Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Monday, April 19, 2004
Oh, for Chrissakes:
THE RACIST ROOTS OF GUN CONTROL: If you're interested in these topics, you should read this article by Robert Cottrol and Ray Diamond. Here's the opening quote, on a Florida gun control statute, from a Florida Supreme Court justice in 1941:
I know something of the history of this legislation. The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of negro laborers in this State drawn here for the purpose of working in turpentine and lumber camps.... [T]he Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population.... [I]t is a safe guess to assume that more than 80% of the white men living in the rural sections of Florida have violated this statute.... [T]here has never been, within my knowledge, any effort to enforce the provisions of this statute as to white people, because it has been generally conceded to be in contravention of the Constitution and non-enforceable if contested.
Look, this is an old, old, anti-gun-control argument, to which the correct answer is "Yeah, so?" The motivation of people in 1893 isn't much of an argument about what our gun policy should be in 2004. Looking at who's against gun control now, and who favors it, should put that to rest.
Reynolds follows that up with a similar link about drug-war policy. It's a more reasonable argument in that case, but because of what's happening now, not 110 years ago. Question: will we next get a link about the eugenicist roots of birth control -- also (partly) true, also a staple of right-wing argument, and also irrelevant -- and will Reynolds insinuate that we should be against birth control or we're all damn racists? Or...not?