ACLU Has it Backwards: 2A Isn’t Racist, Gun Control Is!

Photo: NSSF

By Larry Keane

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) needs to change their name. At this point, it’s false advertising.

The ACLU recently argued that, “anti-Blackness determined the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and has informed the unequal and racist application of gun laws.” That’s plainly arguing that the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights as a tool of racist control of slaves. The posting by communications intern Ines Santos was an introduction to a podcast that included opinions from several professors who wholeheartedly agree the Second Amendment is racist and is a tool to deny civil rights to African-Americans.

It’s clear the ACLU is a shadow of its former self. It’s not the bastion to protect God-given liberties, but to drive special interest agendas. The ACLU’s disdain for the Second Amendment as a foundational and individual right isn’t new, but it is an attempt to flip it on its head. The ACLU‘s argument that the Second Amendment is a tool of oppressors doesn’t just ignore history. It is rewriting cold, hard facts.


The criticism over the outlandish claims was as quick as it was severe. The Twitter-sphere lit up with reactions denouncing ACLU for peddling falsehoods.

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby noted the irony that the ACLU was denouncing the Second Amendment at a time when African-Americans are claiming their gun rights in record numbers. “The ACLU has completely lost the plot. Meanwhile, the [sic] National African American Gun Association, which began in 2015 with a single chapter in Atlanta, now comprises more than 75 chapters with 30,000 members,” Jacoby tweeted.

NSSF’s own retailer surveys in 2020 showed African-Americans were buying guns at a 58 percent increased rate over 2019. At the same time, Hispanic-Americans were buying guns at a 49 percent increased rate and Asian-Americans at a 43 percent increased rate.

National Review writer David Harsanyi lambasted the claims as “nonsense,” and linked to a previous article where he debunked the same claims pushed by the 1619 Project as “wishful thinking.” Harsanyi refuted the theories, pointing out that John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams were abolitionists who argued against slavery and for the right to keep and bear arms. Harsanyi pointed out the ludicrous presumption that if African-Americans are being denied their rights, then that right must be stripped of all Americans.

“We don’t attack the idea of free speech simply because people are denied its protections,” he wrote. “That fact only accentuates its importance. For most of our history, self-defense was also seen as an immutable right that existed with or without the sanction of the state.”

Real Racist Roots

Maj Toure, founder of Black Guns Matter, told The Daily Caller in his usually blunt fashion that claims the Second Amendment is racist is an attempt to, “brainwash black people into believing that having the means to defend themselves is nefarious. I think gun control is racist, not the Second Amendment.”

Toure explained to The Daily Caller these attempts to twist history are exactly why he and his organization are dedicated to educating the public about their rights.

That used to be the role of the ACLU – to educate the public and defend civil liberties from government infringement. The Second Amendment is a second-class right in their estimation, though. The ACLU doesn’t agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2008 Heller decision that affirmed the Second Amendment as an individual right. They contend, still today, that owning a gun is a governmental matter.

“Given the reference to ‘a well regulated Militia’ and ‘the security of a free State,’ the ACLU has long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right,” the ACLU website states.

The ACLU isn’t just ignoring a Supreme Court ruling that’s over a decade old, they’re ignoring legal history that’s nearly 400 years old. That’s the racist history of gun control laws. Gun control is literally rooted in slave codes and Jim Crow laws. Some of those laws – like requiring local sheriffs to approve handgun sales – still exist in North Carolina. The Atlantic, a liberal news publication pointed out that in 1640, Virginia already had laws on the books preventing Blacks from owning guns. In 1712, a law for a total ban on black gun ownership was enacted to prevent slave revolts. Slave Codes were renamed Black Codes after the Civil War.

Even as late as 1994, the Clinton administration “introduced H.R. 3838 to ban guns in federal public housing, which would have affected 3 million individuals.”

Attempts to twist history to fit a particular narrative aren’t in anyone’s interest, least of all when those who would do it pretend it is for greater good. Nothing is further from the truth. The Second Amendment clearly isn’t a white right, or a Black right. It is a God-given right of all Americans to freely exercise at their choosing. If the ACLU can’t defend that, they need to change their name.

Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.

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  • J Karn July 31, 2021, 9:50 am

    The Anti-American Criminal Liberation Unit might want to try reading sometime. It might be good for them to start with “The Racist Roots of Gun Control” by Clayton E. Cramer from the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy, 1995.

    It is free from several sources online. Of course, it might be too long to hold their attention, given the fact that they have been unable to manage to read the Bill of Rights.

  • Stan d. Upnow July 30, 2021, 11:55 pm

    ACLU & SPLC are simply Leftist tools, just like the MSM. Pay no heed.

  • DELCO July 30, 2021, 8:15 pm

    China is literally taking over the world why our country is doing things like turning our military into a giant social experiment. Our borders are no longer existent, allowing record number of illegals to fan out across our country spreading Covid and the new Covid variant to us all. China is capable of taking out our satellites while Biden has reduced our space force to nothing. Our Inner cities are LITERALLY RUINED. Most inner cities can’t even get a grocery store to open in it. We have the most potent and addictive drugs ever produced pouring into our country by the cartels and the Chinese. Our news is almost exclusively being pumped out by left wing billionaires who live in a day to day world that 99.9% of us could never understand. Iran, NK, close to a nuke. We have Americans refusing to pledge our flag, or respect the fallen who gave all for our freedom. Kids who look down at their phones more then they look up to engage the people around them. Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia schools can’t even produce 5% of all students above BASIC math and English standards. We’re told that white supremacy groups are the biggest threat, yet not a single plot has been stopped, or the names of even a single group has been named. If they were so dangerous where are they who are they? Our current administration is afraid to fight back against China, after a virus was unleashed killing how many , after numerous cyber attacks on American companies. China owns 30% of all Available American farm land. The NBA and Hollywood won’t dare say a single negative word against China. Go watch RIDE THE DRAGON documentary. Explains a lot.

  • Johnny July 30, 2021, 12:54 pm

    Can’t say I’ve ever agreed with the ACLU on any decisions or comments they’ve made. However, I also never understood why those “fighting for our rights” that ask for money weekly because “your gun rights have never been more at risk…” did not do the smart thing over a decade ago and hire the ACLU with the MILLIONS they’ve collected from members to fight these battles.

    Not to sound racist or anything but, just looking at a handful of past legal cases… If a white person is charged with a hate crime against a black person what’s the smart move when hiring a lawyer? Hire a good black lawyer (or vice versa).

    A man is charged with rape, sexual harassment, domestic abuse, who do they try to hire? A good female attorney because afterall, if this man on trail supposedly hates women, hard to make that arguement when a woman lawyer is on is side that the MAN chose.

    Tactics come in a variety forms!

  • srsquidizen July 30, 2021, 10:34 am

    The most pathetic position the ACLU has ever come up with and they’ve done some pretty lame ones. The first gun CONTROL laws were blatantly racist, not the 2nd Amendment. And it continues to this day that gun control laws impact law-abiding poor people more than anybody else regardless of what color they might be.

    • Tom July 30, 2021, 1:40 pm

      WHERE do you come up with idiotic conclusion like this – what is your logic (or really, lack thereof), what are your facts. Your comments are plainly INCORRECT AND BEYOND STUPIDITY.
      Another loud-mouth brain-washed imbecile spouting out untrue and/or half-three statements, following the lies and bullshit of the Trump and Fox tv gang – lies, untruths, half-truths, illogical and factually untrue statements made as dictum!
      Crawl back under your rock, and worry about racism in far more important areas than gun ownership.

      • Delco July 30, 2021, 7:54 pm

        TOM you are the one who is wrong . Big time. Do you know how difficult it is for someone to get a Gun permit in liberal controlled states. Plainly said Tom it’s a mess. What is it a coincidence Tom that the states with the strictest Gun laws have the highest crime rates. This is 100% preventing law abiding minority’s to have a Gun legally. Worse then that , even if someone can somehow obtain a CCW in Chicago, NY, they are not allowed to carry it on public transportation either. So what good does it do for all those who don’t have a car, or don’t want to walk through gang infested neighborhoods. Tom it’s obvious you have lived a very sheltered life, that has been sculpted by left wing ideologies. In your world Tom only the bad guys have the guns, while the wealthy left wing democrats have plenty of security with Guns, and the poor minority people live in fear with no way to legally protect themselves. Wait that sounds familiar. Because that’s what has been going on in all those blue states for decades. Why is it Tom that the suburban areas have WAY WAY more Guns then the inner cities, yet basically not a single shooting per year, while a normal weekend in Chicago has 50-100 shootings? Maybe it’s Fox News and trumps fault Tom. Why not you left wing Anti Americans blame all the problems you have created over the last 40 years on .

      • Shanz July 30, 2021, 9:31 pm

        Chill out. Your hatred for Trump and his supporters just oozes out of your statement. Btw thank you for voting for Biden then I guess. I don’t comprehend how Trump orange man bad but commy ass racists pandering destroying our republic is ok.

  • Grumpy Old Biker July 30, 2021, 10:13 am

    Libtards, especially the professional types, are getting bolder and stupider as they attempt to rewrite history to advance their idiotic agenda. This country is going to hell.

  • james licari July 30, 2021, 8:56 am

    ACLU = Anti Christian Lawyers Union. Schmucks

  • TexDad July 30, 2021, 8:43 am

    Don’t fight stupid with stupid. The inclusion of the Second Ammendment is a direct result of the British government’s tactic of disarmament during the Revolutionary War. Racism is a hot-button word that has nothing to do with right to arms.

  • Pete A Fasanello July 30, 2021, 7:54 am

    Watching an ACLU attorney swing from a gallows would make me smile

  • James Dodds July 30, 2021, 7:05 am

    The ACLU is joking right ? Only an idiot would believe their BS ! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  • J Franks July 30, 2021, 6:59 am

    Liberal organization is uneducated and racist, news at 11.

    Seriously this article is the firearms equivalent of an article telling me that water is wet.

    It takes nearly zero critical thinking ability to see that liberals are still laboring under the White Man’s Burden delusion.

    • Dr Motown July 30, 2021, 8:29 am

      The self-loathing, self-flagellating UMC white liberal is the greatest threat to America….even Malcom X warned his people to avoid them 50 years ago.

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