Whenever someone brings up the second amendment to a conservative, he or she always counters with the notion that the second amendment was added to the Constitution to protect American citizens from a tyrannical government, but that’s certainly not the whole story of the second amendment, as liberal talk show host Thom Hartmann shared on his show.
On Hartmann’s The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, he said, “But I want to tell you something you don’t know about the Second Amendment ,something that’s been lost in the pages of history – that is very crucial to informing today’s current gun debate. And that’s this: The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says ‘State’ instead of ‘Country,’ was to preserve the Slave Patrol Militias in the Southern States, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that…and we all should be too…Today’s Second Amendment is linked to our nation’s disturbing history of slavery. In the Beginning, there were the Militias. In the South, they were also called the ‘Slave Patrols,’ and they were regulated by the states.”
Thom Hartmann is certainly not the first person to openly acknowledge the role that protecting slavery played in crafting the second amendment. In an article published in the U.C. Davis Law Review, entitled The Hidden History of the Second Amendment, Professor Carl T. Bogus wrote that the Second Amendment was crafted to assure the southern states that Congress would not undermine the slave system by disarming the militia, which were then the principal instruments of slave control throughout the South.
Bogus wrote that founders Mason and Henry devised a plan to include the second amendment largely because Virginia was nearly half black, and the white population lived in constant fear of slave insurrection. The main instrument of control was the militia. So the founders conceded to allow militias in an effort to protect slavery.