Paper on gun control, race, etc.
I actually found it good, on a quick skim, if you allow for what the author has to do to get it published. The core of it deals with how blacks were disarmed under the Slave Codes and then the Black Codes, how the 14th Amendment was meant to stop that, and didn't, how early in the 20th century blacks formed militias for defense against mobs, and how armed resistance was used in the civil rights movement. Oh, and how the California gun controls adopted in the 1960s were specifically aimed at the Black Panthers, and meant to give grounds to arrest and search them.
OK, now try finding a publisher for that in academia! So, to entice potential publishers, you:
1. Add a provocative title. Great job, BTW. I was always lousy at that.
2. Make it sound new by adding a bunch of buzzwords. "Mythology" is great. Everyone likes to be able to think were smart enough to see thru a myth that others believed in. "Community-protective autonomy," "Identity-protective Reform,"
3. Work in race whenever possible. "In a frightening shift, the phenomenon of blacks self-arming in the last two decades has been another instrument of oppression rather than liberty. As gun-related violence in America has increased, African Americans in urban communities disproportionately feel the devastation. Instead of African Americans looking down the barrel of white guns, the perpetrators of gun oppression are other African Americans.216 The racialized rhetoric and mythology of the Second
Amendment, however, have rendered white America complicit with respect to this crisis."
4. Throw in at least one passing claim that NRA is sorta racist. (If you check the fn. to that, it's a claim that NRA at some point showed images of the Los Angeles riots, and those featured Black rioters.).
But if you ignore what was inserted to attract publishers, rest is pretty good. The linked page has the abstract, and if go to the bottom you can download the paper itself in .pdf.
hat tip to Joe Olson..
The spam filter in its unpredictable ways bloacked a couple of comments--
David Codrea writes:
"All those victims of "gun violence"--and nary a victim of evil individuals who happen to share an inconvenient commonality to be found. This is one of the more intellectually dishonest screeds it has been my misfortune to read--but it was important to do so if for no other reason than to "know thy enemy."
Do more than skim, Mr. Hardy--we are dealing with an agenda-driven individual here, incubated at Berkeley and a true believer in Marxist tenets repackaged as "social justice.""
Reader Tarn Helm adds:
On a very quick skim, perhaps it is . . . er . . . "not bad" (at best).
On a closer reading, I have a hunch that Mr. Hardy and others will find it ultimately "marginal" at best and pernicious if influential in shaping policy.
Here is a major premise of the argument: "debates over gun control have always been debates over competing cultural values" (page 38).
This is both nonsense (historically speaking--"blacks" never came from a disarmed, society--they originally came from armed tribal societies that themselves practiced slavery) and doublespeak.
When Burkett uses the phrase "competing cultural values," here is what she means: "incompatible value systems from two different cultures that are competing for the right to have their culture's values given preference in formation of public policy."
In a nutshell: Burkett advocates giving the "cultural values" of one cultural minority (the District of Columbia") the political and legislative authority of the state for the sake of implementing law and policy that infringes rights of everyone else in that "community" (which incidentally happens to be a "non-black" minority).
I do not want the value system of a decaying subculture to be the lens through which my--or anyone else's--constitutionally recognized natural rights are viewed.
And neither should anyone else.
But that is exactly what Burkett is advocating.
Burkett uses this telling analogy to argue that there should be pockets of people throughout the United States whose constitutionally recognized natural right to armed self-defense should not be recognized: "Communities emerge from and incarnate cultural identities just as surely as do individuals, and just as Professor Kahan urges policymakers to respect individuals’ desire to preserve those identities, so courts should respect and defer to the same desire in states and local governments in questions pertaining to gun violence."
Translation: The "community's" population (mainly teens and young adults--teen to 25) in high crime areas (who have effectively no impulse control but lots of mental problems and chronic, acute conduct disorders from growing up addicted to drugs, crime and gang life) can only be "controlled" or "helped" if their rights are taken away by "the state," which takes them away by deleting the rights of everyone around them through draconian anti-2nd Amendment laws and anti-gun "regulations."
Basically, Burkett seems to be arguing that "the predominantly black District of Columbia" needs laws that disarm non-whites as well as--inadvertently--"whites," so that the "community" will be safe--or as she puts it: "to stem the violence in a majority-black city where victims are black in nearly 100% of gun homicides."
Insinuation: if "whites" really cared about non-whites ("blacks" et al.) in high crime areas, then "whites" would surrender their "gun rights" for the sake of non-whites who are murdering each other for sport, which is a way of life in tribalistic societies--and in modern societies such as are found in slums throughout the world, including DC, L.A., New York, Chicago, etc, where gangs of various ethnicities murder each other as a path to dominance.
The problem is that the underlying "cultural values" of these "communities" (slums controlled by a permanent criminal underclass) most closely resemble the "values" of "the New Guinea Highlands" according to ("Liberal") author Jared Diamond, who asserts that the neverending cycle of tribal murder/revenge is a pattern of violence whose "methods might seem quite familiar to members of urban gangs in America, and also to Somalis, Afghans, Kenyans, and peoples of other countries where tribal ties remain strong and state control weak."
To grasp the underlying "cultural values" of these "communities," see "Vengeance Is Ours: What can tribal societies tell us about our need to get even?" (April 21, 2008) in the "Annals of Anthropology" of the online version of the New Yorker magazine http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/04/21/080421fa_fact_diamond?currentPage=all
Again, the problem is not lack of external, "state control" of individuals.
The problem is individuals' lack of internalized control over self: self-control.
The other aspect of the problem is that writers like Burkett and Diamond advocate stronger "state control" in the form of state deprivation of the peoples' right and ability to exercise one of the most crucial forms of "self-control"--control over one's self/person--namely, armed self-defense.
What is at work here is a deeper dynamic: shame culture versus guilt culture.
"Shame" is a sense of humiliation you feel in the eyes of other people (or in your expectation of what they will see when they appear before them). It only works if what controls you is "peer pressure." It is not an internal and internalized sense of right and wrong, merely a desire to keep up appearances--"Don't let anyone 'punk' you." We can see it in the duelling society in the early US. It is "involuntary" in the sense that if you refuse to seek vengeance, you will be looked at and treated as someone whose value in the community has been irrevocably diminished. This is tribal. If you are victimized, you do not merely want to stop the threat: you want to inflict humiliation through retaliation. (It blames the victim for being "weak.") It is incompatible with the proper functioning of the modern state and a modern legal system. This is really not a value system at all--it is a nihilistic "might makes right" approach to survival that has nothing to do with deliberating about right and wrong.
"Guilt" is what you feel to be wrong whether anyone knows you did it or not. It is an internal and internalized sense of right and wrong based on a voluntarily espoused abstract ethical principal such as "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" etc. If you are victimized, you merely want to stop the threat (within the strictures of the law) and bring the authorities to mop up the mess by calling 911. This is actually a value system, one that does not operate on the premise that might makes right but rather that might must sometimes be called upon to preserve right. In this "cultural value" system, "Right makes might." This is the kind of lived ethical system upon which the modern state depends.
We should never "compromise" an inch with the likes of Burkett or Diamond.
They just want to drag us back down to a lower level of civilization, one which they feel "deserves significant judicial respect" (Burkett, page 38).
A system of "competing cultural values" based on the practice that "might makes right" is no value system at all.
It is a return to a state of nature, it is a rejection of reason, of rationality itself, and it is a rejection of the foundation of classical (small "R") republican civil society.
"Right makes might" is the precept which actually "deserves significant judicial respect," despite what Burkett argues.
And it deserves it through recognition of the individual's right to armed self-defense against gangs or tribes of any race, color or creed which might seek to unlawfully deprive him of life, liberty, property--and certainly happiness.