23 January 2013

More on the 2nd Amendment and Its Relationship to Slavery

I will direct you to The Hidden History of the Second Amendment, a 102 page article published in the U.C. Davis Law Review in 1998.  (Link is to the abstract, you can download the PDF from there)

This is a (obviously) a much longer, and much more extensively annotated, piece than either Thom Hartmann's pro 2nd amendment/slavery patrol link article or Paul Finkleman's argument against this.

I've read the full article, though it was a quick read, and while it clearly does not go as far as Hartmann, author Carl T. Bogus merely addresses the adoption of the 2nd amendment, rather than the whole Constitution as Hartmann does, but he does make a compelling case that the 2nd amendment was specifically a collective right granted to the states, and that the support for this amendment was driven by the fears of slave owners about an uprising, particularly in Virginia.

Bogus (I love that name) does admit that he no evidence that Madison, who wrote the Bill of Rights to preserve slavery, he does show that Madison's compatriots and constituents in Virginia found the possibility that Congress would disarm the state slave patrols to be a concern of paramount importance.

In either case, it does make a slam dunk case for the 2nd amendment as a collective right assigned to the states, and not a personal right, which makes the so-called "strict constructionists" who voted for a personal right to firearms in District of Columbia v. Heller to be hypocrites and hacks.


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