2nd Amendment: Remnant of Revolution or Pro-Slavery?
One writers say it was to protect freedom; another to protect slavery
By Newser Editors, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2013 12:19 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The debate over gun laws brings renewed attention to the debate over the Second Amendment, with two very different takes today from the left and right:

  • Noble intent: Erick Erickson as RedState offers a history lesson. "On April 19, 1775, British regulars marched on Lexington and Concord to seize the guns of American colonists that had been stockpiled in case of revolution," he writes. "It may be an abstract concept for us. It may be distant. But when the 1st Congress of the United States met in 1789, the memory of 1775 was fresh." The amendment is all about protecting citizens from the abuses of their own government. Full post here.

  • Awful intent: Nope, writes Thom Hartmann at Alternet. The Second Amendment was written to protect slavery. The slave states needed militias to keep rebellions in check and were worried the federal government would disband them. That's why the line about a "well regulated militia being the best security of a free country" got changed to "free state" in the final version. Read the full post here.

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Showing 3 of 195 comments
nym-acct
Jan 24, 2013 11:13 PM CST
Hartmann's history of it makes sense & kind of fits the events that led up to the Civil War (slave states thinking they could secede because they had the arms & militias to just walk away from the Union, arms & militias they got in the 2nd Amendment deal for joining the U.S. to help defeat the British in the War of Independence). Also fits with what happened after reconstruction, when the KKK was banned as a terrorist organization around the same time the NRA popped up in America. Maybe it's time to repeal the 2nd Amendment, make firearms ownership in America a privilege like in the rest of the civilized world, join the 21st century, etc
Tology
Jan 17, 2013 10:58 AM CST
The right to bear arms was written when it took you a few minutes to shoot one musket ball. The Colt revolver hadn't been invented yet. Banning assault weapons is not unconstitutional.
thirdimpact
Jan 17, 2013 2:54 AM CST
Was the first amendment REALLY adopted to allow people to exchange ideas without fear of prosecution? Or isn't it more likely that it was really to allow white supremacists to threaten black people?