I happened across a compelling essay by Robert Parry on Consortium News the other day, one which filled several gaps in my admittedly limited understanding of various racist issues, including especially the racist motivation that apparently underlies the Second Amendment. I’ve mentioned the suspicion before, as described by Thom Hartmann, that the amendment was written to satisfy slave owners in Virginia and the South that the new Constitution would not put their “property” in jeopardy, thereby to garner Constitution ratification support. It appears as though Hartmann’s thesis is, indeed, not at all ‘hollow’ as I’m sure the NRA and any number of gun nuts would maintain. As Parry puts it,
Since the Founding, the Right has decried government interference with the “free market” and intrusion upon “traditions,” like slavery and segregation, as “tyranny” or “socialism.”
This argument goes back to 1787 and opposition to the Constitution’s centralizing of government power in the hands of federal authorities. In Virginia, for instance, the Anti-Federalists feared that a strong federal government eventually would outlaw slavery in the Southern states.
Ironically, this argument was raised by two of the most famous voices for “liberty,” Patrick Henry and George Mason. Those two Virginians spearheaded the Anti-Federalist cause at the state’s ratifying convention in June 1788, urging rejection of the Constitution because, they argued, it would lead to slavery’s demise.
The irony of Henry and Mason scaring fellow Virginians about the Constitution’s threat to slavery is that the two men have gone down in popular U.S. history as great espousers of freedom. Before the Revolution, Henry was quoted as declaring, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Mason is hailed as a leading force behind the Bill of Rights. However, their notion of “liberty” and “rights” was always selective. Henry and Mason worried about protecting the “freedom” of plantation owners to possess other human beings as property.
Given the nefarious origin of the Second Amendment, I have to once again ask WHY has it not been REPEALED? What kind of nutcase country are we when guns and bullets are more important than virtually anything else, including life itself? Let me be blunt as I climb into broken record mode and say IT yet one more time:
REPEAL THE DAMNABLE SECOND AMENDMENT!!!