The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement.“What are you going to do with your gun?”, por Matt Zwolinski, no Bleeding Heart Libertarians:
The most recent issue of The Atlantic has a fascinating article by Adam Winkler on “The Secret History of Guns.” It’s worth reading in its entirety, but I was especially impressed by Winkler’s account of the role played by the Black Panthers in opposing gun control in the late 1960s. The article begins with a brief account of the Panthers’ famous 1967 demonstration at the California state Capitol, where around 30 young black men and women showed up carrying “.357 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns, and .45 caliber pistols” — loaded. (...)
For me, this article provides a dramatic illustration of a fundamental theme of bleeding heart libertarianism: the special importance of liberty for oppressed and marginalized groups. Today, we see opposition to gun control as a primarily white, male, Republican issue. But it was exactly that white, male, Republican group that was the most vociferous in supporting gun control when the people carrying the guns were young, black, militant men and women. The suppression of liberty in the case of guns – much like the suppression of liberty in the case of drugs – was largely motivated by racist fears about the abuse of that liberty by the “other.” And even if the suppression of liberty is perfectly general in form, it is almost always the marginalized “other” who suffers most by its loss.