Commentary & Opinion
Koran Saines, Sterling Supervisor
Saines led the charge to remove the names of John Mosby and Harry Byrd from U.S. Routes 50 and 7 within Loudoun County in 2021. Mosby, a Confederate commander during the Civil War, was affiliated with the Republican Party years after the war. Byrd, a 20th-century politician who served as Virginia’s governor and a U.S. senator, was a Democrat.
Why would Saines and other progressives want to erase history? If you study history, you’ll find the Democratic Party was the party of slavery and segregation, while the Republican Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln and emancipation. The Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) deplores the racist actions of both men but questions the motive of revisionists like Saines. While removing those names could be seen as a blow to bigotry, the move also covers up the Democratic Party’s unsavory past.
Saines also joined the Board of Supervisors’ efforts to erode Loudoun County residents’ Second Amendment rights in approving a gun ban at County buildings, public parks, and recreational community centers. He went a step further in siding with the supervisors who fought for tighter regulation, specifically an exemption from the ban for concealed carry permit holders at County parks.
Gun rights are supported by the U.S. Constitution. Step back in history, and you will see that gun control was used to keep Blacks from owning guns. In 2022, the Harvard Law Review noted that “gun laws bore the ugly taint of racism” for “a significant portion of American history.” In the infamous Dred Scott decision, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney said free Blacks could not be citizens because if they were they could “keep and carry arms wherever they went.” Black Codes enacted in the South after the Civil War also restricted gun rights for people of color.
News accounts report a significant surge in gun purchases among Black Americans in recent years. Given the racist underpinnings of anti-gun laws and Black Americans’ increased desire to defend themselves, the Democratic Party’s aims to restrict gun ownership could have unintended negative consequences for a constituency they claim to protect.
When Saines and other Democrats fight to keep guns from law-abiding citizens, that includes Black Americans who may need those guns to defend themselves against injustice. They again choose to forget the Democratic Party’s ugly past.