Feminist Philosophers

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The real history of the 2nd amendment January 20, 2013

Filed under: politics — Jender @ 8:46 pm

UPDATE: Apparently this is not true. (Thanks, HL!)

ANOTHER UPDATE: Or maybe it is true. (See below, in comments.) Keep your views and links coming; I’m learning a lot!

Its purpose was to preserve slavery. (Stick that in your originalist interpretation.)

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.


10 Responses to “The real history of the 2nd amendment”

  1. But now the descendants of the former slaves can get guns themselves.

  2. But in fact the descendents by and large favor gun control.

  3. Jender Says:

    Many thanks for the correction.

  4. Soon-Ah Says:

    Ummm…I’m not sure the correction is correct! Hartmann is writing about the ratification of the 2nd Amendment (1791) and Finkelman’s correction is about ratification of the Constitution (1788). While Finkelman wiggles by when he writes that “Hartmann implies that the Second Amendment was adopted (or at least written) to get Virginia’s “vote” for ratification of the Constitution…” it’s not clear to me that Hartmann does imply ratification of the Constitution.

  5. Jender Says:

    Even more interesting! Historians, tell me more!

  6. Kimberly Says:

    Here is one of the sources of Hartmann’s article, Carl Bogus (seriously, that’s his name): http://www.carltbogus.com/guns. The first article (published in UC Davis Law review in 1998. Not sure what to make of it, but more data.

  7. annejjacobson Says:

    Bogus’s first article contains the claim, “including debates [about the topic of the 2nd amendment] between James Madison and George Mason and Patrick Henry at the Constitutional Ratifying Convention in Richmond, Virginia in June 1788”.

    Were there such debates? That looks to me like something a historian could verify fairly easily. And it seems, as far as I can tell, crucial to the argument that at least the concerns of the 2nd amendment were around in 1788, if the argument about VA is to go through.

  8. annejjacobson Says:

    A quick googling leads one to the militia clause in the constitution which was debated in 1788. It appears that the clause does deal with the question of whether the right to bear arms is a collective right (to apply to certain groups) or an individual right.

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