"The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

1
This is a National Review article. The National Review is a conservative publication founded by William F Buckley, Jr but contributors over the years have been across the spectrum.
If the right to bear arms was intended to preserve slavery, why did civil-rights leaders insist that black Americans should be armed to protect themselves?

Left-wing academic Carol Anderson’s new book, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America, is all over the news. “The Second Amendment is not about guns — it’s about anti-Blackness, a new book argues,” reads a CNN headline. NPR claims that the author has uncovered the racist “roots” of the Second Amendment.

This is wishful thinking. The Second is an attempt — much like the 1619 Project — to reimagine history in purely racial terms. The result is tendentious polemic that suffers not only from a paucity of historical evidence, but from a dishonest rendering of the facts we do know.

After comprehensively detailing the constitutional debate over slavery and the nefariousness of that institution, Anderson takes the liberty of asserting that the Second Amendment was “not some hallowed ground but rather a bribe, paid again with Black bodies.” This is a contention that isn’t backed by a single contemporaneous quote or piece of hard evidence in the book.

Indeed, Anderson ignores the tradition of militias in English common law — codifying the “ancient and indubitable” right in the 1689 English Bill of Rights — which had nothing to do with chattel slavery. Anderson ignores the fact that nearly every intellectual, political, and military leader of the Founding generation — many of whom had no connection to slavery — stressed the importance of self-defense in entirely different contexts.

It was slavery skeptic John Adams, in his 1770 defense of Captain Thomas Preston, one of the soldiers responsible for the Boston Massacre, who argued that even British soldiers had an inherent right to defend themselves from mobs. “Here every private person is authorized to arm himself, and on the strength of this authority, I do not deny the inhabitants had a right to arm themselves,” he noted. When Pennsylvania became the first colony to explicitly guarantee the right to bear arms, it was Benjamin Franklin, by then an abolitionist, who presided over the conference.

It was the anti-slavery Samuel Adams who proposed that the Constitution never be used to “authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” In the writings and speeches of nearly all American Founders, the threat of disarmament was a casus belli.

In making her case that the Second Amendment was predominantly an invention of the South, Anderson stresses that most American jurisdictions did not even have their own Second Amendment before the constitutional convention. She’s right. Many anti-Federalists believed that enshrining these rights on paper would lead to future abuses. Of course, Southerners didn’t need permission to suppress black slave revolts, anyway. They had done so on numerous occasions before the nation’s founding.

Yet, by 1791, of the four jurisdictions that had written their own Second Amendments, three of them — Vermont, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania — had already abolished slavery. When Vermont authored its first constitution in 1777, in fact, it protected the right to keep and bear arms in the same document that it banned slavery.

But to make the claim that the Second Amendment was added to the Constitution to placate slave owners, Anderson is impelled to take numerous shortcuts. Take, for example, this pivotal sentence in the book:

“In short, James Madison, the Virginian, knew ‘that the militia’s prime function in his state, and throughout the south, was slave control.’”

The author frames the quote as if Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, had said it himself — or, if we’re being generous, that it’s a fair representation of his views. When you follow the book’s endnote, however, it leads to a 1998 paper titled “The Hidden History of the Second Amendment,” written by anti-gun activist Carl T. Bogus, who shares Anderson’s thesis. It is his quote. Nowhere does Bogus offer any sample of Madison declaring, or even implying, that slave control was the impetus for the Second Amendment.

In another instance, again relying on Bogus’s paper, Anderson declares that among his “great rights,” Madison discusses only “trial by jury, freedom of the press, and ‘liberty of conscience,’” and that the right to bear arms does not even “make the list.” This, too, is extraordinarily misleading, as the quote comes from a Madison speech proposing the Bill of Rights in June 1789. Early in his argument, Madison mentions, in passing, some of the “great rights,” before literally listing — “fourthly,” in fact, right after freedom of religion and assembly — the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

As I read The Second, I kept thinking how easily it could be reedited to make a compelling book about the immorality of stripping Americans of their rights. After all, gun control was inextricably tied to racism in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1834, the State of Tennessee revised its constitution from “That the freemen of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence” to “That the free white men of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence.” A number of Southern states followed suit.

Which is one of the reasons that Michigan senator Jacob Howard, when introducing the 14th Amendment ensuring that the constitutional rights of blacks in the South were protected, specifically pointed to “the personal rights guaranteed and secured by the first eight amendments to the Constitution,” as in the freedom of speech and of the press and “the right to bear arms” (italics mine).

Civil-rights leaders of the 19th and early 20th centuries also lamented that the right to self-defense was denied them. Fredrick Douglass reacted to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 by editorializing that the best remedy would be “a good revolver, a steady hand, and a determination to shoot down any man attempting to kidnap.”
The late-19th-century civil-rights leader Ida B. Wells argued that one of the lessons of the post–Civil War era, “which every Afro American should ponder well, is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.” T. Thomas Fortune, another black civil-rights activist of the era, argued that it was with a Winchester that the black man could “defend his home and children and wife.”

Now, it should be noted that even if the Second Amendment had been specifically written, as Anderson maintains, under pressure from states in the South that wished to preserve the subjugation of humans, the nation’s sin would have been denying the inalienable right of self-defense to all people. We don’t attack the idea of free speech simply because people are denied its protections. That fact only accentuates its importance.

For most of our history, self-defense was also seen as an immutable right that existed with or without the sanction of the state. “Remember that the musket — the United States musket with its bayonet of steel — is better than all mere parchment guarantees of liberty,” is how Douglass made the case for natural rights. He did it better than many of the Founders. Certainly, he did it better than Anderson.
https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/06/ ... amendment/
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

4
I have a book with a similar theme, Loaded, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (2018) that expands the analysis of gun owership to allow Europeans to exterminate or remove any Native Americans they came across. Even in my little city of Chico, there were bounties for Native scalps as well as for Chinese scalps.

None of those guns shot anyone by themselves, remember. It may be uncomfortable for some of us to accept, but we conquered via superior firepower.

CDFingers
Image
Image
.
Ain't no time to hate--barely time to wait.
Whoa-oh what I want to know is, "Where does the time go?"

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

6
This "article" is a tortured view of the Founding Fathers' view of the 2A. It reads as something that Josh Sugarmann, Chuck Schumer, the Brady organization, or Michael Bloomberg might have written. Ugh.

Several members of the Black side of my family survived racist attacks precisely *because* they had firearms.
"San Francisco Liberal With A Gun"
http://www.sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com/ (reloading instruction)
http://www.liberalsguncorner.com/ (podcast)
---------------------------------------
A true Liberal must back the Second Amendment 100%!

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

9
Whites using the 2A to their singular advantage by counterintuitively augmenting it with firearm prohibition laws explicitly impacting blacks, e.g., Jim Crow laws--something that occurred and is not in dispute--is not the same concept as Anderson's contention the creation and adoption of 2A was specifically about racism.

For years now there has been an effort by the firearm prohibition lobby to tie the intent of the Second Amendment inextricably to racism, as a vector of attack against the RKBA. The civilian disarmament lobby would like nothing more than to be able to characterize anyone who has the audacity to believe we _should_ be able to own firearms as a racist as yet another avenue for shaming people out of having the audacity to own firearms. I gather focus groups have told them this would work. Note how NPR promoted Anderson's thesis without question, as it dovetails nicely with the tote bag worldview.
Historian Uncovers The Racist Roots Of The 2nd Amendment


It's hard to overlook that who we had for Democrats in the 19th and early 20th centuries overtly wanted blacks disarmed while today's Democrats, per their proposed laws, also want them disarmed, albeit for what is claimed to be their own good. Fortunately, not everyone in the black community is toeing the line.

The tenets of firearm prohibition in this regard essentially are this weirdness:
  • Ownership of firearms by non-PoC exemplifies and is inseparable from racism. Thus all white firearm owners are vicious racists.
  • PoC should not own firearms because they will be killed by whites and white-establishment PDs specifically for doing so.

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

10
lurker wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:42 pm the question is essentially " was the second rooted primarily in racism, i.e. to subjugate blacks and native americans?" and the article says "no, the second was rooted in english law and a right to self-defense, which originated prior to the first english colonization attempts"

That's the way I read it lurker. The 1790 population according to the census was just over 3 million, 95% of US residents lived in rural areas only 5% in urban areas. The population of the largest city New York, was just over 33, 000. Police didn't exist though there was night watch in the some towns and a few areas had a sheriff.

Guns were used for self defense, protection of property, hunting... Slaves were considered property so Southern slave holding states would have had a different definition of property than PA or MA or VT. It's a huge jump to state that the origin of 2A was solely racial. Some state laws in the 19th and 20th century were targeted against non-whites bearing arms.

More than one historian has been criticized for faulty fact checking.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

11
lurker wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:56 pm somehow you guys are getting a completely different understanding of what the original post says from what i'm getting. i'm beginning to think (again) that i don't belong here. y'all take care, hear?
Oh I didn't think so, my comment was about the book mentioned in the article, not the article being malarkey. Internet discussions are imperfect.
Image
Image

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

12
highdesert wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:05 am
lurker wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:42 pm the question is essentially " was the second rooted primarily in racism, i.e. to subjugate blacks and native americans?" and the article says "no, the second was rooted in english law and a right to self-defense, which originated prior to the first english colonization attempts"

That's the way I read it lurker. The 1790 population according to the census was just over 3 million, 95% of US residents lived in rural areas only 5% in urban areas. The population of the largest city New York, was just over 33, 000. Police didn't exist though there was night watch in the some towns and a few areas had a sheriff.

Guns were used for self defense, protection of property, hunting... Slaves were considered property so Southern slave holding states would have had a different definition of property than PA or MA or VT. It's a huge jump to state that the origin of 2A was solely racial. Some state laws in the 19th and 20th century were targeted against non-whites bearing arms.

More than one historian has been criticized for faulty fact checking.
Agree with both.
Image
Image

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

13
DispositionMatrix wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:45 am Whites using the 2A to their singular advantage by counterintuitively augmenting it with firearm prohibition laws explicitly impacting blacks, e.g., Jim Crow laws--something that occurred and is not in dispute--is not the same concept as Anderson's contention the creation and adoption of 2A was specifically about racism.

For years now there has been an effort by the firearm prohibition lobby to tie the intent of the Second Amendment inextricably to racism, as a vector of attack against the RKBA.
This is a good clarification, and thanks for that. I think when we note these things, we inadvertently support the Club's thesis that it's the person who pulls the trigger and not the gun that's bad., and that root-cause focus is one vector to attack the actual, rather than the media-hyped, problem. We see this illustrated by all the whites who own guns but don't kill people of color.

As a Club, I believe our success will ride partly on how well we can frame this issue of the person vs the gun as to where the best treatments should be focused. The current climate of fear about guns is nurtured by the lack of other things to do with guns besides bullet-hose bad guys. I think our support of target competitions helps to provide that alternative position.

CDFingers
Image
Image
.
Ain't no time to hate--barely time to wait.
Whoa-oh what I want to know is, "Where does the time go?"

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

15
Funny that English common law comes up as an example of the right to keep and bear arms. Are we forgetting that stretch where Irish Catholics were forbidden to own firearms or serve in the armed forces? Obviously we are. And again, we see how that worked out. Might've been inspirational for some of our founders.

Not to conflate the Penal Laws with chattel slavery or the genocide of American indigenous peoples.

Looking for crosslinkages and intersectionality among unrelated policy goals is common. Whether to build a stronger case for personal virtue, or to demonize opposition. There's plenty of that on all sides. Hells bells, I'm sick of the ad hominem attacks on Bloomberg - and his ads helped prod me back into shooting again.

Maybe, though - just maybe - white folk just aren't the right voices to put front and center when discussing racism, gun regulation, or the role of arms in defending the rights of oppressed peoples.

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

16
The ACLU weighs in.
https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/1419294 ... 55074?s=20
ACLU
@ACLU
Racism is foundational to the Second Amendment and its inclusion in the Bill of Rights.

Learn more from experts Carol Anderson and Charles Howard Candler on this episode of the At Liberty podcast.
Do Black Americans Have the Right to Bear Arms?
Anti-Blackness determined the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and has informed the unequal and racist application of gun laws.
With 233 mass shootings so far this year, the issue of gun violence in the U.S. is all too familiar. Tragic events like the Pulse nightclub and Parkland shootings go from being media spectacles to quotidian events at an alarming rate in a country that often heralds the Second Amendment above meaningful safety for all its citizens. The vigilantism of widespread gun ownership puts Black Americans in an especially vulnerable position given the brutality and human cost of discriminatory policing.

The gun violence epidemic continues to spark debate about the Second Amendment and who has a right to bear arms. But often absent in these debates is the intrinsic anti-Blackness of the unequal enforcement of gun laws, and the relationship between appeals to gun rights and the justification of militia violence. Throughout the history of this country, the rhetoric of gun rights has been selectively manipulated and utilized to inflame white racial anxiety, and to frame Blackness as an inherent threat.

In this week’s At Liberty podcast episode, you’ll hear from historian Carol Anderson, author of The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America, and Charles Howard Candler, Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, who interrogates the elegiac worship of the Second Amendment and how racism determined its very inclusion in the Bill of Rights.
ACLU Podcast:
https://soundcloud.com/aclu/do-black-pe ... -bear-arms

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

18
wings wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:00 pm Maybe, though - just maybe - white folk just aren't the right voices to put front and center when discussing racism, gun regulation, or the role of arms in defending the rights of oppressed peoples.
Agreed. However there are many great scholars out there who are white and know what they are talking about.

I like Dave Kopel's version of racist gun control. He has been an advocate of gun rights for many years.

The Dark Secret of Jim Crow and the Racist Roots of Gun Control https://davekopel.org/2A/Mags/dark-secr ... -crow.html


https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/ ... ntrol-laws
Congress demolished these racist laws. The Freedmen’s Bureau Bill of 1865, Civil Rights Act of 1866, and Civil Rights Act of 1870 each guaranteed all persons equal rights of self-defense. Most importantly, the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, made the Second Amendment applicable to the states.

Kansas Senator Samuel Pomeroy extolled the three “indispensable” “safeguards of liberty under our form of government," the sanctity of the home, the right to vote, and “the right to bear arms.” So “if the cabin door of the freedman is broken open and the intruder enter…then should a well-loaded musket be in the hand of the occupant to send the polluted wretch to another world.”
Buy the ticket; take the ride

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

19
I used to support the ACLU when it was non-partisan and focused on civil liberties. A classic example is the case where the ACLU defended the American Nazis Party's right to march in Skokie, IL, it was a free speech case. As someone said they've become more of a liberal advocacy group and apparently anti-gunner. Their statement on constitutional rights.
In short, the ACLU is prepared to defend the civil liberties of current or would-be gun owners, but only if the policies they challenge impinge on something more than the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. That is not nothing, but it is definitely not "defending all of the civil liberties."
https://reason.com/2019/04/12/the-aclu- ... iberties."

https://www.aclu.org/blog/civil-liberti ... un-control

https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech ... ghts-nazis
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "The 1619 Project Comes for the Second Amendment"

20
To link the American Revolution to the continuation of slavery overlooks the fact that slavery was legal in the British Empire until 1833. At the time of the revolution or shortly there after states started restricting and abolishing slavery. The large
Northwest Territories were designated as non slave. What united slave and free states was the desire to be free of the crown. The Second Amendment is rooted in common law. Some southern states such as South Carolina had restrictive gun laws aimed at African Americans. If your white no problem . This pseudo history such as the 1619 project is dangerous. It distorts and , I believe, will create greater division.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" Ben Franklin
Beto in wisconsin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 39 guests

cron