Last week, in response to the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, high school students across the nation staged Walk Out protests urging legislators to “do something” about gun violence. I pointed out the Racism in Reactions to School Shooting, as few say anything about the thousands of children who are gunned-down in America’s inner cities. I also noted students at the Parkland school joked about Nikolas Cruz possibly being a “school shooter.” Facebook even banned me for 30-days for linking to my article seeking common-sense behavior relative to boys and weapons. Students, authorities, and concerned citizens know something isn’t right in America. Conveniently, we blames guns.
According to a study by Harvard and Northeastern universities, the number of privately-owned guns in America grew to approximately 265 million from 70 million between 1994 and 2015. Half of all guns are owned by only 3 percent of the population. My Facebook friend, Thomas Cheney II, posted a Far Left Veteran’s post challenging the conservative position that guns and the 2nd Amendment protect us from government.
The response from Qasim Rashid, Esq., was slightly cut off. I post his complete comments below so I can discuss point-by-point.
Check Your Racism
The saddest aspect of current debate is how quickly discussion turn to “-isms.” Qasim makes some good points. We’ll discuss each. He threw the strength of his argument in the toilet turning this into a racist response. For the record, “White People” were put in camps. Jews are White People and Hitler forced millions into camps. Over six million were slaughtered, murdered, gassed, burned, and denigrated. Hitler and followers took weapons from Jews. Mr. Rashid, Esq. makes a fatal flaw with his argument.
America is perfect in her ideals. Americans are the ones who are flawed and have failed to live up to the glory and beauty of that which America stands. O.J. Simpson in his first interview since release from prison spoke about CK, Colin Kaepernick, “I really appreciate what he was trying to say. I thought he made a bad choice in attacking the flag.”
O.J. continues, “I grew up at a time when deacons were in the KKK. I don’t disrespect the Bible because of those guys. The flag shouldn’t be disrespected because of what cops do. The flag represents what we want America to be.”
As Wikipedia points out, “The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II was the forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the western interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast.” This wasn’t a racist decision. Over 62 percent of the internees were U.S. citizens and President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the action shortly after Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Americans were scared. They were at war. It’s a sad, dark chapter in both Japanese and American history. A claim of racism is simply false and sophomoric.
Slavery and Slave Catchers
Americans today recognize the enslavement of any human beings, particular Black Americans in the U.S., is unacceptable. Are White People to blame? The Far Left claims they are responsible. Yet only about one percent (1%) of White People owned slaves. I’ve written about my White great, great grandfather, Robert A. Lower, who wore the Union Blue uniform to fight slavery. He earned the Congressional Medal of Honor and was one of 18 survivors from a regiment of 120 heroic men. Simply put, White People ended slavery in America.
Ms. Rashid, Esq. wants to claim private prisons are racist. He implies public-funded prisons would be preferred. Prisons aren’t the problem. There is massive racism in the U.S. drug laws. Black Americans are incarcerated at much higher rates than White Americans who engage in the same illicit behavior. Qasim would be correct to focus on our laws; he misses the point focusing on the venue. Millions of Black Americans suffer the criminal justice system due to gun possession. Stricter controls would lead to more trouble for African Americans — not less.
Trail of Tears
Mr. Rashid, Esq. is correct most citizens have forgotten “all of American history.” The Trail of Tears involved Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee and Seminoles. Our treatment of the indigenous tribes represents many dark chapters. White settlers fought numerous wars with native people. They broke treaties; stole land; killed; murdered; and they cheated. No question. Was this racism? Arguably. Yet as O.J. Simpson said, “I grew up at a time when deacons were in the KKK. I don’t disrespect the Bible because of those guys.” Deacons, priests, pastors — leaders of the Christian church — provided the cover for the atrocities committed against native tribes.
Rather than racist activity, this behavior is more accurately characterized as “Religious Discrimination.” If a person or tribe weren’t Christian, American society considered them to be pagan, heathen or savages. President Andrew Jackson defied U.S. law and prosecuted the Trail of Tears claiming forcing native tribes to move “would be nothing but beneficial for all parties.” His point of view garnered support from many Americans, particularly those who would benefit economically from the removal.
“It will separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlements of Whites; free them from the power of the States; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions; will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their numbers, and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.”
This tragic treatment of Native Americans occurred due to the superior weaponry of White People. Nobody questions the prowess and courage of indigenous people. Tribes lost simply because of their “lack of guns.” Removing guns today would seem to counter the lessons of history. Let’s look at two examples.
1. Choctaw Removal
Wikipedia notes that U.S. Secretary of War Lewis Cass appointed George Gaines to manage the removals. Gaines removed Choctaws in three phases starting in 1831 and ending in 1833. The Choctaw nation had no defense. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
In the whole scene there was an air of ruin and destruction, something which betrayed a final and irrevocable adieu; one couldn’t watch without feeling one’s heart wrung. The Indians were tranquil, but sombre and taciturn. There was one who could speak English and of whom I asked why the Chactas were leaving their country. “To be free,” he answered, could never get any other reason out of him. We … watch the expulsion … of one of the most celebrated and ancient American peoples.
2. Seminole Resistance
Wikipedia points out that in 1832, Seminoles were called to a meeting at Payne’s Landing on the Ocklawaha River. The negotiated treaty called for Seminoles to move west, if the land were found to be suitable. Villages in Apalachicola River were persuaded and went west in 1834. On December 28, 1835, a group of Seminoles and Blacks ambushed a U.S. Army company marching to Fort King in Ocala, killing all but three of the 110 army troops. This came to be known as the Dade Massacre. As the realization the Seminoles would resist relocation sank in, Florida began preparing for what would be a ten-year war.
The war ended, after a full decade of fighting, in 1842. The U.S. government is estimated to have spent about $20,000,000 on the war, at the time an astronomical sum, and equal to $507,172,414 today.
The government gave up trying to subjugate the Seminole in their Everglades redoubts and left about 500 Seminoles in peace. As a result of the wars, the surviving Seminole band of the Everglades claims to be the only federally recognized tribe that never relinquished sovereignty or signed a peace treaty with the United States. The Seminole had sufficient weaponry to fight. They fought and survived.
Trust in Government
The current debate over gun violence and gun control aligns strongly on the urban v. rural political axis. Rural areas tend to be more conservative and vote Republican. They observe government incompetence and interference with their religious and social beliefs. Urban areas push liberal agendas and lean Democratic. As I have documented, rural areas are pro-gun. These tools serve and protect. Rural communities continue strong family ties and traditional culture. They believe in bourgeois behavior that derives from Anglo Protestant norms, values such as self-sufficiency, hard work, thrift and gratitude.
Urban groups looks to government for assistance. American cities demonstrate what Professor Amy Wax describes as, “soft behavioral factors, including low educational attainment, poor socialization and work habits, paternal abandonment, family disarray, and non-marital childbearing, [which] now loom larger than overt exclusion as barriers to racial equality.”
Whereas people in rural areas fear government intrusion, they put their trust in Smith & Wesson. The image below captures an ad currently running on the DrudgeReport, a conservative media portal, along with a survey asking readers if President Trump should fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. One would assume Democrats would vote “NO.”
This battle appears to be dividing California. LA Times writer, Hailey Branson-Potts refers to the state as a “diverse, liberal bastion whose elected officials have tried to stymie the Trump administration’s moves on immigration, legalized marijuana, climate change and so on.” Yet she points out “Northstate” looks increasingly less like the rest of the Golden State. The vast, sparsely-populated region is more White, more rural and poorer than the rest of the state — and residents are more conservative. While California has become the center of the resistance to Trump, a number of Northern Californians are waging a resistance of their own: against California itself.
Mark Baird, a Siskiyou County rancher and man many see as the founder of the modern Jefferson movement, told the crowd their gun rights, property rights, grazing rights and water rights were under siege by politicians who write them off as country bumpkins, “You’re the ones being exterminated by a lack of liberty.”
Supporters say overregulation has hobbled rural industries such as timber, mining and fishing and the state’s high taxes and cost of living drive young people away, quickening the decline of small towns. They chafe under California’s strict gun-control policies and are infuriated by its liberal immigration laws. They cite California’s new gas tax increase of 12 cents per gallon, claiming it has an outsize impact on rural people who drive farther for work and basic needs such as hospitals, schools and grocery stores.
If Jefferson became a state, it would begin with about 1.7 million residents, more than 13 other states, and be 73 percent White. California currently has about the same number of Whites and Latinos around 14.8 million each.
Riley Taresh, 19, of Shingle Springs, says she works part time at Payless ShoeSource while attending Folsom Lake College. She can’t afford to move out of her parents’ home, but wants to work in the medical field and stay in Northern California. She is concerned, “as a working-class poor, it is not possible for me.” She believes her chances at getting into a four-year state university were hindered, in part, because she’s White.
“I’m like, excuse me, I have to work my butt off to get anywhere, and you’re going to hand illegals … a driver’s license, you’re going to hand them an education, and I have to work my butt off until I’m in tears and begging for help to get anywhere. No.”
On the other hand, city residents see government as an instrument to “level the playing field” and be a provider of necessary services and resources. Guns represent a threat to this harmonious diversity. Florida school shooting survivor, David Hogg, demands President Donald Trump “listen to the screams of the children” on gun control. He currently applies harsh propaganda tactics typical of the National Rifle Association to call out lawmakers, “What if our politicians weren’t the bitch of the NRA?”
Where one lives today tells us much about their support for or against guns. Are you Rural or Urban? What do you think? Please leave your comments below and be sure to FOLLOW ClearHeath Life Strategies. We provide News of the News You Wish You Knew.