“The Second Amendment was ratified to preserve slavery.”
And the NRA was founded so that freedmen could shoot Klansmen. Of course, as facts are apparently of no consequence, let’s just say that guns were invented so Care Bears could hunt My Little Ponies and call them the enemy of all.
What’s Hartmann’s point? Even if he were right, “So what?”
It doesn’t matter. He’s conspicuously wrong. Federalist 29, describing the militia as the people, was written by Alexander Hamilton, absolutely no friend of slavery.
Hartmann didn’t do any research for his article. When one reads the personal writings of Washington, Jefferson, Maddison (the author of the 2nd Amendment), Hamilton and John Jay, who assisted him, it is clear their interpretation of the right to own and bear arms was to defend the country, keep the federal government out of the state militias, overthrow tyranny should it become necessary, and for personal protection.
What a monumental inflation of “slave patrols” as the primary purpose for state militias, and an amazing misinterpretation and cherry-picking of quotes of the Framers. Even among southern states, the primary purpose of the state militias was to protect their states from foreign invasion, intrastate unrest, and indian unrest; and, in the last resort, to protect the states from an over-reaching federal government.
These states had just fought a long war to overthrow a despot, they had experienced and knew the history of national armies being used more to suppress the citizenry than to defend against invasion, and they were well-versed in the history of England’s Civil War of the 1640s. They were loathed to then turn around and empower a(nother) strong central government with a large/expensive standing army, preferring instead to meet national needs primarily from the state militias, and desiring to have some ultimate recourse to an over-reaching federal government. And, due to distances and the military capacity of the federal army, the states were in constant danger of invasion by foreign/indian powers and were not able to rely on a federal force to intervene effectively.
Lastly, there were thousands of freeman blacks who owned slaves in the southern states. So, even if there had been a significant slave-control aspect to the 2nd amendment, it could not have been a strictly white-black (racial) issue.
The good folks above have covered the territory very well. Slave states did have various forms of control to keep the slaves downtrodden — this is hardly news. There was no need for a 2nd Amendment or even the militia to establish such controls, though, and it’s quite a stretch to believe that Alexander Hamilton or Ben Franklin would have been supporters of measures that promoted slavery.
The early United States had to come to terms on slavery — the slaveowners couldn’t see how to end it and some of the slaveowners wouldn’t try. To maintain any national strength, the free states (a minority at the time) had to accept slavery. But from the outset, the leaders of free states were looking for how to end the “peculiar institution”. The 2nd Amendment would later be of some use to freedmen when they protected themselves from racists.
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