Time asks: does the "right to bear arms" apply equally to all citizens – or just whites? While the question has recently made headlines, it's as old as the country itself.

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TIME: Bogus on Second Amendment

Time asks: does the "right to bear arms" apply equally to all citizens – or just whites? While the question has recently made headlines, it's as old as the country itself.

From TIME Magazine: "Whether the Second Amendment Applies to All Citizens Is Not a New Question" by Arica L. Coleman

Gun rightsSept. 26, 2016: [...] After the American Revolution, the fear of disarmament was widespread, particularly among southern whites who feared they would be left vulnerable in a slaveholding south. As Constitutional law expert Carl T. Bogus has argued, James Madison wrote the amendment as a guarantee to his constituents in Virginia and to the south at large “that Congress could not use its newly-acquired powers to indirectly undermine the slave system by disarming the militia, on which the South relied for slave control.”

To the contrary, the founders justified the forced disarmament of slaves, freed blacks and mulattoes for fear of insurrections. Slave codes were enacted and enforced by slave patrols, which comprised armed militias, to ease white fears of black violence. As Bogus noted, “Slavery was not only an economic and industrial system, but more than that, it was a gigantic police system.” Notwithstanding, Virginia passed a law in 1806 allowing free Negroes and mulattoes to own guns with the approval of local officials; but in the aftermath of the 1831 Nat Turner rebellion, the Commonwealth repealed the law and prohibited the sale of guns to free blacks. [...]

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