Posts Tagged ‘Adam Winkler’
You know, when I started doing Fast and Furious updates, I didn’t realize I’d have to update this daily. But events are moving at a pretty brisk pace:
Finally, not related at all (except also involving guns), but I wanted to point out that Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, points out that yes, the roots of gun control in America are racist in nature.
I recently linked to Adam Winkler’s Atlantic article “The Secret History of Guns,” which I found quite interesting, but noted that I was not well-versed enough in gun and gun control history to ascertain the piece’s accuracy.
So I went seeking the opinions of experts. I emailed several people instrumental in exposing the academic fraud behind Michael Bellesiles’ Arming America to ask for their assessments of the Winkler piece. I’m happy to say that Clayton E. Cramer, one of the first and most persistent critics of Bellesiles, has taken the time to respond to my query on the Winkler piece:
Here’s what I sent to Professor Winkler:
I guess the only substantial criticisms I would make of this article are:
“To the gun lobby, the Second Amendment is all rights and no regulation.”
I don’t think that’s a particularly accurate description of the position of “the gun lobby.” There are certainly extremists who believe that any regulation of any sort is unconstitutional and unacceptable, but I am not aware that NRA, for example, opposed bans on those convicted of violent felonies from having guns. Similarly, I am not aware that NRA has opposed bans on the mentally ill owning guns. There are differences of opinion about exactly where the lines separating crimes that should be firearm disqualifiers from those that should not. There are differences of opinion as to exactly what standard should be used for determining whether a mentally ill person should be disarmed. But that’s not the same as “all rights and no regulation.”
Similarly, much of the gun lobby’s opposition to particular regulations is pragmatic: it does not work for its intended purpose, but it does create a serious obstacle to law-abiding adults obtaining a gun. Again, that’s not the same as “all rights and no regulation.”
Your statement that NRA endorsed the National Firearms Act of 1934 is not a terribly accurate statement. The original law as introduced would have put handguns under the NFA requirements, and NRA was strongly opposed to that. It was because of NRA’s efforts that the focus of the law changed from concealable firearms and automatic weapons to automatic weapons and short-barreled long guns.
Also, while Frederick may not have considered the constitutional provisions when he testified, take a look at the Ways & Means Committee hearing transcripts; both the A-G and his assistant acknowledged that there was a legitimate Second Amendment question as to whether Congress could simply ban machine gun ownership–hence the elaborate tax stamp provision copied from the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1906.
I’d like to thank Mr. Cramer for taking the time to respond to my query and Mr. Winkler’s article. Mr. Cramer’s blog can be found here.