February 22, 2013
Slavery and the Second Amendment
High School civics does not provide a sufficient basis for understanding the Constitution. "Exhibit A" being the Second Amendment. Whereas modern American myth treats the Second Amendment as if it were written to guarantee the right of freedom loving men to defend their homes and sacred honor, in reality it was meant to guarantee slave-holders their use of "slave patrols," e.g., the "militia," to keep down those debased by servitude so as to be divested of two fifths of their humanity. Carl T. Bogus explores the contradiction in a must-read, seminal article, "The Hidden History of the Second Amendment" (U.C. Davis Law Review, 1998), which, like so much else to do with convergences between slavery and the founding, has not gotten quite the attention it deserves. Here, Carl graciously revisited his article with me in light of our current debates over gun control. Total runtime thirty two minutes. Ālea iacta est.