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View Diary: Second Amendment Trash Talking, Paranoia, And Moving Forward (97 comments)

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  •  My 2nd Amendment Diary (35+ / 0-)

    I wrote this way back in May of 2007. I can't believe it has been that long. It examines the whole slavery issue in more detail than you had room for in your far more encompassing diary.

    My 2nd Amendment Diary

    Mason and Henry made many arguments against ratification, but one of the strategies they devised was particularly shrewd. 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 critical was the militia for slave control that, in the main, the southern states refused to commit their militia to the war against the British. The Constitution, however, would transfer the lion's share of the power over the militia to Congress. Slavery was becoming increasingly obnoxious to the North, and southern delegates to the Philadelphia convention demanded and got an agreement, somewhat cryptically written into the Constitution, that deprived the federal government of authority to abolish slavery. Mason and Henry raised the specter of Congress using its authority over the militia to do indirectly what it could not do directly. They suggested that Congress might refuse to call forth the militia to suppress an insurrection, send southern militia to New Hampshire, and on this they harped repeatedly disarm the militia. For Virginia and the South, these were chilling prospects.

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:35:25 AM PST

    •  It's certainly history that doesn't get much press (20+ / 0-)

      Or attention in the schools.

      We've got this idea going that the current partisanship  in DC is in sharp contrast to the Founding Fathers with their statesmanship, and their eternal wisdom. We forget that they weren't talking about ideal forms of government inspired by some abstract vision - they were politicians with some real 'skin in the game'.

      Funny how no one asks what color skin is being talked about when that phrase is used.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:46:42 AM PST

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      •  history is taught at a dumbed-down level (5+ / 0-)

        it's really appalling, but it is true that including all the nuance and every detail would make history books weigh a ton.

        but this is just as bad:

        the original rationale of keeping the slaves down
        there is no one rationale behind the 2nd.  the slave patrols were in the mix, along with lots of other stuff.  the 2nd was, like the civil war, about lots of things; slaves were but a factor in both situations.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:30:43 PM PST

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        •  If I am looking at where you quote that line from (4+ / 0-)

          It's from a quick summary of roughly the past 250 years and a whole grab bag of references. It wasn't intended to be detailed or nuanced, just short hand.

          Thom Hartmann's piece goes into  much more detail, as do several of the commentators. I chose to emphasize it because I think it's one of the more important elements in discussions about the Second Amendment that gets elided or omitted.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:30:28 PM PST

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          •  It's a critical point that most people don't know (8+ / 0-)

            I didn't know it until I read about it here recently, and I've studied history far more than about 99% of the population.   There's a tendency to view the Constitution as though it was handed to Moses on stone tablets on Mt. Sinai instead of viewing it a the subject of multiple comprises between fallible and occasionally biased human beings.  Thank you for offering this reality check.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:50:25 PM PST

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            •  Oddly, Hartmann of all people didn't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xaxnar

              know much about it until recently. One of his callers brought it up on the show and was quite prepared. Thom was gracious, indicated he had a gap in knowledge he needed to check out, and praised his audience of 'the smartest people in the world.'

              Not many weeks later, I believe the show was last week or the week before, Thom came out with the information he had put together.  I saw one person comment on how it was just Hartmann believing what fits his views. Which reminded me, I firmly believe that in order not to have to confront ideas that don't fit your views, you don't read or listen to them.

              It really does put a lot of things into the narrative that were clearly missing. I think the whole reality of why the slaves were not able to rise up enough to fight it (great Django Unchained clip in Hartmann's TV show) cannot be explained without the slave patrols. This gives more reason to understand how they came about and were allowed to function.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:47:07 PM PST

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        •  Without Slavery (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, Ginny in CO, a2nite, artmartin

          There would have been no movement for secession, and no Civil War. At least according to the Vice-President of the Confederacy, quoted in James McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom". I refer the reader to page 244. The whole book is well worth study.

          One may argue successfully that other regional frictions existed. None of those had anything like the force to bring on secession on the scale needed to produce the war.

          •  I've seen analyses that... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ginny in CO, samanthab, a2nite, artmartin

            the southern economy based on slavery actually held back the economic development of the south. It makes sense when you realize how many humans were essentially living at subsistence levels, had no purchasing power, no incentive to innovate (duh!), and so on. Slavery actually forces a large part of the economy to operate at sub-optimal levels.

            Something the 1% appear to have forgotten or never learned, in their quest to turn us all into serfs.

            "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

            by xaxnar on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:29:04 PM PST

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          •  nullification crisis (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite, artmartin

            1830s or so.  the seeds were laid then.  trade tariffs, banking issues -- all of these spurred secession.

            3/5 congressional representation for every slave was power.

            slaves gave the south their wealth.

            all wars are fought over power and money.

            secession is not war.

            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

            by Cedwyn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:02:57 AM PST

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