Friday, March 09, 2018

Guns and White Supremacy

"Gun violence is rooted in white supremacy. We can’t solve the first without understanding its connection to the second.

Discussions of gun “rights” in the United States usually revolve around debated interpretations of the Second Amendment. But if we truly want to understand the influence of guns in our society, we need to center the debate in a much earlier period, one before the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

In Colonial America, gun ownership equaled power. More specifically, it meant the power to control the means of violence and use those means to suppress the voices of the disenfranchised. Throughout the 17th century, almost all the English colonies along the Eastern Seaboard passed legislation prohibiting women and slaves from owning guns and forbidding the sale of guns to native peoples. By the 18th century, gun ownership had become a defining feature of white masculinity in the English colonies and guns played an integral role in Colonial men’s public displays of that masculinity."
-Nathan Wuertenburg, "Guns rights are about keeping white men on top"

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