The second amendment had very little to with protecting the citizenry from the government, and everything to do with allowing the rich to control their “property,”—to be precise, slaves.
Here’s an interesting one we got from our friend (and frequent LR Net contributor) William Albee. He suggests that everyone ought to head over to the Truthout webpage and check out Thom Hartmann’s story, The Second Amendment Was Ratified to Preserve Slavery.
Hartmann has looked hard at the actual origins of the Second Amendment, the so-called “right to bear arms.” The NRA and its militants claim that it written into the Constitution to provide an important balance to Federal power. Indeed, the “you-can-have-my-gun-when-you-pry-it-from-my-cold-dead-fingers” crowd envision themselves as the last, best hope for Liberty should Washington get all dictatorial.
The kicker? It seems, Hartmann says, that that was never the intent of the Amendment. It was written into the Constitution by southern slaveholders who saw state militias as an important means of keeping their “property” in check. Most southern states had, it seems, “slave patrols” or “slave militias,” in which most men had to serve, and whose purpose was nothing less than keeping slaves in line and making sure that there were no embarrassing revolutions.
As such, the Second Amendment has damn little to do with maintaining liberty and everything to do with the alternative.
Which makes one wonder if it couldn’t be rather easily repealed, if only people operated on logic and reason.