Author George Grant once described the “paradox” of liberalism this way: “Though it loudly declares itself a champion of the weak, it is actually an unrelenting truncheon of the strong.” A “truncheon” is a club once used by police, and his description is a clear expression of how progressives, without fail, harm the very people they always claim to help.
Examples run aplenty in this arena, from hyper-inflating our currency with profligate government spending to gouging us with unbelievable energy costs by intentionally shutting off the country’s cheap supply of fossil fuels.
Americans remain worse off as a result of these policies, especially lower-income Americans.
But the people who aren’t worse off are the ruling elites, those in the political class who have no useful skill aside from arrogating more power to themselves. American pain is an opportunity for them to consolidate even more of that “power” as they promise to “solve” the very crises that they are responsible for starting in the first place.
To stick with Grant’s description, these elites become “stronger” in the name of aiding those who are “weaker.”
That’s the game.
And nowhere do we see this phony defender of the little guy game play out more duplicitously than with the liberal left constantly invoking themselves as the voice for minorities. Progressives are on a mission to root out “systemic racism” in our midst, they tell us, but, in truth, this mission is really just an opportunistic ploy to beef up their own electoral muscle. We know this to be true because when it comes to the documented “systemic racism” of abortion — where black babies are wiped out in the womb at a far higher rate than white babies — the much-hyped campaign to eradicate entrenched racism goes poof.
That same indifference, it turns out, is also noticeable with the left’s other ideological crusade: gun control.
And that is the “truncheon” we’ll focus on here.
President Biden and his ilk are renewing their never-ending drive to disarm Americans, exploiting the awful events in Buffalo and Uvalde as they take aim at banning or restricting popular semiautomatic rifles and ammunition and as they endorse problematic “red flag” laws. Biden’s team even trotted out actor Matthew McConaughey to grandstand before the cameras to support the cause. Yet no Oscar-winning performance from the White House press room can obscure the fact that gun control is never about ending “gun violence,” as the canard goes.
It’s about controlling people, and there is no better example of that “control” than how such measures were used to terrorize the black community throughout this nation’s history.
But don’t take my word for it.
Let me introduce you to the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA). Per their name, they are a Second Amendment advocacy organization that “educates and trains our community on the rich legacy of gun ownership” among black Americans. Headquartered in Georgia, they boast 39,000 members across 39 states.
The group submitted a brief to the Supreme Court urging the justices to invalidate New York’s arbitrary restrictions on firearms in public, where applicants currently must establish “proper cause” in front of government authorities before they are issued a license for concealed carry. The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, and the Court is expected to release a favorable ruling for gun rights sometime this month.
That looming decision has already set off hyperventilating from the usual suspects: “New York Officials Fear Supreme Court Ruling Will Mean More Gun Crime,” wailed the New York Times, while CNN whined that the “Supreme Court may soon loosen gun laws as nation reels from massacres.”
Striking down these arbitrary restrictions, however, would be a reason to celebrate and not bemoan because it would chip away at the lingering effects of “systemic racism” that the left-stream media maintain are still plaguing America.
In their brief to the Court, NAAGA explained that the “Second Amendment right to bear arms was denied to African Americans under the antebellum Slave Codes, the post-Civil War Black Codes, and the Jim Crow laws that persisted into the twentieth century.”
Codes like these:
Other states including Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Maryland imposed similar regulations on black gun ownership, regulations that simultaneously did not apply to whites.
Florida was so determined to keep blacks powerless that in 1825 they ratified a law that deputized roving patrols of white citizens to “enter into all Negro houses and suspected places” to “lawfully seize and take away all such arms, weapons, and ammunition” that had been found.
Although these “codes” were eventually eliminated by civil rights legislation, many Southern states during the Jim Crow era still made it virtually impossible for blacks to keep a firearm in public, leaving the ultimate decision on such “issuances” up to local white officials.
Guess who was denied a gun license?
Martin Luther King Jr.
MLK was repeatedly subjected to death threats for his prominent boycotts and national protests. His house at one point was firebombed by angry racists. He decided to apply for a pistol permit to protect himself but was denied one by an Alabama sheriff who said that King didn’t demonstrate “good cause” with his request.
Apparently, the inferno raging at King’s house wasn’t enough proof.
In the end, we know what happened to Martin Luther King Jr. While the nature of King’s assassination may not have been prevented had he been carrying a gun, the assassin himself may have thought twice. Either way, King’s assassination is beyond evidence that he was justified to have been carrying, despite the authorities denial of his permit.
Gun control was the “truncheon” wielded against blacks for decades, leaving them defenseless against the Democrat Party’s armed militia, the Ku Klux Klan. But those blacks who actually had a gun were made less susceptible to these vicious attacks, a fact that black civil rights leaders at the time vocally acknowledged.
Legendary author and activist Ida B. Wells, for example, wrote the following in her 1892 booklet Southern Horrors:
“The only times an Afro-American who was assaulted got away has been when he had a gun and used it in self-defense. The lesson this teaches and which every Afro-American should ponder well, is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.”
Noted abolitionist Frederick Douglass echoed these comments when he affirmed that freed folks “must have the cartridge box, the jury box, and the ballot box, to protect them.”
No Christian should object to either of these statements. The “right” of self-defense is exactly that — a “right,” inalienable in nature, bestowed by God, to safeguard ourselves and our families from evil aggressors.
The Bible is explicit on this matter.
In the account of Esther, we read how the King “allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them,” which was a direct response to Haman’s nefarious plot. It was Samson who was empowered by the “Spirit of the Lord” to fend off 1,000 Philistines using the jawbone of a donkey. And in Nehemiah, the Jewish leader stationed “the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears, and their bows” and exhorted them to “fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes” against the growing hostility they were facing as they rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem.
Shoot, even Jesus didn’t oppose His disciples from bringing a sword with them for protective purposes. To the contrary, He encouraged it:
And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.
– Luke 22:35-36.
Remarkably, the disciples were already packing, as we learn in verse 38:
And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”
The woke wing of Christianity ignore passages like these because it doesn’t comport with their preexisting commitment to centralize power under the domain of the state. A columnist for the Religious News Service went as far as to argue that gun rights “have become more important” than the cross and are incompatible with Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, particularly “blessed are the peacemakers” and “turn the other cheek.”
How would one “turn the other cheek” exactly when responding to the threat of a lynching? Should black Christians in the South have rejected Ida B. Wells’ advice on the necessity of a Winchester rifle and instead exited their house submissively when the Democrats’ highly-esteemed former senator, young Robert Byrd, and his Klan buddies showed up at the door with a noose in tow?
It’s important to quote Christ accurately, which the above guy failed to do. It’s not “turn the other cheek.” Rather, it’s “if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” This is a critical distinction because slapping someone on the “right cheek” was one way to convey an “insult;” it was indicative of a “backhanded” whack. Jesus used this imagery to command his followers not to repay those insults in kind, but with kindness. It was not a command to accept a lynching or a domestic abuse beating or some other savage assault for a greater spiritual good.
Likewise, for “blessed are the peacemakers,” we need a practical context. The question that must be asked is: How do we go about fostering an atmosphere of “peace,” especially when gross violations of human dignity like slavery are on display? Would it be better to have deadly weapons concentrated in the hands of a select few only, or should those weapons be dispersed among the population at large? That is to say, does owning a firearm make a person more or less likely to find himself under the brutal thumb of a tyrant?
You know the answer.
And so did Frederick Douglass, who justified his affinity for the revolver this way: “Every slave hunter who meets a bloody death in his infernal business is an argument in favor of the manhood of our race.”
Pushing back against gun control isn’t a deification of guns, as Catholic archbishop Timothy Dolan foolishly wrote. Pushing back against gun control is a recognition of man’s total depravity. The 16-inch barrel of an AR-15 helps keep us free and secure from the sinful compulsion that tries to oppress another, a compulsion that has been witnessed ad nauseum in world and American history.
Joe Biden’s and Congress’ renewed push for gun control, it should be noted, is ensuing at a time when many black Americans have become prisoners in their own neighborhoods, as robberies, killings, and chaos are the new norms. The broad capitulation to Black Lives Matter has gutted law enforcement personnel in urban areas, has reduced proactive policing in those same communities, and has kept dangerous criminals on the street because local district attorneys refuse to prosecute prolific offenders.
In New York City alone, between February 2019 and March 2021, shootings shot up 104 percent while murders increased by 52 percent. The numbers are so bad that even the New York Times ran an op-ed admitting that black residents are facing the lion’s share of this “alarming rise in violence.”
Despite the disturbing surge in violent crimes nationally, progressives remain obsessed with finding new ways to strip law-abiding Americans of their ability to defend themselves in and out of the home, a “truncheon” that ends up hitting blacks the hardest.
Come to think of it, why is it that the two issues which animate progressives the most — abortion and gun control — not only impact black Americans disproportionately but happen to be “heirs” to the ugly past of racism?
Perhaps that’s by design.
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