Latino members of Congress have joined a sit-in to push the GOP to vote on gun control legislation that expands the use of “terrorist” lists. While it is important to master our culture of violent guns, Latinos also need to understand that these types of lists have historically been used to target vulnerable communities, such as Latinos and African Americans.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) can in no way be considered a puppet of the gun lobby or the National Rifle Association (NRA), and they oppose the use of these list systems. surveillance as a means of achieving gun regulation for good. raison.
In a letter sent to the Senate on these watch lists, the ACLU maintains that “the government applies watch lists in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner, in particular against the American, Arab and South Asian Muslim communities.”
These types of gun control laws have historically been heavily influenced by racism against the black community and against Latinos.
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The origins of gun control in California, for example, were encouraged by anxiety aroused by Mexican-Americans and Chinese-Americans at the turn of the 20th century, and gained renewed vigor when the Black Panthers took over. used guns to defend their communities against tough tactics. police services.
The Mulford Law, signed by Governor Ronald Reagan, declared that the law “would do no harm to the honest citizen,” implying that the defense of black communities against racist police officers had no legitimacy in the “honest” world of society. White.
The gun licensing processes in the South have been used to disarm black communities who have used guns to defend themselves against the Ku Klux Klan. Indeed, the origin of gun control in this country is a direct descendant of slavery and the fear that submissive classes would use them to rise up against the ruling classes.
There has been a history of an unnatural alliance between gun control and racism in America, and Latinos should be wary of any plans to use watchlists to disarm Americans. These watchlists will inevitably target the most vulnerable among us. For example, our fear of terrorism prompted Newt Gingrich to call for a new House Anti-American Activities Committee, recalling the legacy of McCarthyism that targeted people for their political views.
This in no way means that we should not work harder to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of violent people. Some states such as Arizona allow private party transfers without background checks, and these weapons are regularly advertised on websites connecting buyers and sellers. This loophole has nothing to do with our current laws.
In addition, studies have shown a strong link between gun violence and domestic violence. Addressing our national character in the way we deal with violence against women would dramatically improve the way we deal with gun violence.
The use of watchlists devised during the “war on terror” era is a poor means of gun control and should not be extended further under any administration. Using “terrorism” to scare us and make us support these watchlists is a fruit at hand and pushes the boundaries of racism generally reserved for racist calls, like the Willie Horton ad.
We are better than that and minority Democrats, of all, should know better than to use these buttons, despite their honorable cause.
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