The 1876 image immediately above is by Thomas Nast and is called “He Wants A Change Too”. Nast is probably the most prolific political cartoonists for Reconstruction politics. This being in response to the Tilden/Hayes election in which the infamous deal was cut that effectively ended Reconstruction and African-American civil rights for decades. Watching Tarantino’s Django Unchained yesterday this cartoon instantly popped into my mind (I think I first saw it in one of Eric Foner’s books?).
As Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jeffrey Goldberg mention you really can’t have a talk about the history of US gun laws without talking about race. I still have conflicting opinions on what the exact interpretation of the 2nd Amendment should be in modern times, but not on the NRA and the gun lobby itself. I can’t help but notice that after the recent bloody Newton shooting the NRA response was to arm every teacher with a gun (“the only solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”). Yet, after the unarmed Trayvon Martin was shot, I can’t seem to recall the NRA clamoring for African-American youths to be armed in order to protect themselves.