What does Slavery, Segregation, and Guns Have in Common?
The southern states often take an anti-federalist stance compared to northern states since the incipiency of the nation. This was well epitomized during the federal quest by the Union to end the institution of slavery.
Federal attempts to end slavery were seen as an intrusion by most southern states on their sovereignty. Their ability to control state affairs felt threatened.
This conflict made the institution of slavery become an emblem of southern states’ sovereignty from the Union (the soon-to-be U.S.A.).
This consequently would lead to civil wars, to which the Confederacy, the southern states, lost. Upon ratifying and joining the Union, the right to keep and bear guns over the years took over from slavery to become a symbol of resistance against federalism intervention.
Up to this day, most pro-gun groups, individuals, and states have an underlying wariness of federal overreach.
Guns nowadays are an emblem of individual sovereignty from the government overreach. Besides, guns are still seen as a tool for repression, as their deadly use is meant to give the bearer dominance over others.
Just like in the infancy days of establishing the U.S.A nation, misconceiving guns as an emblem of sovereignty has had its painful, traumatizing consequences on American citizens of color. After slavery, segregation was seen as an emblem of state sovereignty, encapsulated by white supremacy.
Accordingly, most state residents felt that the federal government’s attempt to end segregation was an overly interference in local affairs. Often, federalized National Guard Troops had to be deployed for African American students to be enrolled.
Currently, most Western countries were able to end slavery without ending up in a civil war. Hitherto, most Western nations have enacted necessary gun regulations needed for public safety without ending an ideological war.
Emblemification as a show of defiance by anti-federalist states, residents and groups comes from a desperate attempt to cling to something just because it has evolved to have an ideological significance. Consequently, this delays social progress and subjects those powerless to undue anguish.
In the issue of slavery and segregation, African Americans were powerless and in need of federal government intervention. In the issue of gun violence, children in schools and women in abusive marriages, and civilians in public places are powerless and in need of federal government intervention.
Since no help seems forthcoming from U.S. Congress, Roberts Court has to step in and help resolve this public safety crisis just like Warren Court in ending segregation.
The truth is, change does not come easily and is rarely welcomed, but decades later, the nation will look back and will be proud of taking a step forward. America never regretted ending slavery or segregation, and neither will the country regret ending gun violence. Life does not end when guns become unavailable and silent; it ends when guns appear and start getting noisier.
It is understandable why southern states and, in general, conservative societies are antagonistic to any federal interventions, as all social changes usually have a paternalistic nature.
However, in some cases, federal institutions have to act urgently to protect those whose rights lack explicit precedents or statutory support and thus would continue being violated if the status quo continues.
National institutions, i.e., Congress, Judiciary and Presidency, have been instrumental in leading society to accept social changes, i.e., LGBT rights, integration, emancipation and women rights.
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Thank you for reading.