Mon, July 15

Letter: History is clear on slavery and 2nd Amendment


Many readers of the Verde Independent are unaware of the VI website wherein discussions take place concerning letters printed in the VI.

Such “discussions” are taking place concerning whether or not the institution of slavery played any role in the creation/adoption of the second amendment.

While I realize that far too many people rely upon very superficial readings of US history and therefore remain relatively ignorant about the relationship between the institution of slavery and the second amendment, such a relationship did exist.

For those of you with access to the internet, it is an easily verifiable fact that the institution of slavery played a significant role in the enactment of the second amendment.

Was it the singular reason for its inclusion in the Bill of Rights? No! Was it a factor in the enactment of the second amendment? Yes. Did the institution of slavery inform the debate over the second amendment? Yes.

For those of you too lazy to do your own research on this issue, here is just one source of information concerning the “militias/slave patrols” that operated in the Southern slave states prior to, during and after the enactment of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

“In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the “slave patrols,” and they were regulated by the states.

In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.

As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of California Law Review in 1998, “The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search ‘all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition’ and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds.”

- From Thom Hartmann, Truth Out

If you take the time to research the issue, you will discover many, many more examples, if you do not; you will live in ignorance of the true history of the establishment of the second amendment. The choice is yours.

John Bond