The Second Amendment: I do not think it means what you think it means…

God bless the Internet.

In the debate over gun control that has raged on and off for decades, President Obama made the latest salvo yesterday. I see it as a clear response to Sandy Hook’s tragic shootings of December and to the NRA’s despicable ad released the day before.

MSNBC’s response to the NRA ad, via Upworthy, calls it: NRA Ad Stuns Conservative Pundits Into Speechlessness Followed By Really Articulate Rage.

I’ve been largely silent on the subject here because I’ve tried to understand more of the context and thus avoid going off “half-cocked” on the subject.

This morning, thanks to the feed and friends who find things for me, I read this article from The Atlantic on the subject of the true history behind the Second Amendment. Everything else I’ve posted on the subject pales by comparison to this: The 2nd Amendment was placed in the Bill of Rights by James Madison to keep the Southern States’ right to slavery.

You read that right. And it’s not news. The subject has come up more than once over the course of the last 15 years, but not in a way that made it possible to share with the rest of the world, until now.

There are a number of articles on the subject, but I will leave the reading to you, to confirm what I’ve just read. Here they are, from the  original scholarly work by Carl T. Bogus, professor of law at Roger Williams University (also the author of Why Lawsuits Are Good for America: Disciplined Democracy, Big Business and the Common Law (NYU) and editor of The Second Amendment in Law and History (New Press)) to articles posted as recently as two days ago.

Henceforth, if you argue in favor of the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment, you are also arguing for the sanctity of the Southern Militias and slavery. I say to you: Get over it.

We abolished Slavery. We are past it now. This flawed amendment belongs with James Madison’s equally flawed War of 1812 – in the history books.

The Hidden History of the Second Amendment (1998) [Synopsis from the Violence Policy Center]

Additional writing of Professor Bogus

Mother Jones: Whitewashing the Second Amendment

So now, the world gets to revisit its world view again. I’m not holding my breath for any sort of understanding, based on the sincerely nasty comments generated on Twitter just to Roger Ebert’s Tweet on the subject.

God help the rest of us.

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