On November 28 Bloomberg editors suggested national reciprocity for concealed carry “makes a mockery of public safety” and goes against “American history.”
They base their position on District of Columbia v Heller (2008) and an Amicus Brief filed in that case by Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety.
Heller was a landmark decision in which Washington DC’s ban on handgun possession was ruled unconstitutional. During the 2016 presidential race Hillary Clinton misrepresented Heller by claiming it overturned a ban that had been put in place to defend “toddlers.” The Wall Street Journal countered Hillary’s claim by showing that she had “glossed over the thrust of the city’s gun law, which effectively barred private ownership of handguns.”
In other words, the decision to overturn the handgun ban was not so much about where the ban applied as it was about the fact that the ban fundamentally eliminated the exercise of a God-given, natural right. The Bloomberg editors have fallen into the same ditch with Hillary by claiming the Heller decision must be taken in a limited fashion because it reversed a ban on handgun ownership without also taking up the topic of concealed carry. This allows the editors to claim that a seminal victory for Second Amendment rights does in no way lend credence to national reciprocity.
The editors then point to the Everytown Amicus Brief, which presents as much evidence to undercut their position as to bolster it. Most importantly, it presents evidence without context, which allows the reader to believe strict regulation on firearm carry was the norm for American history.
For example, they point to how public carry of firearms was a historical fact in the South prior to the Civil War while a good cause was required to carry in parts of the North. They then show that restrictions upon public carry became ubiquitous following the war, and those restrictions were in previously gun-friendly southern states and localities. What they fail to recognize that these late 19th century examples of gun control do not prove the existence of an American history apart from guns so much as they prove the racist roots of gun control. After all, the post-Civil War bans on public carry in the South were largely directed at keeping blacks unarmed.
Confederate slave owners were Democrats. They and other Democrats spawned the Ku Klux Klan as a way to scare southern, black Republicans away from the post-Civil war voting booth, they instituted the Black Codes, and their offspring went on to put Jim Crow laws in place. These same Democrats put bans on public carry in place as a way to control the black community.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to claim national reciprocity for concealed carry goes against shameful, racist aspects of American history.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org