National Rifle Association President David Keene stirred controversy Saturday by insisting that gun control's origins were racist. "You know, when you go back in history," Keene told the Daily Caller, "the initial wave of [gun laws] was instituted after the Civil War to deny blacks the ability to defend themselves." Keene's history is off by at least century—gun control existed in the American colonies and in the founding era—but nonetheless Keene points to an ugly truth about American history: Gun control has historically been used for racist purposes.
And the NRA's president should know: His organization was intimately involved in this history, promoting gun control laws that were tainted with racism.
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