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Carolyn Maloney’s racist gun grab

I don’t live in a fancy Upper East Side skyscraper protected by a doorman.  I live in a small house in a town Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) has probably never heard of.  The closest thing I have to a doorman is part Lab part German-Shepherd, and she’s integral in my two-stage redneck security system:

Stage one:  My dog barks.  She can barely tolerate strangers walking down our road in the middle of the day, so if someone steps in my yard at night—forget about it.  By the time you’re close enough to my house to hear her barking, stage two has already been activated. 

Stage Two: I wake up, open the safe next to my bed, and pull out my Ruger .45.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote that every American has the constitutional right to draw Muhammad, and I sprinkled in some disparaging remarks about ISIS.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that if I didn’t own a gun.  There’s a reason the framers of the Constitution came up with the second amendment right after the first one.  I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Framer One: Let’s put an amendment in there that people can say whatever crazy crap they want.

Framer Two: Even hate speech?

Framer One: Especially hate speech!

Framer Two: Even speech disparaging the attractiveness of another man’s wife?

Framer One: Yep.

Framer Two: Okay, but they’ll need guns.

Framer One: Spoiler alert!  That’s my idea for the next amendment.

There are three amendments in the Bill of Rights that use the phrase “right of the people,” and it’s no coincidence that those are the three most commonly under attack by government—the first, fourth, and—of course—the second.

Maloney has introduced a bill in the house– The Firearms Risk Protection Act– that would require legal gun owners to purchase liability insurance or face a $10,000 fine.  This is particularly despicable legislation because it not only attempts to circumvent second amendment rights; it ensures that only rich folks can own guns.

With the constant liberal parrot-gripe being that the deck is stacked against the poor in the U.S., it’s surprising that any liberal would support legislation which so directly infringes upon the civil liberties of the poor.  Maloney herself has said, “extreme inequality is corrosive. It hurts families; it weakens our economy; and it weakens our democracy.”  If that’s true, then how come only wealthy people should be able to have guns?  That’s not equal. 

If there’s anything anyone has heard from a liberal in the last six years, it’s that insurance costs disproportionately harm the poor.  That’s what the never-ending Obamacare debate has been about. Maybe Maloney hasn’t noticed the disparity since she represents the richest congressional district in the entire U.S. where per capita income is $75,479.  But most liberals understand the truth that having to purchase gun liability insurance won’t mean a thing to rich people.  For the poor, however, it will effectively end their second amendment right.

But Maloney’s legislation is even more sinister than that. 

According to Sentier Research, the median household income of white Americans is over $24,000 a year higher than that of black Americans which means that her bill will disproportionately target legal black gun owners.  So, not only is the legislation elitist but racist as well.

A majority of congressional Democrats are in favor of weakening the second amendment.  Banning certain types of guns and magazines has been a favorite method.  They like to play semantics as if we really have no clear idea exactly what the words in the second amendment mean even though we can turn to the other writings of the framers as context.  George Mason, who co-authored the second amendment, said at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” 

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed,” Alexander Hamilton said.

And so on.   

The point is, liberal politicians will never stop coming up with ways to circumvent this particular “right of the people,” but even the staunchest, most liberal gun control advocates should not support legislation that uses racist, elitist methods to do it.

Zipperer is a published, award-winning playwright and an adjunct English professor at Georgia College.


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