The Freedom and Curse to Bear Arms


With just 27 words in 1791, America's Second Amendment paved a blood-drenched trail for legal access to modern-day weapons used in videogame-like fashion to gun-down fellow citizens, military-style.

Now, after all the mass carnage of 222 years of the freedom to bear arms –there's a sudden political epiphany for urgent "gun control" to ostensibly curb the curse of innocent slayings. Given, however, an estimated 300 million legal guns the notion of gun control equates somewhat with closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

All of the adverse consequences and uncivilized behavior associated with this so-called freedom, raises the question of what was the original function and intent of arming citizens that made the constitutional framers appear so wise in the first place?

Conventional logic suggests that early-Americans obviously needed guns to hunt and protect themselves in the wilds. Although such reasoning seems practical and plausible, there is an unpopular but overriding truth about "bearing arms" that's deeply affixed to defending another of America's preciousness – institutionalized slavery.

Bluntly put, the Second Amendment traces to a historical period when bullets and Bibles were necessary to forcibly control and psychologically manipulate an enslaved population that eventually exceeded 4 million. Contrary to "defending freedom," the looming threats of uprisings due to "denying freedom" to Africans and Native Americans, posed America's greatest domestic security concern at that time.

Simply put, without guns and a well-armed White society, the scale of chattel slavery would have been plainly improbable. And given the magnitude and duration of slavery's unchecked brutality, the government's accompanying decision to "bear arms," could itself be easily characterized as more of an "act of tyranny" than an "act of freedom."

Guns were integral products of the slave-based Triangular Trade between Africa, Europe, and the Americas, which morphed into the most violent yet lucrative and sophisticated system of commerce theretofore. By design, this system involved a contrived process whereby Africans would kill Africans with guns, while world audiences of apathetic Europeans watched as their nations simultaneously benefited economically as a natural by-product.

Understanding the racial dichotomies of this long and hostile history, it is not by happenstance that slavery ended in 1865 and the NRA was founded six years later in 1871. Certainly however the NRA and the vast majority of gun owners do not shoot-up moviegoers, nor kill schoolchildren, nor stockpile ammunition to fend-off Blacks in a future race war. Yet, it is not inaccurate to conclude that the curse and apathy and elongated shadow from centuries of gun violence against and among Black people, exists unbroken today.

With or without a Black president, African Americans should have consequently self-declared our expendability as an urgent and distinct national crisis long-ago, and then uncompromisingly demanded that this purported "government of the people" provide and apply distinct resources of remedy.

In other words, President Obama's gun control measures (background checks, mental healthcare, assault weapons ban, reduced magazines, etc.) prompted by the Newtown tragedy are great general steps. However, they fail dismally to recognize and fail substantively to redress the longstanding circumstances that cause gun violence to be the “leading cause of death among black teens.” To think otherwise is delusional.

Despite all the prestigious educational and political institutions that are now integrated, America's curse of racial gun violence continues unabated. Decades ago however, Dr. Carter G. Woodson cautioned us of contributing to our own undoing and worthlessness through Western institutions. In this case, African Americans are apparently being institutionally fashioned to be unfit to undo this curse that is paradoxically being camouflaged as freedom.

Ezrah Aharone, teaches at Delaware State University and has written Sovereign Evolution: Manifest Destiny from Civil Rights to Sovereign Rights and {Pawned Sovereignty: Sharpened Black Perspectives on Americanization, Africa, War and Reparations}. He can be reached at www.EzrahSpeaks.com.

8 total views, 1 views today

The Freedom and Curse to Bear Arms

Comments

Latest Tweets

    Message: Rate limit exceeded, Please check your Twitter Authentication Data or internet connection.