AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Gun control activist David Hogg has been particularly “woker-than-thou” on social media lately. The Harvard freshman recently tweeted out that Abraham Lincoln was a good president, for example, before quickly rescinding his approval and begging forgiveness for his secular sin.
I thank my indigenous peers that brought my attention to Lincoln’s atrocities committed against native Americans.
I’m deeply sorry for not acknowledging these crimes that I was unaware of until now. I will do better in the future.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) February 5, 2020
Hogg also recently claimed that the gun control movement was started centuries ago.
This is a tweet for for the founders of the gun violence prevention movement started centuries ago by almost entirely black, brown and indigenous lgbtq women and non binary people that never got on the news or in most history books.
We may not know all your names but thank you.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) January 27, 2020
Personally, I’m about 30-percent convinced that Hogg is actually trolling the Left. After all, there’s not much difference between a typical David Hogg tweet and one from Titiana McGrath, the Twitter account that satirizes woke culture.
Militant state control of citizens’ speech is a small price to pay to enforce a tolerant society.
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) January 13, 2020
But assuming Hogg is sincere in his beliefs, he’s also ridiculously wrong, as Operation Blazing Sword founder and National Coordinator for the Pink Pistols brilliantly points out in a new piece at the Federalist, along with researcher W.E. Beard. As Palette accurately points out, it’s typically been minority groups and those seen as outside the boundaries of “normal” society that have been most harmed by gun control efforts.
Such gun control as Hogg champions would have hurt those fighting slavery. Abolitionists were highly unpopular and threatened with violence or worse. Rev. Elijah Parish Lovejoy, publisher of the abolitionist newspaper The Saint Louis Observer, was murdered by a pro-slavery mob who shot him before destroying his new printing press. Members of the Underground Railroad needed to protect themselves from law enforcement and bounty hunters enforcing fugitive slave laws, and so were often armed. The most famous example of these is Harriet Tubman, who carried a pistol for self defense while escorting runaway slaves to freedom.
While the 14th Amendment eliminated some of this discrimination, many additional laws were passed to keep people of color, the poor, and other “undesirables” from owning or carrying arms as part of the many Jim Crow laws of the time. Some of these statutes have survived to the present day, such as the North Carolina Pistol Purchase Permit. It requires that an applicant be of “good moral character” despite the fact that “The term ‘good moral character’ is not defined in our statutes nor is there a case specifically on point as to what constitutes good moral character for purposes of a pistol purchase permit.”
Needless to say, being a person of color was ample reason to deny a permit under these circumstances. Most famously, in 1950 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, applied for an Alabama concealed-weapon permit after receiving death threats. He was, of course, denied. In the 1960s, California’s Mulford Act banned the open carry of firearms as a direct reaction to members of the Black Panthers patrolling minority neighborhoods while visibly armed.
The fact of the matter is that the national gun control movement didn’t really begin until the Prohibition-era, though various states had laws that amounted to near prohibition of firearms ownership blacks and many immigrant groups (New York’s Sullivan Act is an artifact of those times). Ironically enough, even as the nation was proving that while the government can ban something, if the People really want it they’ll break the law to get it, a move began to crack down on the guns favored by criminals controlling the black market in booze.
Since then, the fortunes of the gun control movement have generally risen and fallen in conjunction with the nation’s crime rate. The Prohibition and Great Depression-driven crime wave of the 20’s and early 30’s culminated in the National Firearms Act of 1934, while the rising crime, civil unrest, and high profile assassinations in the 1960’s led to the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968. In the 1990’s, the Clinton gun ban was approved three years after the nation’s violent crime rate reached its all time high, fueled by violent drug and gang warfare.
Since the 1990’s, violent crime, including homicides, have declined by nearly 50% across the country, to near historic low levels, and without any new federal gun control laws. Gun control activists don’t generally acknowledge this, because they know that it doesn’t help their argument that the only way to reduce crime is to reduce the number of guns in the country.
The fact of the matter is that gun control activists like David Hogg don’t want black, brown and indigenous lgbtq women and non binary people to own firearms for self-defense any more than they want a straight white guy who lives in rural Virginia to own guns. Unfortunately for Hogg and his brethren, minorities are disproportionately impacted by the gun control laws he favors. In New York City, for example, the vast majority of defendants in Brooklyn’s gun court are are young black men without serious criminal histories who are facing felony charges and three and a half years in prison for possessing a gun without a license (something that isn’t even a crime in most states). The “gun violence prevention movement” and its sugar daddy Michael Bloomberg are responsible for them facing those charges, because they were the ones who fought to put those laws on the books.
If David Hogg really wants to stand up for the oppressed and minorities in this country, he’s on the wrong side of the gun control issue. Somehow, though, I don’t expect to see an apology for that anytime soon.