Predictably the National Rifle Association is going to spread lies and distortions about President Obama’s Surgeon General nominee Vivek Murthy, who had the temerity to call gun violence a national health care issue. “He’s a socialist out to destroy our freedom,” they’ll cry, firing up their base and causing more panic. This is nothing new. They have been lying about the racist history and cowardice behind the Second Amendment for more than 50 years.
There is a theory believed by some that the Second Amendment was added to the Bill of Rights to keep the federal government from regulating the local militias, which could be operated as slave patrols in the old South. Recently, Second Amendment activist and right-wing draft-dodger Ted Nugent used the language of the slave patroller when he called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
After the Civil War, freed slaves were allowed to walk around at night without having to show a pass. Cowardly southerners, who were accustomed to living in a police state, demanded that Union troops arrest and jail freed blacks. Sadly, many officers did until activists had them stopped.
The Ku Klux Klan took the place of the slave patrols, using even more violence to terrorize the black population and prevent the passage of progressive legislation. But that’s another story.