Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Misreading Thomas Again and Again

Eleanor Clift seems mystified that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would notice that in America's past one of the civil rights denied specifically to black people was the right to own a gun.

Her fellow Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy was also curiously amazed. Why they should be so speaks to the cluelessness of liberals when it comes to guns rights... and wrongs.

The 5-4 McDonald decision held that having and owning a gun is an individual right protected by the Second Amendment. The case comes from Chicago where a 76-year-old black man named Otis McDonald sued the city for passing a handgun ban that prevented him from legally owning a gun that he believed he needed for self protection from street thugs and gangbangers.

After the civil war during reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups actively worked to keep law-abiding black people disarmed as well as away from voting booths.

Clarence Thomas isn't the only black person in America to notice that, though he may be the most significant.

Legislative attempts to decrease gun violence through gun bans have been shown time and again not to work. Cities with the strongest gun control laws have by far the most shootings and gun-related deaths.

Disarming law-abiding people, black or white, has not only not worked, it's an affront to their rights as Americans. McDonald recognizes that and it driving gun-control nuts, both black and white, around the bend.

How else to describe the claim by Milloy: "What Thomas has created, however, is a legal defense of the Second Amendment so thoroughly original and starkly race-based that none of the white justices would even acknowledge it, as if it were some blank sheet crafted by an invisible man."

All Thomas has pointed out is that black people, like Otis McDonald, have the same right to self defense as all white Americans. There is nothing race-based about that.

Still here's more Milloy:
Thomas made no mention of the black loss of life and liberty from handguns being wielded by other blacks. But he has made clear on other occasions that the problem is not that there are too many guns in the black community; the problem is too many criminals.

He dismissed the cogent gun-control arguments of his retiring colleague, John Paul Stevens, conjuring up the abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens instead: "When it was first proposed to free the slaves and arm the blacks, did not half the nation tremble?"

Let 'em quake, Thomas appears to be saying.
Let WHO quake? Milloy is confusing (intentionally or not) 19th century white rural America with 21st century black, urban America.

Right now the only people trembling, are law-abiding and unarmed white and black city dwellers held hostage in their homes after dark by illegally armed street thugs and gangbangers. But Milloy tries to turn Thomas' opinion into an invitation to a race war.
Thomas's references to historic threats posed by white militias might have been dismissed if not for a resurgence of such groups in the year after Barack Obama's election as the nation's first black president.
Oh yeah, the resurgence of white racist militias in Chicago is truly frightening. No wonder Otis feels the need to own a gun.

Milloy sums up saying that "there is no mistaking where (Thomas) is coming from." His entire column proves otherwise.


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