Carol Anderson, a leftist historian, recently released her latest book titled The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America. Obviously, the provocative title indicates her preconceived conclusion. “One of the things that I argue throughout this book is that it is just being Black that is the threat,” she asserts. “And so when you mix being Black as the threat with bearing arms, it’s an exponential fear.” She dubiously adds, “This isn’t an anti-gun or a pro-gun book. This is a book about African Americans’ rights.”
As Shakespeare once put it, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
While Anderson may claim her book is not an anti-gun tome, her thesis — that the Second Amendment is “racist” — belies such denials. Anderson attacks the Second Amendment by arguing that its language was intentionally crafted to ensure that slave owners had access to firearms in order to put down any potential slave rebellions, while slaves were denied the same right. She insists that the Second Amendment was “not some hallowed ground but rather a bribe, paid again with Black bodies.”
That’s spurious and ahistorical conjecture. Anderson fraudulently injects nefarious racial motives into the creation of the Second Amendment that are not supported by the plain language of the text, or by recorded debate at the time.
As David Harsanyi puts it, “This is wishful thinking. The Second is an attempt — much like the 1619 Project — to reimagine history in purely racial terms. The result is [a] tendentious polemic that suffers not only from a paucity of historical evidence, but from a dishonest rendering of the facts we do know.”
Anderson is not presenting any serious scholarship. Instead, she’s pushing a clearly biased and erroneous rewriting of history, all through the lens of “wokeness.” The result is nothing more than pure leftist propaganda passed off as “scholarship.”
Furthermore, the historical record shows that it was not Second Amendment advocates who have a history of advocating racism, but rather the proponents of gun-control. As our own Louis DeBroux notes, “Lost in all of the race-baiting recriminations is that fact that gun control laws have racist origins.” White Democrats didn’t want even free blacks to own guns, so they made it illegal.
Besides, one famous gun-toting Republican slave-freer was certainly not opposed to the Second Amendment. As her biographer Kate Clifford wrote, “Harriet Tubman carried a small pistol with her on her rescue missions, mostly for protection from slave catchers.”
The historical record is clear. The intention of the Founders in creating the Second Amendment was to codify in the Bill of Rights what was the long-held belief regarding an individual’s rights based upon English common law, including the right to bear arms to defend oneself and one’s property. This was understood to be a universal human right.
Not only is Anderson’s book dismally lacking historical accuracy, it is in fact an attack against the very concerns she claims to be seeking to protect.