truth; slaves and Native Americans were not citizens, and the black freedmen were dismissed on the same basis. After the Civil War the Southern states enacted a series of punitive laws known as the Black Codes. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 made it clear that freed blacks were in fact citizens who enjoyed the same Second Amendment protections as whites.
To get around this -- especially after the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1867 -- the gun control advocates created carry permits and fees. Virginia's Law Review championed a "prohibitive tax" on handgun sales to blacks because the:
What does this tell us? The experiment with gun control has been conducted, and it has largely failed.
But if all guns were banned, then even the criminals would not have guns, right?
I tested that. I found dozens of websites that told me how to make all manner of firearms from easily obtainable materials. These weapons include fully automatic submachine guns, even flamethrowers! Explosives are easy, of course; just a few simple things like ammonia or aluminum and sulfur or iron oxide and you've got yourself a deadly IED. Even poison gas recipes can be found online. (Now for that knock on my door...)
American Thinker's own Jack Kemp had this to say;
The point is, weapons can be obtained when desired. The slave uprising in Haiti that kicked off the successful Haitian revolution against France was won in no small part because of firearms despite a heavy prohibition against slaves possessing such weapons. The IRA always had a dandy store of them despite the best legal efforts of the British. When I was on my honeymoon in Jamaica many years ago the big story was a raid by police on an illicit firearms factory. (Jamaica, despite one of the strictest gun control laws in the world has some of the highest gun crime rates).
What will start as a "reasonable restriction" will lead to guns in the hands of criminals alone, and will lead to the citizenry giving ever more power to law enforcement, and to legislators who will draft ever more restrictive laws. Eventually laws will be made against disseminating information to make firearms, and the government will get into the business of censoring such information. Also, after the Oklahoma City bombin,g there was talk about restrictions on purchases of materials that could be made into weapons or explosives, and that will be implemented. What is the endgame? Anything that could potentially be used as a weapon will be strictly controlled -- and that means just about everything. Where will that lead? A cashless society? A bar code laser-tattooed on your hand or forehead? Human beings are what we are because our ancestors took a bone and whacked another guy with it; the impulse to do bodily harm is not going to go away because weapons are restricted.
In the end, the Founding Fathers understood the importance of arming the citizenry as both a deterrent to crime and a deterrent to tyranny. The citizens should be able to run a political system that has turned monstrous out by force. The Left instinctively understands this, and so want to disarm the citizenry, figuring that at best weapons that citizens will get will be homemade or none at all. They hope to place us in the position of the slaves and black freedmen, who simply were not capable of resisting.
Considering that the Department of Homeland Security has over 1.2 billion rounds of hollow point bullets depriving Americans of a few Saturday Night Specials seems a bit unfair. But then, nobody ever accused the Left of playing nice.
Tim is a St. Louis based writer. Read more from Tim and friends at www.tbirdnow.mee.nu