Thursday, January 17, 2013

Maddening Ambiguity: Ronald Reagan, Hippie Gun-Regulator

Governor Ronald Reagan
image source: Wikipedia

Adam Winkler, author of this article in The Atlantic about the history of the modern gun-rights movement caught my attention with this statement:

The text of the Second Amendment is maddeningly ambiguous.

As you might infer from seeing the name of my blog, I'm a sucker for maddening ambiguity.  Which explains why I'm fascinated with this article about then-Governor Ronald Reagan's support of gun control when the Black Panters fought for their Second Amendment rights.  How times have changed.  Now a bunch of white guys are complaining about losing their Second Amendment rights because of regulations supported by a black guy in charge.  I wonder how many of my conservative friends who idolize President Reagan know their guy was such a hippie about gun control?

Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.”

And here's one that might blow the minds of some of my liberal friends: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the kings of nonviolent resistence, was pro-gun:

Civil-rights activists, even those committed to nonviolent resistance, had long appreciated the value of guns for self-protection. Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a permit to carry a concealed firearm in 1956, after his house was bombed. His application was denied, but from then on, armed supporters guarded his home.

When you're sharing poltical memes and arguing with your friends on Twitter and Facebook about President Obama's 23 executive orders to prevent gun violence, you'll earn bonus points in my book if you have the presence of mind to remember our nation's history.