Tuesday, April 14, 2015

More on the Real Meaning of the 2nd Amendment

Suggested by Flying Junior

The purpose of the 2nd Amendment in America was to ensure that state militias continued to have the power to tyrannize slaves, to suppress their rebellions with lethal force, and to suppress any other rebellions they felt went against their "rights" to tyrannize others. 

It was put in place to do pretty much the opposite of what gun nuts claim today. It was put there to enable governmental suppression of slave rebellions, first and foremost -- not to protect the rights of those who wanted to rebel.  

 From this most interesting post on Che Pasa

Coyote kills (and wolf kills and mountain lion kills and buffalo hunts and so on) these days are said to be justified because of all the damage these animals cause to livestock and crops. "Everyone knows..." Except they don't. And the farmers and ranchers often wildly exaggerate their losses. The real point of these killings is not to protect livestock and crops, it is to assert life and death power over the Other, in this case, the Natural World.

Gun rightists don't care a whit about preventing "tyranny" in any rational sense. By and large they were either silent or actively cheering on the gutting of the rest of the Bill of Rights by Congress and the Executive during recent times, most being "patriots" and all who don't believe in such luxuries as "rights" when it comes to other citizens and terrorists -- who are often one and the same in their view. While a modern form of tyranny was being imposed and consolidated even before the advent of the Glorious Global (and Forever) War on Terror. In other words, throughout the abrogation of what remained of the Bill of Rights, Sacred Second believers either paid no attention (as long as no one tried to grab their guns!) or they were in the vanguard of the cheerleaders, where most of them still are.

They don't want to prevent tyranny, oh no. They just want to be sure they're the ones to impose it.


  1. "The purpose of the 2nd Amendment in America was to ensure that state militias continued to have the power to tyrannize slaves, to suppress their rebellions with lethal force, and to suppress any other rebellions they felt went against their "rights" to tyrannize others."

    An interesting concept, and if correct, quite ironic that the Amendment used to keep certain segments of society unarmed, ended up allowing them to arm themselves. Of course we likely don't want to mention the party affiliation of those who most recently had enacted laws designed to disarm citizens based on race.

  2. "recently"
    What are you referring to?

    1. "recently"
      What are you referring to?"

      That would be the Jim Crow laws enacted in the Democratically controlled south in the 50's and 60's. Something much more recent than the colonial times. It was scandalous that such laws lasted so long, and also as I said ironic that persecuted minorities made use of this civil right to help protect themselves from violent groups like the Klan.

    2. Jim Crow laws were enacted way before the 1950's, or 1960's. Using "recently" is misleading.

    3. "Jim Crow laws were enacted way before the 1950's, or 1960's. Using "recently" is misleading."

      I disagree Jack, while most Jim Crow laws originated right after the end of the Civil War in order to maintain the subservient status of minorities, they were actively enforces in the Democratically controlled south up into the 50's and 60's.
      Again, its delightfully ironic that if true, something formulated to keep certain citizens under the control of others, with that control being enforced by the government, ended up empowering those they were hoping to control.

    4. Oh please, quit pushing Democrats were the party of bigots like Republicans aren't, a delusional position. And 150 years is not recent.

    5. Jack, as you keep skipping over, while the laws were originally adopted as a response to their loss of power after the Civil War, the laws were still up until the mid 1960's in the Democratically controlled southern state.
      The post here was speaking to the original intent of the Second Amendment as something to suppress slave rebellions and generally to arm the militias to keep the powers that be in power.
      And my comments responded in that if that was indeed true, its inspirational and ironic that the Amendment is now considered an individual right as opposed to one supposedly intended to arm the militias. In fact, this argument seems to suggest that guaranteeing the right to arm the militias run by a state government doesn't necessarily protect the rights of the people, and therefor it being an individual right is for the common good.
      Its also interesting that Mr. Che seems to have no qualms highlighting the excesses of government power and encouraging acting out against it except when it comes to trusting the government with the use of arms. Then things seem to be reversed.
      The Democrat/Republican thing isn't terribly important since the only thing that separates them are the claimed reasons used to justify exerting power over the rights of the populace.

    6. ss, I think it's a bit dishonest to keep pushing that "Democratically controlled south" nonsense. It makes it sound like the Republicans of the day were all for civil rights and integration.

    7. Its no more dishonest than continuing to push the founders as racist, sexist slave owners whose only purpose in writing the Constitution was to secure their power base.
      As I said, even if that was the case back then, the end result has been these protections moving from them being a collective right in the form of protecting state militias to protecting individual rights. Something very beneficial considering it was state level government who established and enforced Jim Crow laws.
      While I'm sure the Republicans of that day weren't saints, the Democrats certainly made up the majority of votes opposing the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


      So in essence, whatever the original intent of the framers, the Constitution has evolved into something that applies to the individual and irrespective of any race or gender limitations in force at the time of its signing.

    8. Lets talk recent.
      Which party is pushing these voting laws that obstruct minority voting? Republicans. Which party falsely claims there is no more racism and therefore we don't need affirmative action. Republicans. Which party with its majority power voted to kill the voting rights act? Republicans. I could go on, but you obviously think only Democrats are racist and only care about 100 years ago, not today.
      "the founders as racist, sexist slave owners"
      They were just that.
      And this evolution that finally gave blacks rights was spearheaded by Democrats, not Republicans. It was the strong arm (threatening) LBJ that got those Republicans to vote for civil rights, they had stated publicly, that they would not. And as history has shown Democrats did loose the south because they led the fight for civil rights and the voting act. Your claim that Democrats are the party of racists is ridiculous, not factual, and your bigotry is showing SS.

    9. Jack, you should stop skipping over the parts of my comments that don't agree with your narrative. A couple of comments back, I said that the racism issue is pretty party neutral. It just happened that the most overt recent abuses were at the hands of a good sized faction of the DFL.
      I would also argue that a larger influence on the legislation was Hubert Humphery a Democrat from Minnesota who was the bills manager in the Senate. He was able to break the filibuster and get the votes for passage.
      By the way, he was also a pro-gun Democrat who also held to the belief that the Second Amendment was to provide a defense against a tyrannical government.
      It was actually quite commendable that the Democratic Party was able to take on the issue at the time considering that it almost resulted in the formation of what amounted to a third party.
      Also keep in mind that while the Democratic Party at the federal level was willing to take on this challenge, the Jim Crow laws of the era were as a result of state level legislation and there didn't seem to be munch of a challenge to the status quo at that level.

    10. Please SS, I was a close friend of Hubert Humphrey, I was there. My uncle was leader of the Democratic National Committee (Patrick J. O'Cconor) and personal lawyer to Hubert. I know what went on behind the scenes. Many of their strategy meetings took place at our house and I heard it all sitting right there. Your consistent insistence that Democrats were the party of racists, is factually wrong and therefore racially biased. Your examples are 100 years old, mine are today's news. There is a BIG difference, not to mention your history of how things went down, is outright wrong. End discussion.

    11. Jack, perhaps I've been too subtle. I wasn't suggesting that the Democrats were racist and Republicans weren't, I was stating that violations of rights aren't limited to one party as is often suggested. This was originally about the founders of the Constitution suggesting that the Second Amendment was added to help quell slave rebellions.
      And I stated that whatever the reasoning behind its inclusion, it ended up not working out the way they intended since it is now considered an individual right as opposed to being a collective one. Something that as I recall, Mike is hoping to have reversed when the political leanings of SCOTUS change over to the correct way of thinking. (Mike, if I'm wrong on this please set me straight)
      My examples are actually less that one hundred years old since you recall hearing the planning that went on to craft federal legislation to stop it.
      More recent violations of rights are also not limited to a specific party which reinforces the adage that no one's life, liberty, or property are safe while congress is in session. There are even limitations of privacy rights put into place during a Republican administration and then the Democratic party signed on to it.
      And as I said, kudos to the Democratic party for taking on the risk to do the right thing considering that there was some serious dissension on the issue within the party at the federal level to say nothing of at the state level.

    12. You certainly did suggest that, more than once.

  3. Did the founders, or at least those of them who were in favor of slavery, intend the militia to be able to crush slave rebellions? Undoubtedly. It's right there in Article I: "To provide for the calling of the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions." Slave rebellions would be one type of insurrection they intended to suppress.

    Of course, it's just as obvious that they intended the militia to suppress other insurrections and to repel foreign invasions. Attempting to say that the ONLY purpose of a militia was to suppress slaves is JUST AS ludicrous as saying that the ONLY purpose was to protect against tyranny. Both intentions, and others, can be found in writings from the time.

    Is there inconsistency in wanting to protect against tyranny while wanting to enforce it against people in bondage? Of course. They hypocrisy is blatantly apparent to us as it must have been to at least some back in the day--same as the hypocrisy of having founding documents declaring that all men are created equal while still having the institution of chattle slavery.

    Thankfully, over the years, we saw this inconsistency and set about remedying it, abolishing slavery and expanding the Constitution's guarantee of Civil Rights to those who had been left out by previous generations' hypocrisy. This is the proper response to this issue: Keep the founders' notions of liberty but apply it to ALL, not throwing the good out with the bad.

  4. Regarding the other points of commentary in this piece, yes, those who support the second amendment while destroying other rights are hypocrites and are advancing tyranny. The same can be said of those who support any other right or set of rights and try to ignore the Constitution's protection of others.

    Regarding hunts of predators or other animals destroying crops, yes, this can be taken too far, and yes, I'm sure there are some who just want to assert power over nature. That being said, this guy's generalization that this is the primary motivation of everyone and that farmers are exaggerating their losses is ingenuous.

    These problems are real issues in some areas. Here, we have coyote problems. The problem isn't too severe, so there aren't any organized hunts, just farmers taking shots when they spot one. However, this only slows the growth of the problem, and some of the beef farmers have seen their losses increasing, so they're starting to talk about having an organized hunt to significantly cull the population. A county over they have a feral pig problem. Again, it's not out of control like in parts of Georgia, so there aren't organized hunts yet--just farmers letting anyone interested come out, shoot the pigs, and keep the meat. This isn't an issue like the buffalo hunts--there aren't hundreds of dead hogs lying around. Instead, there are hundreds of hogs being taken to meat packing plants and then put into people's freezers.

    This guy's claims that there is not problem is as credible as someone who knows nothing about life in cities claiming that there are no problems with race relations or racist cops in cities.

  5. Sorry to join the discussion so late. I like much of what has been said, particularly SJ's take on the original intent of the second amendment. Happily, slavery has been abolished. In the early days of our republic, hunting fugitive slaves with guns was serious business. It is clear that the founders were talking about the ability to impose one's will by force. Clearly firearms have always been used within our borders to hunt and also cull predator populations. The Grizzly Bear was eradicated in the lower forty-eight. Surely with good reason. Wolves were very nearly annihilated. There are those today and in recent history who have vehemently opposed efforts to re-introduce wolves. I think that it can be appropriate for a rancher and his workers or else a state or federal wildlife official to sanction the occasional lead female hunting wolf or otherwise control their numbers. Still, I see no justification for widespread obliteration of wolf populations simply for sport. In Alaska, of course, there is heated debate. Intelligent people on both sides of the issue make compelling arguments for either killing wolves to increase Caribou populations or that to do so is inherently wrong and is simply desired by the powerful hunting lobby in Alaska.

    I think what disgusted Che in his post was far closer to home. The callous disregard for life exhibited by these purveyors of coyote kill contests cannot be overstated. There is no reason whatsoever to simply kill as many coyotes as possible. They can be a vital part of a healthy ecosystem, no matter how unbalanced that system has become due to human activity. Predation eliminates the weak, favors the strong, etc. Good for the gene pool. It is a wild kingdom, after all. That's the way God created it. Ranchers can employ other, more humane methods of protecting their herds. These cold-hearted monsters who sponsor these events are doing so only to drum up business and fill their filthy coffers with quite literally blood money. Imagine the environmental contamination of so many dumped carcasses. Simply abhorrent to even think about the disease and pestilence that would go hand in hand with this type of activity. Fortunately, due to the efforts of local animal rights activists in New Mexico, a state senate bill to ban this barbaric practice has cleared its second hurdle in senate committee this February and hopefully will come up for a vote sometime this year.