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Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:08 PM

"Because a well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state..."

I'm looking for some reading suggestions and I ask for leniency in advance; I've not frequented this group as a lurker, I'm not familiar with the position of any of this group's posters, I'm unfamiliar with the basic lines of argument that occur here. I only know that this group has a reputation as "somewhat contentious" at times.

So, regarding my thread title: when the proposed Constitution was let out to the separate states for ratification the nation had just completed the military facet of a revolution (I'm focusing on the completion of the military facet because there is a strong argument to be made that the socio-political aspect has never been completed, and I don't want to go down that road unless someone suggests that it is relevant to the issue of guns). How was the Second Amendment greeted by the states? How did they understand it? Was it a contentious issue in its day?

I suspect both Federalist and anti-Federalist papers say something about this (perhaps not) but I'm wondering if any other primary source material is available. Any correspondence between Founders, any journal materials, newspaper articles, etc.?

If you know of a book which addresses the issue as it existed at the founding I would like to read it. The same goes for any works which cover the period prior to the Civil War.

Thanks to all in advance.

42 replies, 4559 views

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Reply "Because a well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state..." (Original post)
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 OP
sarisataka Jul 2012 #1
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #7
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jul 2012 #2
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #8
permatex Jul 2012 #3
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #10
safeinOhio Jul 2012 #4
GreenStormCloud Jul 2012 #9
safeinOhio Jul 2012 #19
GreenStormCloud Jul 2012 #24
GreenStormCloud Jul 2012 #27
safeinOhio Jul 2012 #32
GreenStormCloud Jul 2012 #37
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #13
gejohnston Jul 2012 #14
DonP Jul 2012 #15
gejohnston Jul 2012 #17
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #18
safeinOhio Jul 2012 #23
DonP Jul 2012 #35
safeinOhio Jul 2012 #36
safeinOhio Jul 2012 #21
gejohnston Jul 2012 #25
safeinOhio Jul 2012 #33
gejohnston Jul 2012 #34
Hoyt Jul 2012 #26
gejohnston Jul 2012 #28
malthaussen Jul 2012 #5
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #12
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #16
malthaussen Jul 2012 #20
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #29
malthaussen Jul 2012 #38
GreenStormCloud Jul 2012 #6
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #11
Francis Marion Jul 2012 #22
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #30
Francis Marion Jul 2012 #31
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #42
appal_jack Jul 2012 #40
TPaine7 Jul 2012 #39
Adsos Letter Jul 2012 #41

Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:18 PM

1. Welcome to the group

did you bring cookies and a thick skin?

Your specific question is not my strongest point in history but I have been trying to improve on it. I would suggest the website http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/ to start. Others here who are more well versed on the topic can undoubtedly point you to other sources.


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Response to sarisataka (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:46 PM

7. Thanks!

I have a fairly thick skin, but I'm a bit leery of offering up cookies lest my choice opens me to ridicule or rejection (oh yeah, THAT guy...the snickerdoodles guy).

Thanks for that link.

About me and guns: I was raised in a family where guns were part of the culture. My grandfather had a double barreled Winchester Model 24 20 gauge with a cut down stock, and that was passed from cousin-to-cousin as each reached the age of twelve. That the kids would take the gun safety course sponsored by the NRA was a given. All the guys owned guns, and some of the girls as well. We hunted and target practiced, and just generally enjoyed them.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:23 PM

2. Welcome and thanks for the post.

"Somewhat contentious" I'd say that's fair.

Although I can't properly suggest a title for you, I can relate that there were two factions at the time, one pro-Bill of Rights and the other against. Alexander Hamilton was prominently anti-BoR as seen in Federalist Paper #84. I can't remember his particular objections.

Best of luck; HTH.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:51 PM

8. Thanks!

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Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:23 PM

3. Welcome

 

Spin is really good on that subject, there are a few others also, but Spin, IMHO, is the best.

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Response to permatex (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:52 PM

10. Thanks. I'll look up some of Spin's posts. n/t

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Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:39 PM

4. Here is a good video on the subject.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:52 PM

9. Your video lies about the CC-Reciprocity Bill.

It would NOT grant the power to carry regardless of local laws. The carrier will still have to obey local gun laws.

Hartman glosses over Adams qualifier, "...except in cases of individual self-defense...". He reads Adams' statement but then acts like the qualifier isn't there.

It is posts like this that place you firmly in the anti-gun camp, despite your claims.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:56 PM

19. Self-defense falls under laws granted to states.

Last edited Tue Jul 24, 2012, 07:06 AM - Edit history (1)

Anti-gun camp? I own guns and have CCWs for 2 states. I fall under the average, reasonable gun law crowd. Even a majority of NRA members support background checks on private sales and I agree with them.

Once again you attack me personally when you were never mentioned by me. Quit being an asshole about me and just stick to the subject. Of course gun nuts fear reasonable gun owners like me more than they do big city black mayors and even the Brady group. Adams "qualifier" is little in comparison to Hartman's overall video.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #19)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:11 PM

24. He lost credibility in the first few seconds when he lied about the CC-Reciprocity bill.

Why are you promoting a video that lies about that bill? Ans: You are anti-gun, despite you claims. Your posts almost always come down on the anti-gun side of an issue.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #19)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:22 PM

27. He lost credibility in the first few seconds when he lied about the CC-Reciprocity bill.

Why are you supporting a video that lies about gun legislation, with the lie supporting the anti-gun side? The only reason that I see is that your position is anti-gun freedom.

Going to youtube and watching some of his gun videos he is strongly anti-gun. You support him so you must agree with him.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #27)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 07:12 AM

32. Big difference between anti-gun and reasonable-gun laws.

You always come down on the side of the crazy gun nuts and the NRA, Ted Nugent, Grover Norquist and Wayne Lapierre side of the issue.

Now jump to what Hartman said and quoted what the founding fathers wrote and said, including the documents he quotes about adding the 2nd to the bill of rights. Are any of the words he cited by the authors wrong?

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #32)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 08:42 AM

37. So it is OK with you to lie if it supports your cause?

He lied about what the law would do. Why should I bother listening to a liar?

I am indeed strongly pro-gun rights. I don't care who else is or isn't. Guilt by association is a favorite tactic of the anti-gunners here.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:57 PM

13. Thanks. I'll give it a listen. n/t

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:14 PM

14. he is also dishonest in this one

by saying
The NRA-supported pro-gun rights group organizes summer shooting camps for children. And - last month - the group exploited loopholes in a Chicago gun buyback program - and managed to take $6,000 dollars in taxpayer money to buy ammunition and guns for children as young as 9 to use.
Of course there was no "loophole" and gave the impression that GSL were passing out guns and ammo, giving viewers the impression they the kids were not being supervised. That is a lie by omission. This was on the same day Hoyt posted that it is OK for cops to machine gun fleeing 14 year olds.
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/06/daniel-zimmerman/guns-save-life-uses-chicago-buyback-send-kids-nra-gun-camp/

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #14)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:34 PM

15. Sorry, Hartmann is either a lying sack 'o shit or has a crappy staff - choose one

I know the local gun club that turned in guns, per all the rules of the buy back, and used the funds to support their youth gun safety program. They have nothing to do with the NRA except some of the people may be members of both.

The NRA does not have local chapters.

So either Hartman knows that and is willing to lie about it and make stuff up to suit his personal agenda or his staff doesn't bother to check anything that goes on the air. Either way his rants are useless and are backing a losing proposition with false information.

My guess is he's probably pissed off that someone pointed out another feel good useless gun grabber program.

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Response to DonP (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:39 PM

17. my vote is lying sack

for the simple reason he was OK and even talked about how much he liked shooting at his brother's house (his brother has a shooting range in his back yard in rural MI.) His attitude changed since he moved to DC and got a show on RT. I think he was told to conform to the orthodoxy.

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Response to DonP (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:41 PM

18. Youth gun safety programs.

They were mandatory in our family growing up if one of us kids wanted to own a gun. My mom and dad's families were both thoroughly steeped in gun culture, and safety was always emphasized. I think many gun opponents don't realize how much gun safety is emphasized among responsible owners.

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Response to DonP (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:06 PM

23. "feel food useless gun grabber"?

Or a batshit crazy gun nut like this one that sits on the board of the NRA. Must be gun nut guitar hero.



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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #23)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 08:11 AM

35. When you have nothing else, post an irrelevant Nugent clip as if it meant something

Since this story has nothing to do with the NRA, except the fact that Hartman thinks it does, congratulations on once again proving why gun control is an irrelevant issue,
because the supporters have no reading comprehension or critical thinking skills.

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Response to DonP (Reply #35)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 08:31 AM

36. Very relevant.

This video shows who voting members of the NRA support by electing as a board member. Calling for harm to liberal Democrats. Actually use of military type weapons to scare and inflame people. Hartman say nothing about this video, so what happen to your reading comprehension and critical thinking skills?

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #14)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:01 PM

21. OK, he took a little liberty with the NRA.

But, the jest of what he is saying about the 2nd Amendment is harder to throw out.

NRA? You defending a group that voted in, as member of their board of directors and a spokesperson for the group this guy, along with Grover Norquist? Screw them'

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #21)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:14 PM

25. not the same thing

GSL has nothing to do with the NRA, as DonP pointed out. Your comparison falls flat.
Planting the impression that "giving guns to 9 nine year olds makes GSL very ugly" gave the impression that the kids were not supervised. To me he seemed to imply that GSL were arming future gangsters and drug dealers. That level of "jest" and dis-ingenuousness is unacceptable. Call me a prig, but that is how I see it.
The fact was, they were learning responsible gun ownership under adult supervision. That does not come close to Ted Nugent, but it is dishonest never the less. Like I said, saw it within an a few hours Hoyt said it was OK to machine gun children. You compare the two. While Thom's lie by omission or disingenuous spiel does not come close to Nugent, Hoyt's certainly did. In fact, I put Hoyt and Nuget on the same level.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #25)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 07:16 AM

33. How about his quotes and documentation of

what the founders and writers of the BoR wrote and said? Any of that lies? Show where this part of the video is wrong. Take those quotes apart and disprove any of that.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #25)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 07:20 AM

34. I'm not talking about his BoR rant

I'm talking about his issue with GSL, which is a lie by ommission. I am also talking about Hoyt's apparent racism.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #14)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:22 PM

26. You still apologizing for randy weaver getting his kid killed by hiding behind

his family because he chose to befriend racist members of ayran nation and traffic illegal guns to them enabling them to intimidate the objects of their hatred.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #26)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:25 PM

28. You are still apologizing for cops who

machine gun children and dogs for no reason?

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Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:43 PM

5. File this under TMI, but...

The Militia Question was of considerable importance in British constitutional theory, and the debates on British militia carried over to the nascent USA. One of the points made then is still echoed now, despite its inapplicability: that a strong, central army is a necessary instrument to impose tyranny, and that relying on militia for defense lessens the threat of a centralizing force imposing its will through a monopoly on coercive power. Back in 1985, John Robertson wrote a book The Scottish Enlightenment and the Militia Issue about the subject. Now out of print, used copies are about 25 bucks. There is a school of thought in US constitutional history that stresses the importance of the Scottish Enlightenment on the Founders, so this book could be regarded as "deep background" on the question.

You should probably take a peek at the book The Founders' Second Amendment, by Stephen P. Halbrook, since it professes to be exactly what you want: an examination of what primary sources had to say on the subject. Be advised that both of these works are scholarly histories, which means that most readers will find them incredibly dull.
Mr Halbrook has also written another work on the subject with a broader historical scope, but the book listed focuses on the pre-Revolutionary period exclusively.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #5)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:56 PM

12. Thank you for that title!

I'l look it up on Amazon.

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #5)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:35 PM

16. both of these works are scholarly histories

"...both of these works are scholarly histories, which means that most readers will find them incredibly dull."

Thanks for the heads up. I did my MA in History, with emphasis on the English Civil War and the Early National period. I've had to slog my way through some deadly-dull tomes, but I usually don't mind if it's a subject I'm interested in. I'm certain my reading list for comps must have covered some of this, I just can't bring it to mind.

It hardly gets duller than Beard's Gender and the Politics of History or Collinson's The Religion of Protestants.

Actually, it can be much duller but those are the two that always come to mind.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #16)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:00 PM

20. OTOH, some pros do well

One of my favorite all-time scholarly-but-not-boring histories is Fred Williamson's Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766, which I found not only comprehensive but greatly entertaining. There aren't a lot of books I can say that about -- Schama's Citizens, but not Embarassment of Riches, which I had a hard time getting through. I also liked Thomas Slaughter's Whiskey Rebellion, both because it is an incident I have long been interested in, and he chose to include original accounts of the conflict in his narrative. It is odd to say, but back when I was in grad school (mid-80s), historians had been "off" including anecdotal records in their studies. When Bernard Bailyn published Voyagers to the West, many critics were disturbed that he devoted the last half to reprinting of primary sources without analysis; they loved the first part which was the then-commonplace demographic analysis with charts and data out the yin-yang. Incidentally, you might want to look at Bailyn's Ideolgical Origins of the American Revolution. I don't know how up you are on the literature of the Revolutionary period, but Bailyn is one of the gods of the field. I also like anything written by Gordon Wood (but I'm a radical bastard and so is he).

My own grad studies begin at about where yours left off; I was interested in the Enlightenment on both sides of the Atlantic and how it affected the various 18th-century revolutions. As a result, I tend to write like an 18th-century literati, which is usually not a good thing.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #20)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 01:28 AM

29. I've read Bailyn's [i]Ideoogical Origins[/i] several times...

as well as Slaughter's Whiskey Rebellion, both originally for a course on "Revolutionary and Republican America." It was an undergrad course but the professor had a good reading list. Bailyn's Ideological Origins and Atlantic History were on my reading list, as was Wood's The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 and Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815. I've found the Oxford series very good in combining scholarship and interest.

I thought Gary Nash was the author for radical interpretations of the Revolution. Wood certainly disliked him (if I'm recalling his review of Nash's work in the New York Times correctly). Certainly no love lost between those two. I don't know if things have mellowed any since then.

For combining scholarship with good writing one of my favorites is William Freehling's second volume of The Road to Disunion.

Given your stated area of interest I'll go out on a limb and assume that you've read some Christopher Hill. I thoroughly enjoyed parts of his World Turned Upside Down. He was certainly prolific.

Certainly no need to denigrate your writing style...at least you have one. Mine on the other hand...

ON EDIT: There was a time delay on my reply because I went to barnes & Noble to pick up a copy of Halbrook's The Founders' Second Amendment. Just skimming now, but it seems quite readable.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #29)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 02:08 PM

38. Yes, I used Amazon's look inside feature to check out Halbrook,

... didn't seem too bad at all. One of the reviews says something like "scholarly but accessable," which usually makes me cringe.

Gary Nash is radical all right. One of my favorite historians, I can literally say I never thought about Ben Franklin in the same way after reading him. I'd forgotten about the antipathy between Nash and Wood, it's been 15+ years since I was last even vaguely in the loop in the field. IIRC, the knock on Nash was that his reach tended to exceed his grasp, or that he drew spectacular conclusions from little evidence. Okay by me, I do the same thing. I've always been more interested in the questions than the answers.

-- Mal

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Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:44 PM

6. Here is my suggestion:

Go to Amazon.com, category - Books, enter Second Amendment. It will bring up a number of books, Most of the titles will have customer reviews. Also try entering "Right to keep and bear arms." That will also bring up some good titles.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #6)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:54 PM

11. Thanks. just wondered if anyone had something they felt was especially well-written.

And accurate.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:03 PM

22. What did 'well regulated' mean in the 18th century?

Paul Revere didn't shout 'The British are coming'.

He told people 'the Regulars are out!'

Ministerial Troops- The Regulars... professional soldiers of considerable military skill. Regulars are soldiers who are well trained, disciplined, effective in battle.

In New England, it would have been clear to any observer who watched them march, drill, or practice firing that the Kings troops were indeed well regulated.

Regular skill was, deservedly so, a British point of pride. In British and Tory correspondence, contrasts of Regulars proper martial bearing to that of 'the country people' of New England are often made. American shopkeepers, farmers, mechanics, clockmakers- to the British, they were a mob, a rabble, banditi, deserving no part of the term 'regular'. One example Tory letter writer likens an American colonial shopkeeper militiaman to a goose trying to assume an air of importance.

However, British opinion changed after April 19, 1775- the day a large body of British Regulars fought for their lives all the way from Concord back to Boston. The Regulars were not alone in military proficiency.

This changing realization dawned upon one of the Regular officers at the North Bridge. After the fight, he had a chance to write down some thoughts. While at the North Bridge, he said that he saw the Americans marching toward him 'in the most regular manner'. A modern American can easily miss the significance in this British officer's diction. Considering who was speaking, and about whom he was speaking, this is high praise. Not to mention the fact that, when they returned fire on the British, half the British officers on scene were hit.

Who were the Americans that elicited this British admission? They were probably Isaac Davis' Acton minuteman company, because that is the unit which led the American militia toward the British troops guarding the North Bridge. The Americans marched two abreast, with military bearing- and military equipment. They were not set up with hunting weapons. They had muskets which could receive a bayonet, and each man had a cartridge box. Davis, the Minuteman Captain, was a blacksmith, and he saw to it that each man had a hand made bayonet, besides a cartridge box. The cartridge box is analogous to an ammo pouch full of M16 magazines. It held the ammunition supply of the individual.

Davis made sure that his minuteman company was well-regulated. Besides making equipment for them, he had them practicing shooting on his property, weekly, for the past several months.

So the original definition of a well regulated militia describes an American well skilled in the use of a firearm, and able to march, fight, and be militarily effective under their elected officers. Today, that is a far more accurate description of your National Guardsman than it is of Joe Civilian Citizen. Nevertheless, whether Joe Civilian chooses to be derelict in his duty to be well regulated or not, the Bill of Rights makes it clear that it is the Right of The People to keep and bear arms, not the right of the militia.

The wording of the Second Amendment makes the difference between a People's state and a Police state. So Joe Citizen, take it upon yourself to learn how to use an AR15 so that you'll be useful as a citizen soldier in a national emergency.

Now watch people clamor for the confiscation of your AR15, magazines, ammo.

History repeats itself, only this time, the British are our ELECTED officials.

We'll hire people to forge our shackles.











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Response to Francis Marion (Reply #22)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 01:44 AM

30. Thank you for an interesting response.

Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer gives a lot of support to your argument regarding the character of the militia at Concord. An excellent read, if you've not done so already.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #30)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 02:42 AM

31. D. H. Fischer's fascinating work

adds much to my understanding of the people and the times of the American Revolution.

The best part of Paul Revere's Ride is its fascinating, thorough bibliography.

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Response to Francis Marion (Reply #31)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 12:28 AM

42. And the footnotes.

Taking the time to read them greatly expands on the text. He adds a lot of information in there.

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Response to Francis Marion (Reply #22)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 07:38 PM

40. Excellent information, Francis Marion

I just referenced your response in my own General Discussion OP. Check it out and weigh-in if you'd like at:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021015267



-app

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Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 04:29 PM

39. This excellent book will take you from the Founding through Reconstruction.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0300082770/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1343161187&sr=8-1

Amar covers the Founding, but as I've posted here frequently, I believe the 14th Amendment is much more definitive than generally acknowledged on the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, so in order to understand the relevant history, you need to grapple with the post Civil War era too.

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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #39)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 12:26 AM

41. Thanks for that suggestion, and it makes perfect sense.

The expansion of the recognition of rights, and the reactionary attempt to deny those rights, seems like a good place to re-examine the meaning of the Second Amendment.

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