Content warning for discussion of guns, genocide, violence, and mass shootings.
Dan is joined by guest host Stephanie Renée Payne to talk to the author of Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz about the constitutional history of the Second Amendment, the rise of white nationalism in the NRA, the role of the Second Amendment in creating well-regulated colonialism & genocide, Reconstruction, finding a path forward, and so much more.
The Writing Remix stands against all acts of violence, racially motivated terrorism, and white supremacy. Gun violence must be stopped. Mass shootings must be stopped. 2nd Amendment extremism & worship must be stopped. These are not political issues, they are issues of HUMANITY.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural central Oklahoma, child of a tenant farming family. She received the BA in History at San Francisco State College, and the Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in History at the University of California, Los Angeles, the MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College, and the Diploma in the International and Comparative Law of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
As a veteran of the Sixties revolution, she organized against the US war in Vietnam, US imperialism, racism, South African Apartheid, workers’ rights, women’s liberation, and restoration of Native American nations’ lands and sovereignty helping build Indigenous Peoples’ participation in United Nations fora. She received the 2015 American Book Award and the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize.
A historian, writer, and professor emeritus at California State University, she is author or editor of fifteen books, including Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico; An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States; Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, and Not “A Nation of Immigrants” Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion. She is at work on a book of essays on Christian Nationalism in the US to be published in 2023.
People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode
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- May 14th, 2022: Racially Motivated mass shooting at Tops Friendly Markets, Buffalo, NY
- May 24th, 2022: Robb Elementary School mass shooting, Uvalde, TX
- Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
- February 14th, 2018: Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting, Parkland, FL
- David Hogg: David Hogg – Center for Youth Political Participation
- March For Our Lives
- October 1st, 2017: 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, Las Vegas, NV
- June 17th, 2015: Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church mass shooting, Charleston, NC
- August 1st, 1966: University of Texas Tower mass shooting, Austin, TX
- November 7th, 2018: Thousand Oaks mass shooting, Thousand Oaks, CA
- April 20th, 1999: Columbine High School mass shooting, Columbine, CO
- Reconstruction Era
- Gregory Ablavsky, Stanford Law Professor
- “The Savage Constitution” by Gregory Ablavsky
- Northwest Ordinance
- River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom by Walter Johnson
- The US Civil War
- American Revolutionary War
- Jim Crow Laws
- Marbury v. Madison
- Jesse James: The Confederate Guerrilla
- Belle Starr
- Brown v. Board of Education
- John Birch Society
- Harlon Carter
- Operation Wetback (1953-1954): The largest mass deportation in American History
- The Second Amendment Foundation
- Ronald Reagan
- Beto O’Rourke confronts Texas Governor Greg Abbott
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Antonin Scalia
- Andrew Jackson
- The Koch Family
- Emmett Till
“What I concluded [from my research] was there was one common denominator [connecting all mass shootings]: [the] proliferation of guns.”Tweet
“I think that suicide not that much different from […] the mass killings in terms of just this is the end and some say, ‘I’m going to take others with me.’”Tweet
“This proliferation of guns [in the US], it makes suicide so much easier.”Tweet
“The NRA just will not admit that 400 million guns is so abnormal in the world.”Tweet
“The dual intention, as I see it, of the 2nd Amendment, these militias, settler militias, they’re self-regulated, this is what settler colonialism is. They want land. They have the thirst for land. The government doesn’t have to go take it and give it them. They are empowered to take it, and then it gets indemnified once they create the genocide and the ethnic cleansing […] all it means, self-regulated, is it’s not a banditry, it has to be organized settlers, but they are free to [colonize]”Tweet
“It’s the introduction of genocide as the basis for a state, and this comes down through the centuries to Nazi Germany.”Tweet
“You can easily see how guns, from the very beginning, are essential to this colonial project, and that it’s just no accident that when the United States became independent [gun manufacturing] was the main corporation, […] and it became industrialized very quickly, more quickly than any other industry […] It was the first corporation that was set up during the War of Independence, not after.Tweet
“I lost my childhood heroes to knowledge, which I’m very grateful for.”Tweet
“There has been so much right wing control […] that really started with Brown v. Board of Education, the white backlash to desegregation, [so] they immediately started setting up and trying to take over school boards. That was the John Burkes Society’s main thing is piece-by-piece taking over school boards throughout the country […] By 1975 you had this very cohesive movement and it’s a very important time, because this was when exactly the NRA became a white nationalist’s organization, I mean literally.”Tweet
“Texas authorities, as we now know, they’re all hats and no guts when it comes to a real situation.”Tweet
“Some of the cops in Uvalde were saying they actually thought it was a hostage situation, but they must have heard the bullets, there were 300 rounds.”Tweet
“[In Uvalde] you have the vaunted Texas Rangers who were created to kill Indians and protect slave owners, and the border guards who never seem to hesitate to nab a refugee and react to things, they’re reactors, [yet] they [were] standing there doing nothing [in Uvalde].”Tweet
“It seemed to me and pictures I saw [of Uvalde] they are mostly Anglo, all these cops, and I think they just don’t value the lives of poor Mexicans.”Tweet
“Many police are off-duty white nationalists. We saw this on January 6th [during the insurrection] […] they pick and choose who are the criminals and it’s mostly Black people they shoot in the back. That is their DNA from slave patrols.”Tweet
“It was mentioned in The Miami Herald that [the Uvalde shooter] had on his JROTC top, they had that in the auditorium [of his school], the NRA supplies the targets and the weapons, and even some of the trainers, and there are JROTCs in every high school in the country that invites them, and most of them have them. This is training, I know it’s for recruiting to the military and that in itself is something we put to rest in the 60s that’s back like a boomerang, recruiting in high school to go kill Afghanis and Iraqis and Filipinos, and everywhere the US has a counter-insurgency and that’s bad enough, but on the other hand [the Uvalde shooter] was acting like a soldier. He had his uniform on, and no one paid attention to it.”Tweet
“We don’t gain anything by being pessimists and losing hope, it takes all the energy away.”Tweet
This episode was recorded on May 28th, 2022. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. The theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter & Instagram @WritingRemixPod.