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Old 01-18-2013, 11:06 PM
sarabellum sarabellum is offline
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Originally Posted by bruce381 View Post
google what adams, jefferson, madison etc ment by right to bear arms nothing at all about slavery
Unfortunately, as I have posted several times, the gun owning community's religious worship of the framers of the constitution cloud's its ability or desire to formally study American history or engage in critical inquiry. The founders owned slaves and engaged in war to dispossess the Native Americans. That was only possible by disarming those to be subjugated.

Many of the freedoms we enjoy today, as defined by subsequent Supreme Court decisions, are not enumerated in the original Articles or Amendments of the Constitution. Professor Amar addresses some of the shortcomings in "originalism," of which is circular logic. If we applied "originalism" to 1st and 14th Amendment privacy, we would conclude that, for example, certain groups can be arrested for a crime of "immoral" conduct in the privacy of their homes because the framers intended it. A person could be prosecuted for wearing a T-Shirt that read "F the draft." Or, local governments could prohibit cousins from living together as a family unit, poor people could be stripped of their children due to indigence, a fee charged to exercise a fundamental right like voting, and mixed race couples would be barred. All of those results justified by Framer's intent because the constitution is silent on those matters and as understood by texts from the era, the Framers objected to such things. However, "the penumbra" or illuminating understanding of the constitution extends constitutional protections to such matters as privacy, the right to speak, equal protection, and the right to the family. See Griswold v. Connecticutt, Roe v. Wade, M.L.B v. S.L.J, Moore v. City of East Cleveland.

There are various approaches to the constitution: originalism, textualism, literalism (historical), literalism (contemporary), modernist, and normative. "To expand on the 2nd Amendment example, the contemporary literalist will view the militia as the modern National Guard, and this will color that person's views on the 2nd." Oops, the gun owning community claims to be literalist. The gun owning community is not as literal as we might think.

History does not support the contention that the framers intended all civil rights to be extended universally, especially not Africans, Native Americans, Women, or persons who objected to the government. A fine read on these anti-democratic origins is "American Apartheid" by Calvin Massey.

As we already know the right to bear arms did not extend to slaves, Native Americans, dissenters, etc. "Georgia’s Slavery Act of 1765, for example, explained itself on the rather blatant theory of legalistic oppression that":
Slavery has been introduced and allowed in His Majesty’s Colonies in America and... Power over such Slaves ought to be settled and limited by positive Laws, so that the Slaves may be kept in due Subjection and Obedience... [t]hat it shall not be lawful for any Slave unless in the presence of some White Person to carry and make use of Fire Arms or any offensive Weapon whatsoever Unless such Slave shall have a Tickett or Licence in Writing from his Master, Mistress or Overseer to hunt... and that such Licence be renewed once every Month, or unless there be some White Person of the Age of sixteen years or upwards in the Company of such Slave when he is hunting or Shooting...
It appears that the state militias' duties were, "By 1777 the Virginia militia’s duties consisted mostly of suppressing loyalists, preventing slave uprisings, and serving as a pool of potential recruits for the Continental Army."

Oddly, with such a historical context, gun owners argue framer's intent, literalism (textual), and literalism (contemporary), when in reality as indicated by history the framers disarmed Africans to enslave them. Even modern gun control has racist origins.

That anyone including Thom Hartmann points out the history that guns were kept from some people to oppress them is correct. If we were originalists, we would be arguing that only some people, i.e. white males, should own firearms (it appears that Reagan and the NRA opposed the Black Panthers, when they advocated arming folks in the ghetto to defend against police brutality). But, we do not advocate guns for the few because in our contemporary understanding of the constitution apartheid is repugnant; our contemporary understanding as applied to the 2nd Amendment is that it exists as a tool of free people to defend themselves against oppression. Great! Then we should point to slavery and the annhilation of the Native People as fine examples of what happens when people are disarmed and why the 2nd Amendment as understood by our contemporary norms favors liberal ownership of firearms as indispensable to egalitarian democracy.

There is no principled reason why the 2nd Amendment should be a second class right, unlike the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, and 26th, which people identify as fundamental rights.

There is no substitute for formal study of history. It's too bad that folks here are asking for someone, somwhere to find a version of history that can gloss over apartheid in American history. Critical historical inquiry is the best friend the 2nd Amendment and gun owners ever had.

Last edited by sarabellum; 01-18-2013 at 11:12 PM..
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