Truthout - August 10, 2019

Seen through the prism of the El Paso shooter, LaPierre and the NRA’s absolutist stance in defense of that racist, archaic amendment is exposed for what it is: white supremacy in its most raw and weaponized form.

... LaPierre and the NRA’s latest Second Amendment pushback is more than simply another example of a right-wing group seeking to defy popular will. The racism behind the El Paso shooting exposes the truth of their specific motivation. Combined with the NRA’s own gruesomely racist history, the group’s resistance represents the actions of an organization for which El Paso was the fulfillment of ultimate purpose: Arming white men against people of color.

“The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says ‘State’ instead of ‘Country’ (the framers knew the difference — see the 10th Amendment), 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,” wrote Thom Hartmann for Truthout in 2013, “and we all should be too.”

There had been a large number of slave uprisings in the years before the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Meanwhile, Black people outnumbered whites in vast areas of the South. Henry, Mason and James Monroe — Southerners all — were vigorous in their demand that the states be allowed to maintain armed militias in order to control their “property”: enslaved people. Without the support of these three men, Virginia would not endorse the Constitution, and without the Constitution, there would be no country.

Simply put, the Second Amendment was included in the Constitution to provide slaveowners with the means to defend themselves against the people they enslaved. “Henry, Mason and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government,” concluded Hartmann. “So Madison changed the word ‘country’ to the word ‘state,’ and redrafted the Second Amendment into today’s form.”

Seen through the prism of the El Paso shooter — who wrote a blatantly racist manifesto denouncing an “invasion” by Latinos and then drove nearly 10 hours to kill as many of them as he could get in his gunsight — LaPierre and the NRA’s absolutist stance in defense of that racist, archaic amendment is exposed for what it is: white supremacy in its most raw and weaponized form.

The Second Amendment is about arming white men against communities of color, about white power brooking no challenge to its place in the hierarchy of society. ...
Read full article at Truthout