The Second Amendment is not about guns — it’s about anti-Blackness, a new book argues

The Second Amendment is not about guns -- it's about anti-Blackness, a new book argues

NRA president Charlton Heston holds up a musket at the group’s 129th annual conference in May 2000 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (CNN) — One of Charlton Heston’s greatest performances came not in a Hollywood film but on a convention stage where he electrified a crowd of gun-rights enthusiasts. Heston was president of the National Rifle Association in May 2000 when he spoke at the group’s national gathering in Charlotte. The actor described gun owners as patriots and said owning a gun was "something that gives the most common man the most uncommon of freedoms." As the crowd cheered, Heston then raised a replica of a Revolutionary War-era flintlock rifle and delivered a warning in his thundering baritone to anyone who would try to take his guns away: "From my cold, dead hands!" It was a stirring moment because Heston dramatized the belief that an individual’s right to own guns is enshrined in the Second Amendment. The amendment declares that a "well-regulated Militia" is necessary for the security of a free state," and that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Gun rights supporters say the Founding Fathers created the amendment so that citizens could protect their homes from tyrannical governments abroad and at home. But while that interpretation may provide great political theater, it’s sloppy history, according to a prominent scholar in a provocative new book. In " The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America ," Carol Anderson argues […]

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