As the debate on guns heats up, some startling arguments are coming from both left and right, with a few leaving us at a loss for words.
There is the liberal argument that banning semi-automatic rifles will stop the mass murders, and then there is the conservative argument of the NRA that says the only way to stop bad guys with guns are good guys with guns. The thing is, who decides who the good guys are?
Now another gun enthusiast, Larry Ward, has told CNN that if blacks had guns they would never have been enslaved.
“I think Martin Luther King Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history,” Ward told CNN host Carol Costello.
If he’s talking guns as the ultimate protector and deterrent of wrongdoing or evil, then he must know that America would not have been if the original people who lived here, those we call “Native Americans,” also had guns.
CNN host Piers Morgan recently called one of his pro-gun guests an "unbelievably stupid man," and indeed the raging gun talks seem to have brought out some idiocy. Ward is planning a “Gun Appreciation Day” to coincide with President Obama’s inauguration and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. His above reference to Dr. King, the noted non-violent civil rights leader, is an obvious cheap ploy to ingratiate himself with blacks. (See video above for more.)
But he must know that blacks and guns are not viewed the same as whites with guns. All this loud defense of the Second Amendment like it’s the Holy Grail, one would think that conservatives have never, ever tampered or changed anything about it, right?
So you can imagine my surprise to find out that former President Ronald Reagan, the champion of conservative leaders, had visited those scared gun laws when blacks wanted to carry guns.
In 1967, when the Black Panthers wanted to carry guns to protect themselves from an obviously racist police force, the National Rifle Association supported Reagan, then California’s governor, in passing the Mulford Act. This law, which was named after Assemblyman Don Mulford, barred the public from carrying loaded firearms.
And that wasn’t the only time the godfather of conservatism supported a ban on guns. He also supported the 1991 Brady Bill. The bill was named after his White House press secretary, James S. Brady, who was permanently disabled after being shot in the assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981.
Reagan though it was “just plain common sense that there be a waiting period to allow local law-enforcement officials to conduct background check on those who wish to buy a handgun.” He wanted a seven-day waiting period. These days, many states have none.
So as the NRA tells supporters that Reagan knew the value of gun ownership, they should tell them that Reagan also knew that gun ownership should be regulated for we no longer live in the wild, wild West.
“Messing” with the Second Amendment is not as sacrilegious as some conservatives will have us believe. It can be done.
In fact, the Second Amendment does not sanction unchecked and unregulated weapons in the hands of the public. It clearly calls for some rules before we strap on our guns, and in those days the rules applied to muskets. Could you imagine the Founding Fathers' consternation if they could see the Bushmaster and other rapid-fire killing machines?
One of my smart Facebook friends, S. Tamar, wrote this on the social network, “It seems to me that GUN CONTROL requirement is written into the Second amendment: ‘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’ PEOPLE QUOTE THIS AND SOMEHOW MISS THE "WELL REGULATED" PART.”
I couldn’t have stated it any better.