Some claim it begins with Tom Hartmann’s assertion and his many fanboys such as The Root’s parroting thereof that the Second Amendment was created to enforce slavery. The line of thought goes that southern colonies would not ratify the Constitution without the ability to arm slave patrols under the guise of an organized militia. As it stands the money quote is in his coming book and currently no citation has been found. Hartmann clearly has a hyper partisan and historically inaccurate take on the word state in the 2nd though.
Danny Glover,star of more movies steeped in gun violence than he dare confess,has asserted his own brand of crazy to the subject. He has stated that the Second Amendment was designed to assure whites could steal land from the Native Americans and to enslave the people stolen from their homelands.
“I don’t know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms,” Glover said. “The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans. So, a revolt from people who were stolen from their land, or revolt from people whose land was stolen from, that’s what the genesis of the Second Amendment is.” huffpo
The respect being afforded this myth speaks to two weaknesses in the United States. The first is our abject ignorance. The second our addiction to personality over substance.
Our abject ignorance
Even the most rudimentary study of the formation of these United States reveals the true roots and reasons for what became the 2nd Amendment. Based in the history of the disarming of the English commoner and the tyranny found secondary to a defenseless populace the Founders knew well that government at least in a democracy and republic setting must be accountable to the People. The colonies did indeed face a life that warranted having capable arms available to them. This was seen secondary to tension and conflicts with the native population and grew as the Revolution solidified the need to stand for independence against tyranny. Remember the Minutemen indeed. Constitutional drafting and ratification shows again and again that the founders,especially those highlighted in Hartmann’s fantasy world (Henry,Madison,Mason& Hamilton) were adamant in their distrust of powerful government at ALL levels and that they saw assuring the right to bear arms by the People was the ultimate assurance that the citizenry had for a free state. State in the sense used by the Founders as opposed to Hartmann et al does not mean: State, as in the all covering government use of the word but this one is closer to truth. state as in one of the new 13 states. This one in particular flies in the face of reality and is the Hartmann line of thinking. As much as present day state right types like to twist this one as well, the Founders whether Federalist of anti-Federalist didn’t mean that. In fact what it meant was that the People would be have a free state. That they would be in charge of the republic. The Second Amendment is more than a right. It is a call to the People to stay engaged and in control of government at all levels. Of the People,By the People,For the People…(yeah I know I’m quoting Lincoln well after the ratification of the Constitution) only fails to perish when the people are powerless. Whether we are powerless due to a recalcitrant government or our own apathy means little.
Personality over substance
This one is a no brainer and has always leered its head throughout US history. Now more than ever though given the electronic information age the average citizen lives and breeds via sound bites and feelings. Afforded the illusion of escape from real consequences and hard work via YouTube,American Idol,Comedy Central and a veritable cornucopia of mindless drabble we catch a headline that sounds good,makes us feel good or otherwise has the herd bleating in orgasmic approval and we buy it hook line and sinker. This is how such revisionist history gets a foothold. Too lazy to get a real book folks face the top ten Google picks on a given subject sourced by popularity and timelines. These in turn tend to be the trending fallacies that grow into the new reality driven by internet ignoramuses and the inevitable buzz that transforms it forever into the Truth.
This is why we have the Government we do.God Bless America.