Die NRA ondersteun geweerbeheer toe die swart panters die wapens gehad het

Die NRA ondersteun geweerbeheer toe die swart panters die wapens gehad het

Met die verloop van die dag woed die debat vir of teen geweerbeheer in die Verenigde State aan. En alhoewel die National Rifle Association (NRA) tans die leiding neem oor die regte van die burgers om wapens van alle soorte te dra, met min of geen inmenging van die regering nie, was die Black Panthers die oorspronklike advokate vir geweerregte.

Gedurende die laat 1960's het die militante swart nasionalistiese groep hul begrip van die fynere besonderhede van die wapenwette in Kalifornië gebruik om hul politieke uitsprake oor die onderwerping van Afro-Amerikaners te beklemtoon. In 1967 protesteer 30 lede van die Black Panthers op die trappe van die staathuis in Kalifornië, gewapen met .357 Magnum's, 12-gauge haelgewere en 0,45-kaliber pistole en kondig aan: "Die tyd het aangebreek dat swart mense hulself moet bewapen."

Die vertoning het politici so bang gemaak - insluitend die goewerneur van Kalifornië, Ronald Reagan - dat dit gehelp het om die Mulford Act, 'n staatswetsontwerp wat die oop vervoer van gelaaide vuurwapens verbied, saam met 'n addendum wat gelaaide vuurwapens in die staat se hoofstad verbied, te verbied. Die wetsontwerp van 1967 het Kalifornië op die pad gebring om van die strengste wapenwette in Amerika te hou en het gehelp om die nasionale wapenbeheerbeperkings te verhoog.

"Die wet was deel van 'n golf wette wat aan die einde van die 1960's uitgevaardig is om gewere te reguleer, veral om Afro-Amerikaners te rig," sê Adam Winkler, skrywer van Gunfight: Die stryd oor die reg om wapens te dra. 'Insluitend die Wet op die Beheer van Geweer van 1968, waarin nuwe wette aangeneem word wat sekere mense verbied om wapens te besit, voorsiening te maak vir die verskerping van lisensiëring en inspeksies van geweerhandelaars en die invoer van goedkoop Saterdagaand -aanbiedings (sakpistole) wat in sommige stedelike gemeenskappe gewild was, te beperk. . ”

In teenstelling met die NRA se teenstand teen geweerbeheer in die huidige Amerika, het die organisasie in die 1960's saam met die regering geveg vir strenger wapenregulasies. Dit was deel van 'n poging om gewere uit die hande van Afro-Amerikaners te hou namate rassespanning in die land toeneem. Die NRA voel veral bedreig deur die Black Panthers, wie se goed gefotografeerde vervoer van wapens in die openbare ruimte heeltemal wettig was in die staat Kalifornië, waar dit gevestig was.

Die Black Panthers was 'vernuwers' in die manier waarop hulle destyds die tweede wysiging beskou het, sê Winkler. In plaas van om op die idee van selfverdediging in die huis te konsentreer, het die Black Panthers hul wapens dapper na die strate geneem, waar hulle gevoel het dat die publiek-veral Afro-Amerikaners-beskerming teen 'n korrupte regering nodig het.

"Hierdie idees het uiteindelik by die NRA ingedring om die moderne geweerdebat te vorm," verduidelik Winker. Terwyl wette oor wapenbeheer die land oorval het, het die organisasie 'n soortgelyke standpunt ingeneem as dié van die aktivistegroep wat hulle vroeër geveg het om te reguleer, met ondersteuning vir wette met oop dra en versteekte wapenwette hoog op hul agenda.

'N Paar aspekte van die Amerikaanse grondwet was so troebel en verdelend as die tweede wysiging. Die wysiging lui dat "'n Goed gereguleerde Militie, wat noodsaaklik is vir die veiligheid van 'n vrystaat, die reg van die mense om wapens te hou en te dra, nie geskend word nie."

Sommige meen dat die wysiging beteken dat Amerikaanse burgers 'n onvervreembare reg op wapens het, met die fokus op die reg om wapens te dra, maar ander meen dat slegs 'n goed gereguleerde milisie die onmiskenbare reg sou hê, met die klem op 'goed gereguleerde' "En" milisie. " Die Black Panthers sou hulself in die middel van beide interpretasies bevind.

VIDEO: Die tweede wysiging: Hoe het die reg om 'wapens te hou en te dra' deel geword van die Amerikaanse grondwet? Hoe het idees oor hierdie reg en die beskerming daarvan mettertyd verander?

Die radikale Afro-Amerikaanse groep, wat oorspronklik die Black Panthers for Self-Defense genoem is, is in 1966 in Oakland, Kalifornië, gestig deur Huey Newton en Bobby Seale, gebaseer op die ideologie van wyle Malcolm X. Hulle het geglo dat die stryd om rasse-gelykheid sou nie gewen word deur 'n stadige druppel van gewelddadige optrede en protesoptredes, soos Martin Luther King jr. verkondig het nie, maar dat sterker optrede nodig was om swart mense se voortbestaan ​​te verseker.

'N Groot deel van die groep se veldtog teen rasse -onreg was afhanklik van die besit van wapens en opleiding. Newton en Seale het gedurende die vroeë jare van die Black Panthers 'n verskeidenheid gewere begin versamel, waaronder masjiengewere, gewere en handwapens. Nuwe rekrute moes leer hoe om gewere te gebruik, skoon te maak en te skiet, benewens die begrip van hul reg om vuurwapens te dra en hoe om dit aan die polisie in Kalifornië te kommunikeer.

Newton het sy eie kennis van die wet op die proef gestel nadat hy en Seale vroeg in 1967 deur die polisie in Oakland in 'n voertuig met wapens gestop is. By navraag oor die gewere het Newton eenvoudig geantwoord dat die enigste ding wat hy moes doen, sy 'identifikasie, naam en adres' was.

Op versoek van die beampte stap Newton uit die motor, 'n geweer wat nog gesleep is, en weier om te verduidelik waarom hy en die ander Black Panthers hul wapens dra. Toe die toeskouers bymekaarkom, het die polisie probeer om die skare uiteen te jaag terwyl Newton hulle verwelkom het. Hy het geweet dat omstanders volgens die Kaliforniese wetgewing 'n arrestasie wettig kan sien solank hulle nie inbreek nie. Aangesien daar geen oortredings was vir die polisie om die Black Panther -lede van (en 'n groeiende aantal getuies) aan te kla nie, kon hulle die toneel verlaat sonder enige probleme van die polisie.

Lede van die groep, aangemoedig deur hul rustige gesprek met die polisie, het polisiemotors begin volg en regsadvies uitgereik aan Afro-Amerikaners wat deur die polisie voorgekeer is terwyl hulle hul wapens wettig dra. Die groep het na hierdie aktiwiteite verwys as 'polisiepatrollies'.

"Bobby Seale en Huey Newton het die tweede wysiging gebruik om die wapens in die openbaar te regverdig om die polisie te polisieer," sê Winkler. 'Die Panthers staan ​​met hul gewere langs die kantlyn en skree vir die persoon. Dat hulle die reg het om te swyg, dat hulle kyk en dat as daar iets erg gebeur, die Black Panthers daar sou wees om hulle te beskerm. ”

Hulle het ook 'n optog na die Capitol gereël om die aandag te vestig op hul oorsaak van die stryd teen 'n regering wat probeer om inbreuk te maak op hul reg om wapens te dra. Op 2 Mei 1967 het 30 ten volle gewapende Black Panthers die staat Capitol in Kalifornië beset. Die demonstrasie is gemotiveer deur die wetsontwerp van die Republikeinse parlementslid, Don Mulford, om die wet te herroep sodat Kaliforniërs openlik wapens kan dra, 'n direkte reaksie op die Black Panthers se "polisiepatrollies".

Voordat Bobby Seale die gebou binnegaan, lees Bobby Seale 'n skriftelike verklaring oor die Capitol -trappe voor goewerneur Ronald Reagan: 'Die Amerikaanse volk in die algemeen en die swart mense in die besonder', het Seale verklaar, 'moet deeglik kennis neem van die rassistiese wetgewer in Kalifornië wat daarop gemik was om die swart mense ontwapen en magteloos te hou. ”

Die groep aktiviste wat die Capitol beset met vol gelaaide wapens op volle vertoning, was 'n onvergeetlike gesig. Hulle betoging het egter teruggekeer en die wetsontwerp het beide die staatsvergadering en die senaat aanvaar, met die volle steun van die NRA. Benewens die herroeping van wapenwette in Kalifornië, het Mulford dit onwettig gemaak om vuurwapens in die Capitol in te neem. Op 28 Julie is dit deur die goewerneur Reagan onderteken, wat later gesê het dat hy 'geen rede het waarom 'n burger vandag gelaaide wapens op straat moet dra nie.

Mulford het effektief gespeel op die blanke Amerika se vrees vir Afro-Amerikaners gedurende die sestigerjare, en het die krag wat die Black Panthers gevind het, weggeneem om hul gewere te skud. Alhoewel die wetsontwerp effektief was om die Black Panthers te ontwapen, het dit nie veel invloed op die vermindering van kriminele geweld nie, sê Winkler.

Alhoewel dit in stryd is met die ideologieë van die NRA in die 21ste eeu, was dit nie die eerste keer dat die NRA - wat oorspronklik in 1871 gestig is met die doel om burgeroorlogveterane op te lei in skietery - wetgewing oor wapenbeheer ondersteun nie.

In die 1920's en 1930's ondersteun die NRA beperkings op wie wapens op straat kan dra om vyandigheid teenoor Europese immigrante - wat destyds bekend was om openlik wapens te dra - in die land te verminder. En na die sluipmoorde op Martin Luther King, Jr. en Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, ondersteun die NRA die Gun Control Act wat dieselfde jaar aangeneem het, wat aansienlike beperkings op die aankoop van wapens op grond van geestesongesteldheid, dwelmverslawing en ouderdom geplaas het. , onder andere faktore.

Ironies genoeg was dit die wapenbeheerwette wat teen Afro-Amerikaners en die Black Panthers in werking getree het, wat daartoe gelei het dat "plattelandse wit konserwatiewes" regoor die land bang was vir enige beperking van hul eie gewere, sê Winkler. Binne minder as 'n dekade sou die NRA van die steun van die wapenbeheerregulasies teruggaan om groepe wat hulle bedreig voel, te belemmer om te weier om enigsins wapenbeheerwetgewing te ondersteun.


Moet nooit vergeet nie: as swart mense hulself bewapen het, ondersteun die NRA en die Republikeine skielik die wapenbeheer

Eers die week is daar 'n nuwe skietery, van die Mercy -hospitaal in Chicago tot by Thousands Oaks, Kalifornië, tot 'n Joodse sinagoge. Baie mense vra: wat sal nodig wees om 'n goeie wapenbeheer te kry? Vir die antwoord kan u kyk na die verlede en#8212 wat swart mense bewapen. As 'n groep swart mense wettige wapens in die hande kry, sou die kongres skielik die wapenbeheer 'n prioriteit maak, as die geskiedenis 'n aanduiding is.

Teen die middel van die 1960's het die Black Panther Party 'n krag geword in swart woonbuurte regoor die land, veral in Oakland, Kalifornië, waar die organisasie gestig is Bobby Seale en Huey Newton. Die Black Panthers het hul regte as geweer eienaars verstaan ​​en op 2 Mei 1967 het hulle beroemd by die Kaliforniese staatshuis met gewere betoog (natuurlik was daar geen AR-15's of wapens in militêre styl nie). Seale het in 'n verklaring gesê: "Die tyd het aangebreek dat swart mense hulself teen hierdie terreur moet bewapen voordat dit te laat is."

Minder as drie maande later onderteken Ronald Reagan, destydse goewerneur van Kalifornië, die Mulford-wet, wat ook die Panther Bill genoem word, en word beskryf as 'n staatswetsontwerp wat die oop vervoer van gelaaide vuurwapens verbied, tesame met 'n addendum wat verbied vuurwapens in die staat se hoofstad gelaai. ”

En raai wie het ook die Mulford -wet ondersteun? Die NRA.

History.com berig, en die organisasie het in die 1960's saam met die regering baklei vir strenger wapenregulasies. Dit was deel van 'n poging om gewere uit die hande van Afro-Amerikaners te hou namate rassespanning in die land toeneem. Die NRA voel veral bedreig deur die Black Panthers, wie se goed gefotografeerde dra van wapens in die openbare ruimtes heeltemal wettig was in die staat Kalifornië, waar hulle gevestig was. ”

Dus, as ons op soek is na 'n antwoord op geweerbeheer, kan die antwoord in 1967 wees.


Die NRA, Black Panthers en geweerbeheer

Ek kan sonder twyfel sê dat die Verenigde State 'n geweerprobleem is. Dit is nie 'n aanname nie. Dit is nie eers 'n onopgevoede raaiskoot nie. Hierdie. Is. N feit. Die Verenigde State van Amerika het 'n geweerprobleem.

Om daarmee saam te gaan, kan ek sonder twyfel sê dat die Verenigde State ook 'n binnelandse terroristeprobleem het (hoewel die media dit natuurlik nie sal noem nie, want dit is blanke Amerikaanse mans wat hierdie dade pleeg — nie die donkerkleurige buitelanders wat hulle ons probeer oortuig om te vrees nie).

Die aand van 7 November is 12 mense doodgeskiet by Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Kalifornië. Die verdagte? 'N Wit, Amerikaanse ex-marine wat met posttraumatiese stresversteuring gediagnoseer is.

In 'n Facebook -plasing voor die skietery het die gewapende man die volgende gesê: 'Ek hoop mense noem my kranksinnig. Sou dit nie net 'n groot bal ironie wees nie? Ja, ek is kranksinnig, maar die enigste ding wat jy na hierdie skietery doen, is winkels en gebede ’ of ‘ hou jou elke keer in my gedagtes … ’ … en wonder hoekom dit bly gebeur. ”

En hy's reg. Hierdie skietery gebeur steeds en niemand in die kongres doen iets daaraan nie. Die National Rifle Association het die sakke van verskeie Republikeine met genoeg geld gevoer om hul mond oor die kwessie te hou terwyl onskuldige liggame op mekaar gelê word.

Die NRA veg voortdurend vir die reg om wapens te dra as hulle nie bedreig voel nie. Tydens die bewind van die Black Panther Party ondersteun die NRA geweerbeheer toe lede van die Black Panthers diegene in besit was van die wapens.

Na 'n protesoptrede deur die Black Panthers op die trappe van die Kaliforniese staatshuis, het politici onmiddellik die Mulford -wet op 5 April 1967 goedgekeur. Hierdie staatswetsontwerp verbied nie net die opneem van vuurwapens nie, maar neem ook Kalifornië die pad om die strengste geweer te hê. wette in Amerika en begin met die beperkinge op nasionale wapenbeheer.

Die NRA ondersteun hierdie mosie ten volle en veg saam met die regering om strenger wapenbeheerwette in te stel in hul poging om die wapens uit die hande van Afro-Amerikaners te hou.

Volgens Adam Winkler, skrywer van “Gunfight: The Battle About the Right to Wapens in Amerika, was hierdie wet deel van 'n golf wette wat in die laat 1960's aangeneem is wat wapens reguleer, veral vir Afro -Amerikaners. . Insluitend die Wet op die beheer van wapens van 1968, waarin nuwe wette aangeneem is wat sekere mense verbied om wapens te besit, voorsiening te maak vir verskerpte lisensiëring en inspeksie van geweerhandelaars en die invoer van goedkoop Saterdagaand-aanbiedinge (sakpistole) wat in sommige stedelike gemeenskappe gewild was, te beperk. . ”

Tydens hul bewind is die NRA slegs deur die Black Panthers geïntimideer, en as weerwraak het hulle 'n stel wapenwette geïmplementeer wat hul vermoë om een ​​te koop beperk. Ja, u het dit reg verstaan. Die NRA is slegs geïntimideer deur 'n groep swart mans en vroue gewapen met AR-15's, sodat hulle 'n wet ingestel het om die toegang van die publiek tot wapens te beperk.

So uit die logika verstaan ​​ek dat die NRA baie meer bang is vir gewapende swart mans en vroue as vir wit binnelandse terroriste wat eintlik massamoord pleeg? Hulle verkies om toegang tot gewere van die Black Panthers en swart Amerikaners te beperk, maar draai die ander wang om as iemand met 'n geestesversteuring toegang tot 'n geluiddemper het en 'n konsert in Las Vegas opneem.

Die NRA verkies om die toegang tot gewere van die Black Panthers te beperk ná 'n nie-gewelddadige betoging op die trappe van die Kaliforniese staatshuis, maar nie na 'n ma wat op nasionale televisie skreeu vir “No. Meer. Gewere. ”

Die NRA verkies om toegang tot wapens van die Black Panthers te beperk, maar laat hul woordvoerder, Dana Loesch, toe om die Parkland -studente te intimideer en te verneder na die wrede aanval op hul skool nadat 'n geestesongestelde student besluit het om die lewe van 17 studente te neem.

Die NRA verkies om toegang tot gewere van die Black Panthers te beperk, maar weier om te luister na die pleidooi van die Amerikaanse bevolking oor gesonde verstand geweerbeheer, maar hulle moet.

Gewere moet nie maklik toeganklik wees nie. Daar moet agtergrondkontroles wees, klasse moet onder toesig wees. Daar behoort geen rede te wees om 'n semi-outomatiese geweer te koop nie, en as u argument is dat u dit gebruik om te jag, moet u in elk geval nie jag nie. Die aarde sal onvrugbaar wees teen die tyd dat ons daarmee klaarkom.

Amerika het gesonde verstand geweerhervorming nodig. Ons het nie gedagtes en gebede nodig nie. Ons moet politici ophou om met bloedgeld betaal te word.


Toe die NRA geweerbeheer ondersteun

Op 20 Mei 2000 het die legendariese akteur en president van die National Rifle Association Charlton Heston voor die podium gestaan ​​tydens die organisasie se 129de jaarlikse byeenkoms met 'n vaandel agter hom met die Amerikaanse vlag en die woorde "Stem vryheid." Toe hy sy toespraak afsluit, tel Heston 'n replika van 'n vuursteengeweer op, lig dit oor sy kop en verklaar op sy eie dramatiese manier dat elkeen wat sy geweer wil neem, dit "uit my koue, dooie hande sal moet stryk" . ”

Hierdie ikoniese oomblik het aangebreek om die NRA te definieer, wat nou Amerika se voorste voorstander-groep is. Terwyl die groep dinge in 'n nuwe advertensieveldtog opstel, word wette oor wapenbeheer en politici wat dit ondersteun, beskou as 'n ongrondwetlike inbraak op die tweede wysigingsreg om wapens te dra.

Die opposisie van die NRA teen geweerbeheer is egter slegs 'n paar dekades, volgens die skrywer van Adam Winkler Gunfight: Die stryd oor die reg om wapens in Amerika te dra. 'Histories', skryf Winkler, 'was die leierskap van die NRA meer oop oor wapenbeheer as wat iemand wat die moderne NRA ken, sou dink.'

Die NRA het die grootste deel van die 20ste eeu nie net geweerbeheer ondersteun nie, maar die leierskap daarvan het in werklikheid gepoog vir die wetgewing oor wapenbeheer.

Toe die NRA gestig is deur twee veterane van die burgeroorlog van die Unie en 'n voormalige New York Times verslaggewer in 1871, was die doel daarvan om te help om die skerpskiet van stedelike noordelike inwoners te verbeter, waarvan die minderwaardigheid ten opsigte van die beter slag van hul suidelike eweknieë in die platteland die oorlog sou verleng het. Gedurende hierdie tyd was die tweede wysiging nie die sentrale platform van die vereniging nie. Sy leuse, "Vuurwapensveiligheidsopvoeding, vaardigheidopleiding, skietery vir ontspanning", is by die NRA se nasionale hoofkwartier vertoon. Die vereniging het 'n handves toegestaan ​​en ontvang $ 25,000 uit die staat New York om 'n vuurbaan te koop. Dit het ook 'n jarelange verhouding met die Amerikaanse weermag onderhou, met oortollige gewere en borgskappe vir die skietwedstryd.

In die 1920's het die National Revolver Association, die arm van die NRA wat verantwoordelik is vir die opleiding van handwapens, regulasies voorgestel wat later deur nege state aangeneem is, wat 'n permit vereis om 'n versteekte wapen te dra, vyf jaar ekstra gevangenisstraf as die geweer in 'n misdaad gebruik word, 'n verbod op die verkoop van wapens aan nie-burgers, 'n eendagwagtyd tussen die aankoop en ontvangs van 'n geweer, en dat rekords van die verkoop van wapens aan die polisie beskikbaar gestel word.

Die misdaadperiode van die 1930's van die Verbod -era, wat nog steeds beelde van outlaws wat met masjiengewere toegerus is, ontbied, het president Franklin Roosevelt aangespoor om die beheer van wapens 'n kenmerk van die New Deal te maak. Die NRA het Roosevelt gehelp met die opstel van die 1934 National Firearms Act en die 1938 Gun Control Act, die eerste federale wapenbeheerwette. Hierdie wette stel swaar belasting en reguleringsvereistes op vuurwapens wat met misdaad verband hou, soos masjiengewere, afgesaagde haelgewere en knaldempers. Wapenverkopers en eienaars moes by die federale regering registreer en oortreders is verbied om wapens te besit. Die wetgewing is nie net eenparig in 1939 deur die Hooggeregshof bekragtig nie, maar Karl T. Frederick, die president van die NRA, het voor die kongres getuig: 'Ek het nooit geglo in die algemene gebruik van wapens nie. Ek glo nie in die algemene losbandige wapens nie. Ek dink dit moet skerp beperk word en slegs onder lisensies. ”

Die NRA ondersteun die geweerbeheer die volgende 30 jaar. Teen die laat 1960's was 'n verskuiwing in die NRA -platform op die horison.

Op 22 November 1963 is president John F. Kennedy deur Lee Harvey Oswald vermoor. Hy het die president geskiet met 'n Italiaanse militêre oorskotgeweer wat uit 'n posbestelling-advertensie van die NRA gekoop is. Die uitvoerende vise-president van die NRA, Franklin Orth, het tydens 'n kongresverhoor ooreengekom dat posbestellings verbied moet word, wat lui: 'Ons dink wel dat 'n gesonde Amerikaner, wat homself 'n Amerikaner noem, beswaar daarteen kan hê om die instrument wat die president vermoor het in hierdie wetsontwerp te plaas. van die Verenigde State. ” Die NRA ondersteun ook die Kaliforniese Mulford -wet van 1967, wat verbied het om gelaaide wapens in die openbaar te dra in reaksie op die onvoorwaardelike optog van die Black Panther Party op die staatskapitaal om die wet op die beheer van wapens op 2 Mei 1967 te protesteer.

Die somer-onluste van 1967 en die sluipmoorde op Martin Luther King Jr. en Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 het die kongres genoop om 'n weergawe van die wapenbeheerwette uit die FDR-tydperk weer in werking te stel as die Gun Control Act van 1968. Die wet het die wet opgedateer om minimum te bevat ouderdom- en reeksnommervereistes, en het die wapenverbod uitgebrei tot geestesongesteldes en dwelmverslaafdes. Boonop het dit die versending van gewere oor staatsgrense beperk tot versamelaars en handelaars met federale gelisensieer, en sekere tipes koeëls kon slegs met 'n bewys van ID gekoop word. Die NRA het egter die strengste deel van die wetgewing geblokkeer, wat 'n nasionale register van alle gewere en 'n lisensie vir alle geweerdraers vereis het. In 'n onderhoud in Amerikaanse geweer, Het Franklin Orth gesê dat ondanks gedeeltes van die wet wat "buitensporig beperkend" voorkom, die maatreël in sy geheel blyk te wees waarmee die Amerikaanse atlete kan saamleef. "

'N Verskuiwing in die NRA se platform het plaasgevind toe die Buro vir Alkohol, Tabak, Vuurwapens en Ontploffings in 1971 tydens 'n huisaanval 'n jarelange lid van die NRA, Kenyon Ballew, vermoed het dat hy onwettige wapens opgeberg het. Die NRA het die federale regering vinnig veroordeel. Soos Winkler uitwys, na aanleiding van die voorval NRA -raadslid en redakteur van New Hampshire's Manchester Union Leader William Loeb verwys na die federale agente as "Treasury Gestapo", die vereniging het spoedig die taal van die Panthers toegeëien en daarop aangedring dat die tweede wysiging individuele geweerregte beskerm.

Die NRA het 'n groot deel van die 20ste eeu gepoog om wetgewing aan te skaf wat mede-outeur was van die moderne wetgewende maatreëls wat die vereniging nou as ongrondwetlik beskryf. Maar teen die sewentigerjare het die NRA pogings om wapenbeheerwette in te stel beskou as bedreigings vir die Tweede Wysiging, 'n standpunt wat sterk uitgespreek is by die Republikeinse Nasionale Konvensie van verlede week deur die huidige NRA-leier Chris Cox. Die NRA van vandag kan saamgevat word met woorde wat die Black Panther Party 40 jaar tevore geuiter het: "die geweer is die enigste ding wat ons sal bevry - gee ons ons bevryding."


Verwante verhale

Oktober 1966 sou die 53ste herdenking van die swart nasionalistiese groep wees. Die linksgesinde idees van Panthers en militante voorspraak sou baie na hulle beïnvloed.

Maar in 1967, net 'n jaar nadat hulle in 'n formidabele groep uit Oakland, Kalifornië, gemobiliseer het, sou die Panthers op 'n vreemde manier geskiedenis skryf.

In teenstelling met die mites, was mede-stigters van die Black Panther Party, Huey P. Newton en Bobby Seale, ten tyde van die beweging, ideoloë wat militante selfverdediging onderhou het.

Hulle was nie jong mans wat net moeilikheid wou veroorsaak nie. Die sosioloog John Narayan sou later skryf oor Newton, hoewel hy geprys is omdat hy die leier van die Black Panther Party was, maar Newton is relatief onbekend as 'n intellektueel. ”

Vir Newton en Seale was die punt van swart bevryding 'n sosialistiese of kollektivistiese doel.

Swart mense moes 'n gemeenskapskultuur omhels waar hul behoeftes gewaarborg word deur die gemeenskap en individue wat vervulling gevind het in die uitvoering van verantwoordelikhede teenoor die gemeenskap.

Hierdie sosiale en politieke denke het 'n ryk intellektuele geskiedenis in Afrika, waar baie onafhanklikheidsleiers verskillende vorme van kollektivistiese visies van nasiebou bepleit het.

Die stigters van die Panthers het dit geleer. Bobby Seale het 'n seun vernoem na Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana se eerste president en 'n voorstander van 'n soort Afrikaanse sosialisme.

Die Black Panthers het soveel intellektuele aantrekkingskragte. Boonop het die vroeë aktiwiteite van die Panthers aandag gegee aan sosiale kwessies soos haweloosheid en honger onder swartes.

Dit maak die punt van hul verhouding met gewere 'n sinekdoche.

Vir Newton en Seale was gewere 'n middel tot 'n doel. Hulle het vuurwapens nodig vir sover die wet- en regsbeamptes nie daarin belang gestel het om swart lewens te beskerm nie.

Huey P. Newton, Fotokrediet: Conversation.e-flux.com

Die Black Panthers het voordeel getrek uit die Kalifornië se wette en daarna die wette oor wapens verslap en opvallend gewere gedra. Hulle het gesê dat hulle die polisie ondersoek.

Die Panthers het gedink dat beamptes regverdig sou wees as beamptes agterkom dat hulle deur Panthers gevolg word en hul interaksie met swart lede van die publiek wat deur gewapende Panthers gemonitor word.

Die Panthers was nie verkeerd nie. Selfs in die nadraai van die Wet op Burgerregte van 1964, wou owerhede in 'n aantal state nie swart mense gelyke geleenthede bied nie.

'N Voorbeeld van die hulp van die Black Panthers as gevolg van verwaarlosing van die owerheid, was die geval van Denzil Dowell.

Dit alles het die Panthers volgehou dat Amerika sy probleem van rassisme en ongelykheid moet erken.

Maar die optiek van swart mans en vroue wat wapens in die openbaar hou, selfs al wys hulle die wapens op niemand soos die wet bepaal nie, was 'n bietjie te veel vir die blanke publiek en die goewerneur van Kalifornië, Ronald Reagan.

Die rede vir hierdie vrees vir swart mense in die Verenigde State, soos die wet dit toelaat, word beter verduidelik deur die sosiale kritikus Ta-Nehisi Coates: “ . ”

In 1967 het Kalifornië die Mulford Act goedgekeur, 'n wet wat in die openbaar opgehou het om gewere deur burgerlikes te wys. Dit was die reaksie van mag aan swart mense wat die fyn lyne van 'n wet wat deur die magtiges gemaak is, uitbuit.

Die National Rifle Association (NRA), die mees gedugte lobbygroep van Amerika oor die reg van mense om gewere te besit, ondersteun die Mulford -wet.

Die Panthers het na die staatsvergadering gestap om te protesteer teen die oortreding van die wet, en hoewel dit misluk het, was dit die begin van hul landwye gewildheid.

Die Mulford -wet was die eerste van vele vuurwapenbeheermaatreëls wat Kalifornië die afgelope 50 jaar sou onderneem. Danksy hierdie verloop van sake is daar waarskynlik lewens gered.

Oor die huidige debat oor watter beperkings op die besit van wapens geplaas kan word, word die Mulford -wet in Amerika as 'n goeie stap beskou.

Maar die Amerikaanse paradoks in hierdie Black Panther-episode kan niemand wat aandag gegee het, verlore gaan nie: in die huis van die vrye is die kwessies kleurgekodeer.


Die NRA ondersteun geweerbeheer toe die Black Panthers die wapens gehad het

So ook die Demokrate, behalwe tussen die twee is dit die NRA wat opgehou het terwyl die Demokrate hierdie beleid voortgesit het.

Sien, sover ek kan weet, is hierdie argument baie soos & quotDemokrate was pro -slawerny.

30 jaar is ver van 100 jaar, maar ok. Ek neem dalk aan dat die Demokratiese Party pro-KKK was met 'n bietjie sout.

Nadat ek as 'n NRA -lid grootgeword het, was die politieke hervorming van die NRA nie baie gesond nie en het ek eerlik gesê dat dit my nie van die hand gewys het nie. Ek glo nog steeds in ons reg om vuurwapens te besit, maar ek dink nie dat hiperbool en bootlick my ding is nie.

Die NRA ondersteun voor die verandering baie wapenbeheermaatreëls, ongeag of die persoon swart, wit of wat ook al was.

Ek verstaan ​​eerlikwaar nie hoekom hulle dit steeds aan die orde stel nie. Dit was die verlede gedurende 'n ander tyd toe mense wettiglik masjiengewere kon besit en kinders nie die plek opskiet nie. En daar was geen harde politieke aksie om die 2de te beskerm nie. Kak het verander en ek wonder hoekom.

Lyk my asof die verskuiwing plaasgevind het rondom die tyd van die gebeure in hierdie artikel. Ek het grootgeword as 'n NRA-lid, die retoriek het in die 80's en 90's aansienlik verander en meer verdeeld geraak, elke poging tot regulering het geword dat die regering jou gewere vat. ' mense met wie ek grootgeword het, mense wat ander idees ondersteun het soos omgewingsregulasies, huweliksgelykheid, progressiewe belasting, toeganklike hoër onderwys, ens.

Daar is 'n lyn van die Black Panthers oop na Iran-Contra, die kraak en die vloed van SMG's en kwotasgewere in die middestad in die diep blik van my gemoed.


Die NRA ondersteun geweerbeheer toe die Black Panthers die wapens gehad het

Ek het nie geweet dit het gebeur nie. Baie mense sal dit vergelyk met die poging tot staatsgreep verlede maand, maar ek hou van die beklemtoon van die veranderende gedagtes rondom die beheer van wapens en hoe die kwessie gepolitiseer is. Dit sal interessant wees om te weet of iemand Reagan daarvan beskuldig het dat hy probeer het om ons gewere te neem nadat hy die wetsontwerp goedgekeur het.

Dit is meer 'n vergelyking met die optog na staatshoofde met gewere wat ons vroeër die jaar gesien het. of was dit verlede jaar? Die presiese woorde word nie gebruik nie, maar Bobby Seale, leier van die Black Panthers

'Die Amerikaanse volk in die algemeen en die swart mense in die besonder, moet deeglik kennis neem van die rassistiese wetgewer in Kalifornië wat daarop gemik is om die swart mense onwapen te hou en magteloos. die struktuur van Amerika om die onregte reg te stel wat histories teen swart mense voortgesit is. Die tyd het aangebreek dat swart mense hulself teen hierdie terreur moet bewapen voordat dit te laat is.

Maar die blanke bevolking was 100% daarvoor.

Ek sal die NRA nie hier verdedig nie, maar die hele Cincinnati -opstand van 1977 het die rassistiese vleuel van die NRA verdryf en die GOP -geldinsamelings ingesit wat ons vandag sien.

Wapenbeheerwette is rassisties en klassisties. Hulle word nooit gelyk toegepas nie, en selfs as hulle gewoond is om iemand te hef, is dit gewoonlik 'n bedingingsbrief vir 'n pleitooreenkoms.

Gee 'n goeie werk aan 'n persoon, en hulle hoef nie hul buurman te vermoor nie.

Gee 'n persoon 'n goeie betaalde werk, en hulle hoef nie hul buurman te vermoor nie.

Presies! Hoe gereeld word mense vermoor vir hul goed in middel- en hoërklasbuurte?

Die enigste ding waarvoor die NRA goed is, is die koepons van Howard Johnson.

Daar moet ook op gelet word dat toe die Black Panthers gewapen by die Capitol van Kalifornië instap, hulle eenvoudig uitgestap is, hul gewere teruggegee en op pad gestuur is.

Vir almal wat sê dat as die gewapende milisies wat die hoofstad van Michigan binnegaan swart was, hulle geskiet sou word, weet dat dit al met swart mense gespeel is in 'n tyd toe rassisme meer algemeen was en dat hulle dit veilig kon doen. Hulle het selfs dieselfde ding gedoen sedert in Michigan en is nie geskiet of gearresteer nie.

Vir almal wat sê dat as die gewapende milisies wat die hoofstad van Michigan binnegaan swart was, hulle geskiet sou word, weet dat dit reeds met swart mense gespeel is in 'n tyd toe rassisme meer algemeen was en dat hulle dit veilig kon doen. Hulle het selfs dieselfde ding gedoen sedert in Michigan en is nie geskiet of gearresteer nie.

Dit is snert, net soos u bewering dat & quotracisme destyds meer wydverspreid was. No, it wasn't acceptable to be a racist in 1967 among most Americans. And since the Black Panthers were better armed at the Capitol and obeyed every law - including the verbal command that they couldn't enter the Assembly chambers - your argument has no virtue.

You want to give the cops credit for not drawing their revolvers when they were confronted by half a dozen African-Americans armed with long guns? Lol.

Meanwhile, your argument doesn't address how cops act when they've got the overwhelming power. We know how they act. Ask Crispus Attucks. Ask Fred Hampton. Ask Breonna Taylor. Ask Tamir Rice.


It may seem hard to believe, but for decades the organization helped write federal laws restricting gun use

The NRA once supported gun control.

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

For nearly a century after its founding in 1871, the National Rifle Association was among America’s foremost pro gun control organizations. It was not until 1977 when the NRA that Americans know today emerged, after libertarians who equated owning a gun with the epitome of freedom and fomented widespread distrust against government—if not armed insurrection—emerged after staging a hostile leadership coup.

In the years since, an NRA that once encouraged better marksmanship and reasonable gun control laws gave way to an advocacy organization and political force that saw more guns as the answer to society’s worst violence, whether arming commercial airline pilots after 9/11 or teachers after the Newtown, while opposing new restrictions on gun usage.

It is hard to believe that the NRA was committed to gun-control laws for most of the 20th century—helping to write most of the federal laws restricting gun use until the 1980s.

“Historically, the leadership of the NRA was more open-minded about gun control than someone familiar with the modern NRA might imagine,” wrote Adam Winkler, a Second Amendment scholar at U.C.L.A. Law School, in his 2011 book, Gunfight: The Battle Over The Right To Bear Arms In America. “The Second Amendment was not nearly as central to the NRA’s identity for most of the organization’s history.”

Once Upon A Time…

The NRA was founded in 1871 by two Yankee Civil War veterans, including an ex-New York Times reporter, who felt that war dragged on because more urban northerners could not shoot as well as rural southerners. It’s motto and focus until 1977 was not fighting for constitutional rights to own and use guns, but “Firearms Safety Education, Marksmanship Training, Shooting for Recreation,” which was displayed in its national headquarters.

The NRA’s first president was a northern Army General, Ambrose Burnside. He was chosen to reflect this civilian-militia mission, as envisioned in the Second Amendment, which reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The understanding of the Amendment at the time concerned having a prepared citizenry to assist in domestic military matters, such as repelling raids on federal arsenals like 1786’s Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts or the British in the War of 1812. Its focus was not asserting individual gun rights as today, but a ready citizenry prepared by target shooting. The NRA accepted $25,000 from New York State to buy a firing range ($500,000 today). For decades, the U.S. military gave surplus guns to the NRA and sponsored shooting contests.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the NRA’s leaders helped write and lobby for the first federal gun control laws—the very kinds of laws that the modern NRA labels as the height of tyranny. The 17th Amendment outlawing alchohol became law in 1920 and was soon followed by the emergence of big city gangsters who outgunned the police by killing rivals with sawed-off shotguns and machine guns—today called automatic weapons.

In the early 1920s, the National Revolver Association—the NRA’s handgun training counterpart—proposed model legislation for states that included requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon, adding five years to a prison sentence if a gun was used in a crime, and banning non-citizens from buying a handgun. They also proposed that gun dealers turn over sales records to police and created a one-day waiting period between buying a gun and getting it—two provisions that the NRA opposes today.

Nine states adopted these laws: West Virginia, New Jersey, Michigan, Indiana, Oregon, California, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Connecticut. Meanwhile, the American Bar Association had been working to create uniform state laws, and built upon the proposal but made the waiting period two days. Nine more states adopted it: Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

State gun control laws were not controversial—they were the norm. Within a generation of the country’s founding, many states passed laws banning any citizen from carrying a concealed gun. The cowboy towns that Hollywood lionized as the ‘Wild West’ actually required all guns be turned in to sheriffs while people were within local city limits. In 1911, New York state required handgun owners to get a permit, following an attempted assassination on New York City’s mayor. (Between 1865 and 1901, three presidents had been killed by handguns: Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley.) But these laws were not seen as effective against the Depression’s most violent gangsters.

In 1929, Al Capone’s St. Valentine’s Day massacre saw men disguised as Chicago police kill 7 rivals with machine guns. Bonnie and Clyde’s crime-and-gun spree from 1932-34 was a national sensation. John Dillinger robbed 10 banks in 1933 and fired a machine gun as he sped away. A new president in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made fighting crime and gun control part of his ‘New Deal.’ The NRA helped him draft the first federal gun controls: 1934’s National Firearms Act and 1938’s Gun Control Act.

The NRA President at the time, Karl T. Frederick, a 1920 Olympic gold-medal winner for marksmanship who became a lawyer, praised the new state gun controls in Congress. “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons,” he testified before the 1938 law was passed. “I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”

These federal firearms laws imposed high taxes and registration requirements on certain classes of weapons—those used in gang violence like machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and silencers—making it all-but impossible for average people to own them. Gun makers and sellers had to register with the federal government, and certain classes of people—notably convicted felons—were barred from gun ownership. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld these laws in 1939.

The legal doctrine of gun rights balanced by gun controls held for nearly a half-century.

In November 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy with an Italian military surplus rifle that Oswald bought from a mail-order ad in the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine. In congressional hearings that soon followed, NRA Executive Vice-President Frankin Orth supported a ban in mail-order sales, saying, “We do think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States.”

But no new federal gun control laws came until 1968. The assassinations of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy were the tipping point, coming after several summers of race-related riots in American cities. The nation’s white political elite feared that violence was too prevalent and there were too many people—especially urban Black nationalists—with access to guns. In May 1967, two dozen Black Panther Party members walked into the California Statehouse carrying rifles to protest a gun-control bill, prompting then-Gov. Ronald Reagan to comment, “There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.”

The Gun Control Act of 1968 reauthorized and deepened the FDR-era gun control laws. It added a minimum age for gun buyers, required guns have serial numbers and expanded people barred from owning guns from felons to include the mentally ill and drug addicts. Only federally licensed dealers and collectors could ship guns over state lines. People buying certain kinds of bullets had to show I.D. But the most stringent proposals—a national registry of all guns (which some states had in colonial times) and mandatory licenses for all gun carriers—were not in it. The NRA blocked these measures. Orth told America Riflemen magazine that while part of the law “appears unduly restrictive, the measure as a whole appears to be one that the sportsmen of America can live with.”

The Paranoid Libertarians’ Hostile Takeover

Perhaps the sportsmen of America could abide by the new law, but within the NRA’s broad membership were key factions that resented the new federal law. Throughout the 1960s, there were a few articles in American Rifleman saying the NRA was waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to declare the Second Amendment included the right to own a gun, Joan Burbick recounts in her 2006 book, Gun Show Nation: Gun Culture and American Democracy.

But in the mid-1960s, the Black Panthers were better-known than the NRA for expressing that view of the Second Amendment. By 1968, however, Burbick notes that the NRA’s magazine’s most assertive editorials began saying the problem was fighting crime and not guns—which we hear today. The 1968 law ordered the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to enforce the new gun laws. In 1971, ATF raided a lifetime NRA member’s house who was suspected of having a large illegal arms cache and shot and killed him. That prompted “the ardent reactionary William Loeb,” then editor of New Hampshire’s influential Manchester Union Leader newspaper, to call the federal agents “Treasury Gestapo,” Burbick noted, even though later evidence confirmed the weapons cache. Loeb and other white libertarians with podiums started to assert that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to guns—like the Black Panthers. But, of course, they were seeking to keep America’s white gun owners fully armed.

A split started to widen inside the NRA. Gun dealers thought they were being harassed. Rural states felt they were being unduly punished for urban America’s problems. In 1975, the NRA created a new lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, under Harlon B. Carter, a tough-minded former chief of the U.S. Border Patrol who shared the libertarian goal of expanding gun owners’ rights. Burdick writes that “by 1976, the political rhetoric had gained momentum and the bicentennial year brought out a new NRA campaign, ‘designed to enroll defenders of the right to keep and bear arms’ in numbers equal to ‘the ranks of the patriots who fought in the American Revolution.’”

Looking back, the seeds of a hostile internal takeover were everywhere.

Harlon Carter wasn’t just another hard-headed Texan who grew up in a small town that was once home to frontiersman Davy Crockett. He was an earlier era’s version of George Zimmerman, the Floridian young man who claims to have shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense in February 2012—even though police records and 911 recordings seem to show Zimmerman was looking for a fight. According to Carol Vinzant’s 2005 book, Lawyers, Guns, and Money: One Man’s Battle With The Gun Industry, a 17-year-old Carter found and confronted a Mexican teenager who he believed helped steal his family’s car. When the 15-year-old pulled a knife, Carter shot and killed him. His conviction was overturned when an appeals court said the jury should have considered a self-defense argument.

In November 1976, the NRA’s old guard Board of Directors fired Carter and 80 other employees associated with the more expansive view of the Second Amendment and implicit distrusting any government firearm regulation. For months, the Carter cadre secretly plotted their revenge and hijacked the NRA’s annual meeting in Cincinnati in May 1977. The meeting had been moved from Washington to protest its new gun control law. Winkler writes that Carter’s top deputy Neal Knox was even more extreme than him—wanting to roll back all existing gun laws, including bans on machine guns and saying the federal government had killed Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy as “part of a plot to advance gun control.”

Using the NRA’s parliamentary rules, the rebels interrupted the agenda from the floor and revised how the Board of Directors was chosen, recommitted the NRA to fighting gun control and restored the lobbying ILA. Harlon Carter became the NRA’s new executive director. He cancelled a planned move of its national headquarters from Washington to Colorado Springs. And he changed the organization’s motto on its DC headquarters, selectively editing the Second Amendment to reflect a non-compromising militancy, “The Right Of The People To Keep And Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.”

After Carter was re-elected to lead the NRA in 1981, The New York Times reported on Carter’s teenage vigilante killing—and how he changed his first name’s spelling to hide it. At first, he claimed the shooting was by someone else—and then recanted but refused to discuss it. Winkler writes, “the hard-liners in the NRA loved it. Who better to lead them than a man who really understood the value of a gun for self-protection?”

After the coup, the NRA ramped up donations to congressional campaigns. “And in 1977, new articles on the Second Amendment appeared” in American Rifleman, Burbick noted, “rewriting American history to legitimize the armed citizen unregulated except by his own ability to buy a gun at whatever price he could afford.” That revisionist perspective was endorsed by a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee chaired by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch in 1982, when staffers wrote a report concluding it had discovered “long lost proof” of an individual’s constitutional right to bear arms.


gun obsessed white males afraid of blacks exercising their second amendment rights.

In the wake of the deadly Newtown Connecticut shooting in December, President Barack Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to convene a gun violence prevention task force. The National Rifle Association, or the NRA, expressed its disappointment with a meeting it held with Biden, who will release his recommendations on Tuesday.

“We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment,” the NRA wrote in a statement. “While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.”

While today’s NRA takes hardline positions against even the most modest gun control measures, this was not always the case. Throughout its history, the NRA supported gun control, including restrictions on gun ownership, and was not focused on the Second Amendment.

But the organization had a change of heart in the 1970s when the Black Panthers advocated for an individual right to bear arms. Ironically, the Panthers were the founders of the modern-day gun rights movement, which became the purview of predominantly white, rural conservatives.

The ambiguous reading of the Second Amendment notwithstanding, gun control is as old as the Republic, and the amendment was not interpreted as an absolute in the early days of the United States. There was a balance between individual rights and public safety.

For example, slaves and freed blacks were barred from gun ownership, reflecting fears that African-Americans would revolt. At the same time, the founders proscribed gun ownership to many whites, including those who would not swear their loyalty to the Revolution. And contrary to legend, the “Wild, Wild West” had the most severe gun control policies in America.

Meanwhile, the Black Codes of the post-Civil War South were designed to disempower blacks and reestablish white rule.

This included the prohibition on blacks possessing firearms—a law which was enforced by white gun owners such as the Ku Klux Klan, who terrorized black communities. The Northern framers of the Fourteenth Amendment and the first Civil Rights Act viewed gun rights as fundamental to upholding the constitutional protections of the freedmen.

When Prohibition-era organized crime led to the enactment of the National Firearms Act of 1934—thenation’s first federal gun control laws—the NRA not only supported restrictive gun control measures, but drafted legislation in numerous states limiting the carrying of concealed weapons. When NRA president Karl Frederick was asked by Congress whether the Second Amendment imposed any restrictions on gun control, he responded that he had “not given it any study from that point of view.”

Frederick said he did “not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” He helped draft the Uniform Firearms Act, a model law which required a police permit to carry a concealed weapon, a registry of all gun purchases, and a two-day waiting period for firearms sales.

In the 1960s, the NRA continued to support gun control, a wave which was fueled by the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and the racial strife and violent uprisings in the nation’s urban centers.

The organization actively lobbied in favor of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which banned gun sales by mail, and enacted a system of licensing those people and companies who bought and sold firearms. Franklin Orth, then the executive vice president of the NRA, said that although certain aspects of the law “appear unduly restrictive and unjustified in their application to law-abiding citizens, the measure as a whole appears to be one that the sportsmen of America can live with.”

During that time, the NRA and conservative politicians such as California Governor Ronald Reagan supported gun control as a means of restoring social order, and getting weapons out of the hands of radical, left-leaning and revolutionary groups, particularly the Black Panther Party.

Responding to the perceived failures of the nonviolent civil rights movement, the Black Panthers took a more militant and uncompromising approach of the fallen leader Malcolm X. Led by figures including Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the Panthers’ “by any means necessary” approach included a most aggressive gun ownership policy to protect their communities from police abuse.

Beginning in 1966, the Panthers carried out police patrols, in which they rushed to the scene of an arrest with their loaded weapons publicly displayed, and notified those being arrested of their constitutional rights. California state legislator Don Mulford introduced a bill to repeal the state law allowing citizens to carry loaded guns in public if they were openly displayed. Mulford had the Panthers in mind with this legislation.

On May 2, 1967, a group of Black Panthers protested the bill by walking into the California State Capitol Building fully armed. In response, the legislature passed the Mulford Act. And Gov. Reagan, who was a major proponent of disarming the Panthers, signed the bill into law, effectively neutralizing the Panther Police Patrols.

Yet, in the 1970s the NRA began to shift their direction rightward and actively lobby for gun rights. Their chief lobbyist, Harlon Carter, was a former border control agent and staunch supporter of gun rights. In 1977, Carter and his faction staged a coup within the NRA, against an establishment that wanted to shift away from gun control and crime in favor of conservation and sportsmen’s issues.

With the Black Panther Party and other left wing gun control foes out of the picture, the new hardline NRA feared the government would similarly take away their guns. Further, these predominantly white and conservative gun rights advocates in the NRA shared the Panthers’ distrust of the police.

Ironically, Ronald Reagan—who had signed the Mulford Act to disarm the Black Panther Party—changed his stance and advocated for guns as a defense against state power.

“So isn’t it better for the people to own arms than to risk enslavement by power-hungry men or nations? The founding fathers thought so,” Reagan said in a radio commentary in 1975.

In 1980, the NRA endorsed Reagan for president, the first such endorsement by the group. On March 30, 1981, President Reagan and three others were shot and injured by John Hinckley, Jr., 25, outside the Washington Hilton Hotel.


Q&A: Why the NRA once led the fight for gun control

Protesters descend on the offices of the National Rifle Association, demanding that its lobbyists stand down after 20 schoolchildren were fatally shot. Yet few realize that the NRA was once at the forefront of regulating guns. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

America has spent the past week burying schoolchildren and talking heatedly about gun laws. We all know the treacherous politics involved — but few understand the real history of gun control in this country.

We’ve largely accepted what the well-paid lobbyists of the National Rifle Association have told us. And it’s time we re-examined some of those big assumptions.

Gun advocates have been taught by the NRA that gun laws infringe on the Second Amendment. That gun rights are an inherent part of our nation’s gun culture. And that gun control is a modern-day liberal cause.

Turns out, none of that is true. Our country has regulated guns since its earliest days. The Founding Fathers, frontier towns in the Wild West, conservative hero Ronald Reagan and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns, according to Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA. Individual gun rights were tightly restricted, with NRA support, until the past few decades.

Winkler, author of the book "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America," spoke to Star-Ledger editorial writer Julie Oɼonnor about the NRA's former advocacy for gun control, and how its members got sandbagged by a bunch of zealots.

Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA

Q. Why do you say the Founding Fathers who wrote the Second Amendment supported gun control?

A. We think of gun control as a modern 20th century invention, but in fact we’ve had gun control since the beginning of America. The Founding Fathers had gun laws so restrictive that the leaders of today’s NRA wouldn’t support them. The Founding Fathers did not view the Second Amendment as a libertarian license for anyone to have any gun, anywhere he wanted. They restricted large portions of the population who they thought to be untrustworthy from possessing firearms.

Q. Such as who?

A. Not only were slaves and free blacks barred from having guns, but at times even law-abiding white men. If you weren't willing to swear an oath of loyalty to the revolution, you were subject to disarmament. We're not talking about traitors here. We're talking about Americans who were exercising their freedom of conscience to oppose the war.
The Founding Fathers also had very strict militia laws that required gun owners to appear at mandatory musters with their firearms in tow. The militiamen's guns would be inspected and even registered on public rolls.

Q. Did our gun culture originate in the Wild West? Wasn't everybody packing heat?

A. It’s true that everyone out in the Wild West had guns. Out in the wilderness, where there was no law and plenty of hostile Indians, wild animals and bandits, you needed guns to protect yourself, going from town to town. Stagecoach companies even took to hiring, at great expense, someone to ride next to the driver at the front of a stage coach with a shotgun in hand. We’re reminded of this every time the kids jump into the car and yell, “I’ve got shotgun.” That’s where it comes from.

But when you went into a frontier town where the civilized people lived, you had to check your guns at the marshal’s office. The famous gun havens of Dodge City, Kan. Tombstone, Ariz. and Deadwood, S.D., had the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. They all banned carrying any firearms in public.

When Dodge City residents first formed their municipal government in the 1870s, the first law they passed was a gun control law. Dodge City first banned concealed carry of firearms and then, a few years later, expanded the law to ban open carry of guns. In “Gunfight,” I found a great photograph of the main street of Dodge City, taken in the 1870s. It looks exactly as you’d expect a Wild West town to look, with one exception: There’s a big sign smack in the middle of the road that says, “The carrying of firearms strictly prohibited.”

Q. You say the NRA once pushed to enact gun control. That's amazing.

A. In the 1920s and ’30s, the NRA was at the forefront of the gun control movement. The NRA helped draft and promote, in state after state, laws that restricted the ability of people to carry guns in public.

In the 1930s, the head of the NRA was asked to testify before Congress about the constitutionality of the first proposed federal gun control law, the National Firearms Act of 1934, which would have restricted access to machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. These were gangster weapons that had become popular during Prohibition.

The NRA president was asked if the Second Amendment imposed any limitations on what Congress can do. His answer, from today's perspective, is astounding: He said, "I have not given it any study from that point of view." And in other writings, that same NRA president said protection for gun owners' rights comes not from the Constitution but from enlightened public policy.

Q. You call the Black Panthers the "true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement." Why?

A. It was efforts by the Black Panthers and other radicals to use guns as a means of civil rights protest that led to a wave of gun control laws in the late 1960s. Those laws led to a backlash that became the modern gun rights movement.

The Black Panthers argued that guns were not just about hunting and sporting activities, but were fundamentally about self-defense. The Panthers also argued that civilians needed guns not just to protect against criminals, but to protect against a government that was insensitive to people’s rights. And like the NRA, the Panthers also thought that people needed to be able to carry guns in public for self-defense, not just have a firearm in the home. All of these ideas were picked up by the emerging gun rights movement.

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Q. The NRA became the face of that movement, yet it once supported gun control. What changed?

A. The NRA changed literally overnight. In the early 1970s, the NRA’s leaders decided to curtail the organization’s political activity and refocus on marksmanship and outdoorsman activity. This angered a group of hardline gun rights advocates in the membership who thought guns were vital for self-defense, not for hunting. At an annual meeting of the membership, the hardliners manipulated the rules of order to stage a coup. When the sun rose the next day, the entire leadership of the NRA had been replaced with a new set of hard-line political activists opposed to gun control.

Q. So rural, white conservatives followed in the footsteps of the Black Panthers?

A. Ja. One of the great ironies of modern-day gun politics is that laws designed to limit access to guns by black, urban, left-leaning radicals like the Panthers sparked a backlash among white, rural conservatives. They became convinced that the government was coming to get their guns next.

Q. Ronald Reagan, like earlier NRA leaders, worked hard to control guns.

A. Reagan was the governor of California when the Black Panthers rose to national prominence. He helped lead the charge for California’s adoption of new restrictive gun laws designed to disarm the Black Panthers, like the Mulford Act. With that law, California banned people from openly carrying loaded firearms. Ronald Reagan even said, “There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.”

Q. Given that history of gun control by conservatives, do you see the NRA ever calling for it again?

A. The NRA does not seem like it's ready for change. But there is a big divide between the leadership of the NRA and most gun owners. Polls of gun owners show large majorities support universal background checks for all gun purchases. The NRA opposes such a law. Large majorities of gun owners believe we should prohibit people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. NRA leaders oppose that.

The Newtown massacre may widen the divide between gun owners — many of whom say they want to see limits on high-capacity magazines, which aren't necessary for personal protection — and the NRA.

Q. Very few people realize that the NRA once supported gun control.

A. I wrote “Gunfight” because so few people understand the long tradition of gun control in America. America is said to have a gun culture so often that it’s become a cliché. What we often fail to recognize is that America has a long tradition of gun control, too. And that gun control is as much a part of the story of guns in America as the Second Amendment and the six-shooter.

People often think that the Second Amendment outlaws gun control. That’s also a misunderstanding. The Supreme Court has made clear that there’s plenty of room for gun control under the Second Amendment. We can have the right to bear arms and good gun control laws. The two are not mutually exclusive.


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