I am a Second Amendment Absolutist

5 min readMar 15, 2021


By: Sam Abodo, Policy Advisor

The 1739 Stono Rebellion. Nat Turner’s Rebellion of 1831. The 1859 Harpers Ferry raid. The awe-inspiring, almost sensational life of Harriet Tubman. The Black Panthers. Every African-American in the South who armed themselves against hate crimes from their neighbors. Black activists during the Black Lives Matter riots. And on a lighter and more recent note: Miss USA 2020, Aysa Branch. Taking all these storied events and patriotic Americans into context gives us one lovely conclusion: Black Americans value their right to keep and bear arms, and they need a robust 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Make no mistake about it, gun control in the United States is rooted in racist “Black Codes” designed to keep African-Americans disarmed, enslaved, and restricted. In 1865, the same year the 13th Amendment was ratified, Mississippi passed a law requiring police approval to own guns unless they were in the military service. In bordering Louisiana, a similar law required approval from both the police and the employer. This Louisiana statute was impossible for any freedman to follow considering that: first, few African-Americans found legitimate employment during Reconstruction and second, the chances of being employed by a progressive White American unfazed by retaliation enough to approve such a demand were slim to none.

During Reconstruction, an era in which President Andrew Johnson vetoed a crucial Civil Rights Act twice, gun ownership symbolized freedom from oppression, a resuscitation of liberation, and a rekindling of the individualism that’s long defined this great country. The quasi-impossible task to procure a gun through legal means created another avenue through which even the most respectable Blacks could be oppressed. To add salt to the wound, in the years following the ratification of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Reconstruction Amendments, and the Civil Rights Act of 1870, Southern states still failed to enforce the new laws. Tennessee and Arkansas were two states with laws prohibiting affordable handguns, but allowing for expensive handguns called “Army & Navy models” likely to be owned by ex-Confederate soldiers. This careful re-wording of Southern laws allowed state legislatures to make a great mockery of the four most controversial words in the Constitution: “shall not be infringed.”

Unfortunately, even a century later, the government continued to limit the free exercise of the 2nd amendment by Black Americans. Anti-gun journalist Robert Sherrill wrote of the Gun Control Act of 1968:

“The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed not to control guns but to control blacks, and inasmuch as a majority of Congress did not want to do the former but were ashamed to show that their goal was the latter, the result was they did neither. Indeed, this law, the first gun-control law passed by Congress in thirty years, was one of the grand jokes of our time.”


Black Americans exercising their constitutional right is apparently an invasion.

Without the fundamental right to arms that our Founding Fathers enshrined, it is hard to believe that the Civil Rights movement would have achieved the tremendous success it did in such a short period. Both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr understood that perhaps the best way to stride forward in a country intent on restraining ~11% of its population is to utilize every legal avenue available to its full extent, including the right to bear arms. In rural black communities, where the Ku Klux Klan lurked the shadows tormenting everyone from the most loved instructor to the most hated robber, a rifle was often the only lifeline available. Owning a rifle, a revolver, or a carbine, much like in the Reconstruction Era, symbolized freedom from oppression.

The Black Panthers (originally called the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) understood the importance of this principle, hence their portrayal as a crazed danger to society by some of the country’s most prominent politicians. In California, the Black Panthers operated the Black Panthers Police Patrols. They would openly carry firearms (as the law allowed it), listen on police calls to rush at a scene of the arrest, and inform the arrested of their rights, all while standing far enough to not interfere with the work of police officers. But not everyone was a fan. Assemblyman Dan Mulford thought to limit the patrols by introducing Assembly Bill 1951, proposing a repeal of the law allowing for the open carry of loaded firearms. Rightly angered, the Black Panthers marched to the State Capitol, armed, to protest its passage. Unfortunately, their protests weren’t enough as Governor Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford Act into law in 1967, citing “[the Act] would work no hardship on the honest citizen.

But were the Black Panthers being dishonest? First, open carry, as opposed to concealed carry, specifically demands weapons to be publicly displayed. Second, the Black Panthers’ core practice was to openly carry to monitor police officers. It was anything but dishonest. Had the Black Panthers been concealing their weapons and made their intentions unclear, Reagan might have been correct. Yet again, a state legislature decided to explicitly limit the law so that African-Americans could not freely exercise their rights to the 2nd Amendment. Fortunately for the Black Panthers, the Mulford Act was only a temporary setback: they rose to national prominence within the young Black population, developed new social programs, gained the prominence of moderate institutions, and became an icon for self-defense.

Ronald Reagan’s signing of the Mulford Act must represent an outdated GOP if we are to gain critical Black conservative voters. In 1960, 22% of Black voters were registered Republicans; four years later, it was only 8%. More than half a century later, in 2019, 25% of Black Democrats identified as conservative. We must ask ourselves: why are 25% of Black “Democrats” not voting Republican? Where did we go wrong? Simply put, Republicans have long ignored the racial history behind the 2nd Amendment. Going forward, the GOP must be outspoken, explicit, and unequivocal in its support of Black Americans’s right to bear arms. A quarter of Black Americans own a gun, and gun sales have hit a record high, with an estimated half being new gun owners. Republicans in Washington cannot ignore these statistics any longer.

Being a Black Republican means supporting politicians who safeguard the unalienable rights enshrined in America’s most important text. Being a Black immigrant means cherishing the institution that makes America unique. Being a Black man in America means opposing any abridgment of the 2nd Amendment. It means respecting Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, and Malcolm X, those who risked their lives so I could prosper in the greatest nation that’s ever existed. In the words of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, “I am a Second Amendment absolutist.




We’re Gen Z and we’re charting a new path for the republican party.