At the heart of the McDonald v. City of Chicago case that is posted on the US Supreme Court's Internet site is the Court's decision that the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution - that was pushed through by Republicans after the Civil War, led by Republican Senator Charles Sumner - is the anchor that binds state and local governments to the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self defense.
Otis McDonald, one of the plaintiffs, is a black man who just wanted to have the right to protect himself from criminals who terrorized him in his home with frequent break-ins. The only current black US Supreme Court member, Justice Clarence Thomas who was appointed by Republican President George H. W. Bush, courageously delved into the racist origins of gun control laws to demonstrate that such laws have no place in a nation of free people. The liberal justices on the Court, including Justice Sonia Sotomayor who was appointed last year by Democrat President Barack Obama, voted against the black plaintiff and his fellow Chicago residents.
The McDonald case provides a bird eye's view of the history of Democratic Party racism. Referenced in the Court's opinion is the 1856 Republican Party Platform that includes language about the "right of the people to keep and bear arms." A key source used by the Court is the book "Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877" by Dr. Eric Foner.
Forner's book reveals how, before the Civil War ended, Southern states enacted "Slave Codes" that prohibited slaves from owning firearms. After Republican President Abraham Lincoln issued the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in the rebelling states, and after Republicans pushed through the Thirteenth Amendment freeing all the remaining slaves, Democrats in the South persisted in keeping the newly freed slaves from owning the means to protect themselves - guns.
The Supreme Court in the McDonald decision wrote also about how, after the Civil War, the Southern States started passing laws, called "Black Codes", to systematically disarm blacks, specifically the over 180,000 blacks who returned to the states of the old Confederacy after serving in the Union Army. In response to the "Black Codes," the Republican-controlled Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. But the Democrats would not be deterred. Very soon after the 1866 law was enacted, Alabama, followed by other Southern states, again passed "Black Codes" that made it illegal for blacks to own firearms.
Cited by the Court in the McDonald case, as an example of such a discriminatory code, is the Mississippi law that stated: "no freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife." In one Southern town, according to the Supreme Court, the marshal confiscated the weapons of the returning black Union soldiers and, at every opportunity, promptly shot black people.
The Court's McDonald decision records that: "Throughout the South, armed parties, often consisting of ex-Confederate soldiers serving in the state militias, forcibly took firearms from newly freed slaves". In his book about Reconstruction, Dr. Foner revealed that in 1866, the Ku Klux Klan was started as a Tennessee social club. The Klan then became a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party and spread into other Southern states, launching a "reign of terror" against Republican leaders, black and white. The Klan would "order the colored men to give up their arms; saying that everybody would be Kukluxed in whose house fire-arms were found".
In the McDonald decision, the Court pointed out how the Republican-controlled Congress, while debating the Fourteenth Amendment, referred to the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right deserving of protection.
Pomeroy's words reflect exactly the sentiment expressed by Otis McDonald when he and his fellow Chicagoans filed a law suit against the Democrat-controlled City of Chicago that had confiscated their weapons, leaving them to the mercy of intruders who had broken open his door and entered his home for vile purposes.
Frances Rice, a retired lawyer and Army Lieutenant Colonel, is chairman of the National Black Republican Association and may be contacted at: www.NBRA.Info