Michael Ian Black Says Gun Ownership Is ‘Slavery By Another Name’

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

Michael Ian Black delivered a bizarre Twitter rant to wrap up the weekend, comparing Americans who own firearms to slave owners. The actor, comedian, and author, also claimed that private gun ownership amounted to terrorism.

It started when Black called for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment:

But it didn’t stop there. When challenged, Black doubled down on his position and suggested that owning firearms was really no different from owning other people.

“Having the ready ability to take someone’s life is dominion over that person,” he continued. “Gun ownership could be viewed as slavery by another name.”

Black tied his argument to social contract theory (the idea that citizens give up a certain degree of personal liberty in exchange for protections provided by the government) and appeared to claim that, unless only authorities were permitted to carry firearms, the social contract would be violated and the unarmed would be subjected to a form of slavery.

Black offered two possible solutions, calling for either equal armament or equal disarmament of all citizens, and argued that the latter was the only way to heal the “American psyche.”

Black wrapped up his argument by appealing to the emotions of his audience, offering a series of hypothetical situations that he believed would occur less often if the American public were disarmed.

The overall response to Black’s argument was not positive. Hundreds of replies poured in, telling him that the reference to slavery was in poor taste and sharing personal stories about how the possession of legal firearms save lives. Some flipped his slavery claim on its head, saying that disarmament of the citizens, while authorities continue to carry weapons, would be the first step on the road to actual slavery.