The article by Saul Cornell wants to make the case that gun control is OK because it has been practiced all the way back to our Common Law roots in England.
What Mr. Cornell fails to mention is that gun control has long been used to keep "undesirable" groups of people from arming themselves to protect against discrimination, persecution, and tyranny by the ruling class.
An example of controlling "undesirable" groups of people is found in the Army action against the Lakota people near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. The Army surrounded a camp of Miniconjou and Hunkpapa Lakota and on December 29, 1890 attempted to disarm them. Some of the native Americans resisted disarmament and the Army opened fire on them. The result was more than 150 Lakota killed and 51 wounded, men, women, and children.
Twenty U.S. soldiers received the Medal of Honor for this action.
Other examples of disarming and controlling undesirable groups can be found in the Jim Crow laws passed in the South following the American Civil War. The 13th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution guaranteed full rights and citizenship to former black slaves, but that didn't stop the South from passing laws to control them.
A good article covering the racist roots of gun control can be found in "Jim Crow and the Racist Roots of Gun Control," which can be readily found on the Internet.
New York City has the highly restrictive Sullivan Act which served to protect one political class over rivals. It is rife with corruption and as recently as 2017 it was exposed that for bribes to the right officials as much as $10,000 will guarantee issuance of a carry permit.
And lest one think that all was in the past, we're better than that now, look at the practice of issuing concealed carry permits in the major metropolitan areas of California. A "may issue" state, the authority and power to issue concealed carry permits rests in the hands of the sheriff or the chief of police. Both officials can hide behind the "good cause" clause of the law to deny the issuance of a CCW permit to someone they believe shouldn't carry a firearm.
Shamefully, surveys of several jurisdictions showed that the majority of CCW permits went to judges, attorneys, well placed political figures, and celebrities. And if an applicant didn't fit any of those categories, they were covered as known generous donors to the sheriff.
Just because discriminatory gun control practices have their basis in history doesn't make them right.