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Stephen Real 
Member since Jan 30, 2013


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Re: “Dumas: The truth about guns

The Second Amendment was not enacted to provide a check on government tyranny; rather, it was written to assure the Southern states that Congress would not undermine the slave system by using its newly acquired constitutional authority over the militia to disarm the state militia and thereby destroy the South's principal instrument of slave control.

"Slavery was not only an economic and industrial system," one scholar noted, "but more than that, it was a gigantic police system." Over time the South had developed an elaborate system of slave control. The basic instrument of control was the slave patrol, armed groups of white men who made regular rounds.The patrols made sure that blacks were not wandering where they did not belong, gathering in groups, or engaging in other suspicious activity. Equally important, however, was the demonstration of constant vigilance and armed force. The basic strategy was to ensure and impress upon the slaves that whites were armed, watchful, and ready to respond to insurrectionist activity at all times.The state required white men and female plantation owners to participate in the patrols and to provide their own arms and equipment, although the rich were permitted to send white servants in their place.

During the Constitutional Convention, Pierce Butler of South Carolina declared: "The security the South. States want is that their negroes may not be taken from them which some gentlemen within or without doors, have a very good mind to do."Most believed that question had been settled in Philadelphia. The Southern states had made it plain that they would not join the Union if emancipation was an open issue and insisted that the Constitution protect the slave system.

Even Virginians who wanted to end slavery had to tremble at such a prospect. Virginia was a state living in perpetual fear. Fully forty-four percent of Virginia's total population was black, and in some areas, particularly in the eastern part of the state, blacks constituted the majority.

7 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Stephen Real on 01/30/2013 at 5:53 AM

 

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