Laws Designed to Disarm Slaves, Freedmen, and African-Americans
Georgia is where England sent all of its criminals, debtors and other people it would rather not have in England. Georgia was called “the great social experiment” because of this, since they had so many people of different social groups in such close proximity. Georgia then served as a buffer zone for the rich state of South Carolina, from French-owned Florida. The british saw it in their best interest that if the french decided to attack, they would have to fight through all of the debtors and criminals before reaching the manors and gentry of South Carolina.
Before the Civil War ended, State “Slave Codes” prohibited slaves from owning guns. After President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and after the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery was adopted and the Civil War ended in 1865, States persisted in prohibiting blacks, now freemen, from owning guns under laws renamed “Black Codes.” They did so on the basis that blacks were not citizens, and thus did not have the same rights, including the right to keep and bear arms protected in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as whites. This view was specifically articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in its infamous 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford to uphold slavery.
The United States Congress overrode most portions of the Black Codes by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The legislative histories of both the Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as The Special Report of the Anti-Slavery Conference of 1867, are replete with denunciations of those particular statutes that denied blacks equal access to firearms. [Kates, Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment, 82 Mich. L. Rev. 204, 256 (1983)] However, facially neutral disarming through economic means laws remain in effect.
Thus, many Southern States imposed high taxes or banned inexpensive guns so as to price blacks and poor whites out of the gun market.
In the 1990s, “gun control” laws continue to be enacted so as to have a racist effect if not intent:
- Police-issued license and permit laws, unless drafted to require issuance to those not prohibited by law from owning guns, are routinely used to prevent lawful gun ownership among “unpopular” populations.
- Public housing residents, approximately 3 million Americans, are singled out for gun bans.
- “Gun sweeps” by police in “high crime neighborhoods” whereby vehicles and “pedestrians who meet a specific profile that might indicate they are carrying a weapon” are searched are becoming popular, and are being studied by the U.S. Department of Justice as “Operation Ceasefire.”
After the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1868, most States turned to “facially neutral” business or transaction taxes on handgun purchases. However, the intention of these laws was not neutral. An article in Virginia’s official university law review called for a “prohibitive tax … on the privilege” of selling handguns as a way of disarming “the son of Ham* ”, whose “cowardly practice of ‘toting’ guns has been one of the most fruitful sources of crime … .Let a negro board a railroad train with a quart of mean whiskey and a pistol in his grip and the chances are that there will be a murder, or at least a row, before he alights.” [Comment, Carrying Concealed Weapons, 15 Va L. Reg. 391, 391-92 (1909); George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, “Gun Control and Racism,” Stefan Tahmassebi, 1991, p. 75] Thus, many Southern States imposed high taxes or banned inexpensive guns so as to price blacks and poor whites out of the gun market.
Unlike most molecules, cocaine has pockets[clarification needed] with both high hydrophilic and lipophilic efficiency, violating the rule of hydrophilic-lipophilic balance. This causes it to cross the blood–brain barrier far better than other psychoactive chemicals and may even induce blood-brain barrier breakdown.
It is controlled internationally by Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (Schedule I, preparation in Schedule III).
In 1900, state legislatures in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee considered anti-cocaine bills for the first time.
Hyperbolic reports of the effect of cocaine on African Americans went hand-in-hand with this hysteria. In 1901, the Atlanta Constitution reported that “Use of the drug [cocaine] among negroes is growing to an alarming extent.” The New York Times reported that under the influence of cocaine, “sexual desires are increased and perverted … peaceful negroes become quarrelsome, and timid negroes develop a degree of ‘Dutch courage’ that is sometimes almost incredible.” A medical doctor even wrote “cocaine is often the direct incentive to the crime of rape by the negroes.” To complete the characterization, a judge in Mississippi declared that supplying a “negro” with cocaine was more dangerous than injecting a dog with rabies.
These attitudes not only influenced drug law and policy but also led to increased violence against African Americans. In 1906, a major race riot led by whites erupted; it was sparked by reports of crimes committed by black ‘cocaine fiends.’Indeed, white-led, race riots spawning from reports of blacks under the influence of cocaine were not uncommon. Police in the South widely adopted the use of a heavier caliber handguns so as to better stop a cocaine-crazed black person – believed to be empowered with super-human strength. Another dangerous myth perpetuated amongst police was that cocaine imbued African Americans with tremendous accuracy with firearms and therefore police were better advised to shoot first in questionable circumstances.
Ultimately public opinion rested against the cocaine user. Criminality was commonly believed to be a natural result of cocaine use. Much of the influence for these kind of perceptions came from the widespread publicity given to notorious cases. While the historical reality of cocaine’s effect on violence and crime is difficult to disentangle from inflamed perceptions, it does appear that public opinion was swayed by the image of the violent, cocaine-crazed fiend and pushed over the edge by a few violent episodes. It was an image of the cocaine-user that carried acute racial overtones.
Faced with a second year of Congressional denial of funds for the Contra paramilitary force in Nicaragua, National Security Council member Col. Oliver Northbegan brainstorming on ways to circumvent Congress. This memo to National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane is one of the earliest pieces of evidence showing the Reagan administration’s drift into illegality to fund the Central American rebellion.
Secrecy for the plan is paramount. We could not implement such an option if it became known in advance and it also mandates that present donors continue their relationship with the resistance beyond the current funding figure. The plan would require the President to make a major public announcement which, in turn, must be supported by other Administration officials, resistance leaders, and regional Heads of State once it has been announced.
(1) President Reagan wanted to support a pro-capitalist, right-wing paramilitary group in Nicaragua (called the “Contras”).
(2) But Congress said it was illegal.
(3) So Reagan secretly sold weapons to Iran (one of the U.S.’s biggest enemies) and used that money to fund the Contras.
(4) To further boost the Contras’ war chest, dozens of its members sold tons of cocaine into the inner-city during the height of the crack crisis. Reagan’s men were unable somehow to detect veritable mountains of cocaine being trafficked right under their noses.
(5) Nobody went to jail. Well, except for thousands upon thousands of street-level drug dealers and users in the hood and America’s poor communities.
Sample Slave Codes, Black Codes, Economic-Based Gun Bans Used To Prevent The Arming Of African Americans, 1640-1995
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