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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:19 AM

Second Amendment was ratified to preserve Slavery - Tom Hartmann

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by OKNancy (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: Truth Out

The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.

In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the "slave patrols," and they were regulated by the states.

In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.

As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of California Law Review in 1998, "The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search 'all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition' and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds."

Read more: http://truth-out.org/news/item/13890-the-second-amendment-was-ratified-to-preserve-slavery



Interesting article written by Tom Hartmann. Thoughts? Opinions?

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Reply Second Amendment was ratified to preserve Slavery - Tom Hartmann (Original post)
NickP Jan 2013 OP
tblue Jan 2013 #1
BainsBane Jan 2013 #3
BainsBane Jan 2013 #2
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #6
BainsBane Jan 2013 #7
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #4
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #5
OKNancy Jan 2013 #8

Response to NickP (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:23 AM

1. Makes so much sense.

That's a heartbreaking backstory. The 2A is just plain evil, IMHO.

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Response to tblue (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:30 AM

3. It's application certainly has become so

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Response to NickP (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:29 AM

2. The prominent historian Edmund Morgan argues this very point

In Slavery and Freedom.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:57 AM

6. It may have been useful to the slaveholding states for that purpose

(not that the federal government tried to disarm the people, so its utility is actually not much at all)

But that was not its primary purpose.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:28 AM

7. How would you know that?

The law grew up around maintaining the institution of slavery. Slavery was the central issue at the Philadelphia convention and framed the making of the Constitution. Slave holders dominated the Supreme Court until the Civil War. In a slave society, whether the US, Brazil, or Cuba, state formation, and hence the law, was inexorably linked to slavery, violence, and what I have called the politics of death. I am much better prepared to summon evidence for this on Brazil, since that is my area of research. But Morgan, as Professor Emeritus at Yale, is a highly respected authority on the subject. He demonstrates that freedom as understood by white men depended on the absolute denial of freedom for African Americans through the institution of slavery. The very conception of freedom you imagine today is founded on racial oppression and bondage. If you ever saw the first episode of the PBS series Africans in America, you would be exposed to Morgan's research that continues to form the foundation for historical understanding of the development and legitimation of slavery in N. America.

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Response to NickP (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:32 AM

4. There were many reasons for the 2nd Amendment

While making sure that slaves did not revolt may have been one of the reasons for this amendment, the American Revolution, which was only 10 years in the past, played a major role. For example, many songs during that era had praised the ownership of arms, such as "The Riflemen of Bennington":

Why come ye hither, Redcoats?
What mind your madness fills?
In our valleys there is danger
And there's danger in our hills.
O hear ye not the singing of the bugle, wild and free?
Full soon you'll hear the ringing of the rifle from the tree.

For the rifle (clap, clap, clap),
For the rifle (clap, clap, clap),
In our hands will prove no trifle

And then there was that little bit about having a wild frontier full of dangers, which was even mentioned in the Declaration of Independence:

"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

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Response to NickP (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:54 AM

5. There were militias in every state, including the non-slave-owning states.

In addition, most/all of the individual states also had language in their state constitutions describing a similar purpose.

For instance, the ME supreme court ruled slavery verboten in 1783.

Maine's state constitution adopted in 1819 specifies:

Keep and bear arms

Section 16. To keep and bear arms. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.


That constitution was acceptable to the Congress, and Maine was admitted to the Union the next year.

My state (Washington) never had slavery at all, not from day 1. Our state constitution specifies:

SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

State constitutions are only over-ridden by supremacy where they come into conflict with things like the Bill of Rights, on issues that are incorporated against the states, and all levels of government.

There is no conflict between the states and the 2nd on this issue, as of now, and the 2nd is incorporated via Due Process (14th Amendment) against the states, per the MacDonald vs. Chicago decision.

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Response to NickP (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:35 AM

8. I'm sorry but this is not breaking news

This is news analysis/commentary. Truthout is a great site, but does not usually post breaking news.
A better place to re-post this would be Good Reads or General Discussion.
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No analysis or opinion pieces. No duplicates. News stories must have been published within the last 12 hours.
Use the published title of the story as the title of the discussion thread.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=about&forum=1014

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