[Marxism] Fwd: A Note from Mike Davis about the Second Amendment - Los Angeles Review of Books

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jun 14 07:40:44 MDT 2016

FIVE WEEKS BEFORE the final ratification of the Bill of Rights in 
December 1791, the regular Army of the United States of America, under 
the command of Revolutionary War hero Arthur St. Clair, was utterly 
destroyed at the Battle of the Wabash by an alliance of Western Indians 
led by the great war chiefs Little Turtle and Blue Jacket. It was a 
worse disaster than the Little Big Horn. Only 45 members of St. Clair’s 
1300-person expedition which included regulars, militia, and camp 
followers survived the ambush unscathed.

This is the real historical context in which the meaning of the Second 
Amendment must be interpreted: the national army had been annihilated, 
the First Nations had reclaimed the Ohio Valley, and the British were 
emboldened to retain the Western forts (Michilmakinac and Detroit) that 
they had agreed to surrender in the treaty of 1787. A “well-regulated 
militia” of armed people was the only thing standing between George 
Washington and the return of King George III. Or, between white people 
and successful rebellions of slaves and Native Americans.

Odd, to say the least, that the left-liberal media has so neglected this 
background, particularly since it speaks to “original intent,” that 
fetish of Scalia and much of his party. More importantly, why haven’t we 
taken advantage of the GOP’s Salafist interpretation of the Constitution 
to revive the classical (Charles) Beardsian critique of this 
slaveowners’ relic? The alternative tradition in American history, 
embraced by Jefferson, Lincoln, and Wilson, has always asserted the 
priority of the Declaration of Independence as the nation’s foundational 
document and natural law.


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