I am not sure why Medium’s editors thought this article should reappear nearly a year after it was written.
At the time the Bill of Rights was ratified, slaves were not considered people. They were legally considered property and even today, property does not have civil rights. Not only did they not have the right to keep and bear arms, they did not have any of the “inalienable” rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence or later codified in the Bill of Rights.
California Assemblyman Don Mulford, a conservative from the San Francisco Bay Area, did indeed present the legislation that now bears his name after the Black Panthers entered the capitol. However, California’s first laws aimed at regulating who could carry guns were enacted in 1915 to keep the Chinese from carrying concealed weapons. Chinese gangs were a problem in (Surprise!) the San Francisco area.
The National Rifle Association was created in New York by Union Army officers concerned by the fact that the Confederates, though possessing inferior rifles, were far more effective on the battlefield than Northern soldiers. Confederate snipers were feared throughout the Civil War. The first president of the NRA was Ulysses S. Grant. Presidents of the NRA have included highly decorated military officers, including multiple recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Most of the NRA’s presidents were born in the North or historically free states, such as California.
During the Reconstruction Era, when racist gun laws flourished in many parts of the country, not just the South, the presidents of the NRA were former Union officers.
NRA board members have included blacks, Hispanics, women, people of various religious faiths and sexual preferences.
The NRA cannot supply information about its demographics because it does not track them. It does not ask prospective members about their gender, race, ethnicity or even if they own a gun.
The assertion that the NRA is somehow racist because it doesn’t bang the drum after incidents of mass shootings or controversial police actions is disingenuous. Unlike gun control enthusiasts, who hope to advance their agenda by commenting on tragedies before any of the facts are known, the NRA has a policy of withholding comment until more information is available. This policy is the product of years of experience. The NRA usually does make a public statement consistent with the information developed by official investigators at the time of the comment.
Gun control advocates have a distressing history of commenting on tragedies while calling for measures that would neither have prevented the incident or reduced the number of victims. The Sandy Hill murders are a perfect example of this callous behavior.
Garbage that was garbage when it was written does not become more fragrant over time, a lesson the editors of the Medium Digest need to take to heart.