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Gun Control 1

  • Date Submitted: 12/21/2011 01:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.3 
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Gun control in the United States is based on a long history of discrimination which continues to this day. While blacks were the first targets of gun control measures, different racial and ethnic minorities have been targeted over time, and today the poor now face economic discrimination in many gun control laws. Gun control may be portrayed as a measure to reduce crime,1 but even in its earliest forms firearms regulation has been used as a means to control specific societal groups by keeping them from possessing weapons. The first selectively restrictive gun control legislation was enacted in the pre-Revolution South and primarily aimed at keeping free blacks from owning firearms and maintaining a white monopoly on power. Many different forms of gun control laws were implemented before and after the Revolution to keep firearms out of African-American hands. Even after the Civil War, Black Codes were enacted which ensured that supposedly freed blacks would not have effective means to defend themselves, and would remain an unarmed and subordinate group in society, unable to defend themselves or fight for their legal and constitutional rights.
By the end of the 19th century, the focus of gun control shifted from predominantly anti- black to anti-immigrant legislation. This was also the first time that gun control was enacted in the northern United States where there was almost no firearms legislation in place prior to the late 1800’s. With the arrival of European and other immigrants in the country, anti-immigrant prejudices arose and anti-immigrant groups did much to associate immigrants with crime. Unlike the South, Northern gun control laws were much less explicitly discriminatory in their aims and their terms. In particular, discretionary permitting allowed authorities to selectively issue licenses and was tantamount to absolute authority to deny permits to immigrants or other supposedly dangerous elements of society.
The Gun Control act of 1968 was...


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