The Second Amendment Had Nothing To Do With Slavery

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Stephen Halbrook:

For 20 years now, a well-meaning law professor has been peddling the fiction that the Second Amendment – guaranteeing the right of Americans to keep and bear arms – was adopted to protect slavery. He first proposed this in a 1998 law review article and trotted it out again in a recent New York Times op-ed.

The trouble is: It’s untrue. Not a single one of America’s founders is known to have suggested such a purpose.

When the Redcoats came to disarm the colonists, the American patriots relied on the right to “have arms for their Defense,” as stated in the English Declaration of Rights of 1689.

In 1776, Pennsylvania declared: “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves, and the state.” Vermont copied that language in its constitution, which explicitly abolished slavery. Massachusetts and North Carolina adopted their own versions.

When the states debated adoption of the Constitution without a bill of rights in 1787-88, Samuel Adams proposed the right to bear arms in Massachusetts’s ratification convention. The Dissent of the Minority did so in Pennsylvania, and the entire New Hampshire convention demanded recognition of the right.

There was no connection to slavery in any of these historical antecedents.

In his articles, Professor Carl T. Bogus of Roger Williams University speculates that George Mason’s and Patrick Henry’s demands in the Virginia ratification convention could have been motivated to protect slavery. Not so.

Mason recalled that “when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised … to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

And Patrick Henry implored: “The great object is, that every man be armed.” The ensuing debate concerned defense against tyranny and invasion – not slavery.

New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in the demand for what became the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms had universal support.

I’ve seen those claims before and dismissed them as the trivial contrivances they are.

The problem is that men tend to see history through their own eyes and the context they have in post-modern America, even if that isn’t the way historical studies works.

It’s also very difficult to understand American history without the framework of continental Calvinian doctrine and polity, and an understanding of the proper relationship of the three institutions ordained by God, i.e., state, church and family (Gary North also includes economics, or in other words, the market).  You can add the fourth if so inclined.

Balance between institutions means implementing covenant in all of its blessings and curses.  It means not allowing one institution to usurp the authority of God over the other institutions, and that necessitates something like the second amendment.

It wasn’t anything so pedestrian as slavery that created the second amendment.  It was a necessary doctrine in a nation to be founded on Biblical principles, albeit imperfectly.

Honest men understand that and use it as a framework to understand American history.  Dishonest men and imbeciles make up their own shit just because.


Comments

  1. On June 25, 2018 at 6:17 am, Duke Norfolk said:

    “a well-meaning law professor”

    I call B.S. on that nonsense. This is the cucked right once again giving the benefit of the doubt to the left. Providing cover for the mendacious, evil ways. Screw that. Call a spade a spade. He works for the Father of Lies, and intends to destroy civilization and all that is good. He’s a little weasel; among many.

  2. On June 25, 2018 at 6:51 am, Frank Clarke said:

    ‘Bogus’, eh? I guess it bears repeating: whoever named him really knew what they were talking about…

  3. On June 25, 2018 at 6:59 am, Gryphon said:

    This is even more of a Stretch than the libtard’s usual claim that the
    “Civil War”(tm) was about ‘Slavery’.

    (sorry, War of Northern Aggression)

  4. On June 25, 2018 at 10:05 am, Fred said:

    Since nobody else has made the leap about this headline I will. The 2A is 100% about slavery, to not be made one. And this headline supports the mealy mouthed Soft Right. The most aggressive counter to the leftist liar’s augment is; I will not be made a slave. The 2A is about killing tyrants, and all who would enslave, I will never surrender my firearms.

    The headline should read; The Second Amendment Is About Killing Tyrants And Preventing Slavery.

    The guy at Fox is as big a propagandizer as the lefty guy. Never follow the men of the “American Right” who would enslave you on only a slightly longer timeline than the leftists. Follow God.

  5. On June 25, 2018 at 4:41 pm, scott s. said:

    I’m not sure I accept the assumption that firearm possession was a necessary or sufficient condition for the existence or continuation of slavery in the context of the 1780s. Certainly later, as Haiti and then Nat Turner occurred the threat of “servile insurrection” presented a case for wide-spread firearm ownership, though it seems likely that would be mainly among elites, who would not need such a guarantee rather than the ordinary citizen.

  6. On June 26, 2018 at 8:34 am, Strick9 said:

    This guy’s certainly out in left field (pun intended) with this theory. I have not seen his interpretation in any other historical tome, nor does the historical record bear this out. Henry Wiencek, in his book “An Imperfect God” written about George Washington and his slaves, delves quite extensively into the battle over including the right to own slaves in the Constitution. Nowhere does he allude to the 2A being used to protect slavery.

    It’s a nonsensical theory but because he’s a “law professor” he should be taken seriously? I think not.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Religion,Second Amendment and was published June 24th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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