". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, January 10, 2013

History of the Second Amendment

“The Hidden History of the Second Amendment,” by Carl T. Bogus, Professor at Law. This paper can be found at: 31 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 309 (1998)
“This work, copyright 1998 by Carl Bogus, was originally published in the UC Davis Law
Review, vol. 31, p. 309, copyright 1998 by The Regents of the University of California.
Allrights reserved. Reprinted with permission.”
This paper can be downloaded free of charge from the Social Science Research Network:
Professor Bogus argues that there is strong reason to believe that, in significant part, James Madison drafted the Second Amendment to assure his constituents in Virginia, and the South generally, that Congress could not use its newly-acquired powers to indirectly undermine the slave system by disarming the militia, on which the South relied for slave control. His argument is based on a multiplicity of the historical evidence, including debates between James Madison and George Mason and Patrick Henry at the Constitutional Ratifying Convention in Richmond,Virginia in June 1788; the record from the First Congress; and the antecedent of the American right to bear arms provision in the English Declaration of Rights of 1688.
It’s a most useful paper to read in regard to the ever on-going and ever-more serious issue.
Recall that in the slave holding states until after the Civil War -- and in many places even decades, yea verily even a century after the Civil War -- all of the criminal system was about slavery, not about crime and criminals as we think of crimes and criminals.  It was about keeping the South in complete lock down --  it was a police state in every sense. Not only could you be arrested, tried and imprisoned for publishing or even possessing Abolition materials, in Charleston, for instance, there was a curfew for slaves in the street. Even respectable white people retired behind the walls of their homes after sundown for fear of running into the Patrollers and other loosely created groups to keep the slaves in order. anyone found on the streets after dark were automatically considered whores, slaves and other up-to-no-goodniks.  Bounty hunters prior to the Civil War?  Only for run-away slaves. Or, up north, labor agitators ....
Since this is a pdf I can't cut and paste, but this part of the paper and the history of the Second Amendment begins on page 15.

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