Timothy Birdnow

The United States has had gun control from its founding. And the results have been dreadful.

Constitutional attorney Edwin Viera Jr.points out that:

Georgia's Slavery Act of 1765, for example, explained itself on the rather blatant theory of legalistic oppression that

    "Slavery has been introduced and allowed in His Majesty's Colonies in America and * * * Power over such Slaves ought to be settled and limited by positive Laws, so that the Slaves may be kept in due Subjection and Obedience * * * [.][5]"

The Act went on to provide

    "[t]hat it shall not be lawful for any Slave unless in the presence of some White Person to carry and make use of Fire Arms or any offensive Weapon whatsoever Unless such Slave shall have a Tickett or Licence in Writing from his Master, Mistress or Overseer to hunt * * * and that such Licence be renewed once every Month, or unless there be some White Person of the Age of sixteen years or upwards in the Company of such Slave when he is hunting or Shooting, or that such Slave be actually carrying his Master's Arms to or from his Master's Plantation by a special Tickett for that purpose, or unless such Slave be found in the Day time actually keeping off Birds within the Plantation to which such Slave belongs lodging the same Gun at Night within the dwelling-House of his Master, Mistress, or white Overseer. PROVIDED ALSO That no Slave shall have Liberty to carry any Gun, Cutlass, Pistol or other Offensive Weapon abroad at any Time, between Saturday Evening after Sun-set and Monday Morning before Sun rise Notwithstanding a Licence or Tickett for so doing, and in Case any Person shall find any Slave using or carrying fire-Arms or other Offensive Weapon contrary to * * * this Act, such Person may lawfully seize and take away such Offensive Weapon or fire-Arms * * *"

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;

"...it shall not be lawfull for any negroe or other slave to carry or arme himselfe with any club, staffe, gunn, sword or any other weapon of defence or offence, nor to goe or depart from of his masters ground without a certificate from his master, mistris or overseer, and such permission not to be granted but upon perticuler and necessary occasions; and every negroe or slave soe offending not haveing a certificate as aforesaid shalbe sent to the next constable, who is hereby enjoyned and required to give the said negroe twenty lashes on his bare back well layd on, and soe sent home to his said master, mistris or overseer. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid that if any negroe or other slave shall presume or lift up his hand in opposition against any christian, shall for every such offence, upon due proofe made thereof by the oath of the party before a magistrate, have and receive thirty lashed on his bare back well laid on. And it is hereby further enacted by the authority aforesaid that if any negroe or other slave shall absent himself from his masters service and lye hid and lurking in obscure places, comitting injuries to the inhabitants, and shall resist any person or persons that shalby any lawfull authority be imployed to apprehend and take the said negroe, that then in case of such resistance, it shalbe lawfull for such person or persons to kill the said negroe or slave soe lying out and resisting, and that this law be once every six months published at the respective county courts and parish churches within this colony."

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.

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Tags: Constitution, criminals, gun-control, liberty, slavery

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Replies to This Discussion

Is it possible they actually wanted people to buy up all the guns? Do they know something is going to happen? Are we going to be invaded and they wanted us armed? Lots of things to think about here me thinks. If they were to publicly announce the possibility of this happening it would be chaos, but impose a possible gun ban and people buy up all the guns.Just a thought, I could be way off base, who knows.

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