By Tom Knighton
June 28, 2022
For years, there’s been this claim that supporting the Second Amendment was racist. The book, The Second, tries to make that claim as well, pushing the argument to the forefront of the gun debate. It’s a silly argument considering there are so many black men and women who own guns and are coming to support gun rights.
In reality, the roots of gun control are where you’ll find actual racism. Now, the LA Times has decided to illustrate that perfectly with their op-ed headlined, “Column: Is California ready for more Black people to legally carry guns in public?”
Now, in fairness, the text of the op-ed isn’t quite as bad as the headline suggests. The author is a black woman herself and she brings up a valid point.
California Democrats are scrambling to craft and enact new legislation this week that would somehow salvage the requirement — assuming local law enforcement continues to enforce it — that residents get a permit before carrying a concealed weapon.
“Our state will continue to lead in the fight to keep our people safe,” Gov. Gavin Newsom insisted on Thursday. Indeed, of all states, we have one of the lowest rates of dying by a bullet.
But the governor and lawmakers could fail, and the Supreme Court’s ruling could stand. And then, California could be forced to confront a reality that has long made many self-proclaimed liberals uncomfortable: Black people — potentially a lot of us — legally carrying guns in public.
Lest you think I’m being facetious, recall how California got started on its journey to having the toughest gun control laws in the country.
It was in 1967 that members of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense staged a protest at the California Capitol. Armed with the handguns and shotguns they normally used to protect Black neighborhoods in Oakland by “policing the police,” they announced that the time had come for “Black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late.” And then they went inside.
“We have a constitutional right to bear arms,” they shouted as they wandered the halls of the Capitol.
And the reaction to that sparked gun control in the state of California.
As such, maybe it’s not wrong for an LA Times columnist to ask that particular question, especially since she is a black woman in California.
However, I find it interesting that she’s asking that question in California. Supposedly, the state is so much more enlightened than us Red State barbarians. And yet, we support people like Rick Ector, Colion Noir, and Maj Toure because we judge them by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.
We actually support black men and women buying firearms for self-defense. Far too many in the black community have been gunned down while actually minding their own business, sometimes for a slight weeks prior and sometimes just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It makes sense for many of them to look to defending themselves.
Especially since so many of black men have an intense distrust of the police.
The truth of the matter is that if California has a problem with more black folks carrying guns in public, then California and the LA Times need to get over it.
This is a constitutionally protected right. That means it applies to every law-abiding American regardless of how dark their complexion is. That’s how rights work and if people have an issue with those of another ethnicity exercising their constitutionally protected rights, that’s on them.
You’d think the LA Times–a newspaper that enjoys First Amendment protections–would understand this and, at a minimum, not frame an op-ed in such an inflammatory way just to get views, because that is what the headline is really all about.