Here you go: More than you ever wanted to know about the history of the Second Amendment:

I did a short thread yesterday, but I think I'll expand it today into a more complete thread.

Stand by for an [edited] transcription if you prefer to read.

So what do we learn from the history of the Second Amendment?

Takeaway #1: There have always been gun control laws in America.

Examples from this incredible work of scholarship by @MarkFrassetto…
2/ This one, from Jamestown, 1631, makes it illegal to sell or give guns to Native Americans. Several other colonies passed similar laws.

White traders were profiting from the selling of guns, and the leaders of the colony said no. (Also "we want to be the only ones with guns").
3/ Another example: New Jersey, in 1758, had a law banning wearing pistols in public because it induced fear and quarrels.

At the same time, there were also laws requiring white men to own guns. (Wait, what?!)
5/ Yes. Laws requiring whites to own guns.

That way, if there was a slave rebellion or escape, the word would go out, and the whites would grab their guns and form their “militia.”

That's mostly what militias were used for, particularly in the South.
6/ Militia were also used in wars against Native Americans and in the Revolutionary War.

In the Revolutionary War, some southern states refused to send their state militias out of their state because they needed the militias at home to police their enslaved population.
7/ Not surprisingly, some of these “militias,” accustomed to “fighting” enslaved people, were useless up against the British.
George Washington had this to say about citizen militias.…
8/ Washington even said it was cheaper to pay a standing army than rely on citizen militias.

There was, however, the widespread idea among those accustomed to a monarchy that standing armies were a bad idea. . .
9/. . . and it was better to rely on citizen militias and call up an army when you needed one.

Imagine that now. December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor has been attacked. Send out the word! Everyone grab your guns! We have a problem!

But the idea made sense in the 18th century.
10/ This brings us to the drafting of the Constitution and the discussion in State legislatures as states considered whether to ratify it.

The constitution allows the Federal government to call into service state militias. This provision⤵️ worried Southern slave owners.
11/ James Randolf, George Mason, James Madison and other Virginians gathered to discuss the new Constitution.

They understood that putting the President in command of the state militias would allow the federal government to end slavery.
12/ Sorry for the offensive quotation, but to demonstrate exactly what they were worried about, I had to include what Patrick Henry actually said.

No militias = no institution of slavery.

(Quotations from Waldman's book)
Oh goodness. I flunk cut-and-paste.

Stand by for a link that works . . .

If you're wondering why I'm doing all this research, my book on the history of the Second Amendment will be published next year by Macmillan.…

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .
13/ James Madison, in response to that discussion, drafted the Second Amendment.

You can compare the draft Madison wrote to the final version.⤵️

We don’t know why the Senate made the changes because they left no record of their discussion. . .
14/ The conscientious objection part was left out and the first two phrases were reordered.

The semicolons were replaced with commas making the phrase about “right to bear arms” dependent on the phrase about “well-regulated militias.”
15/ During the years immediately following the ratification of the Second Amendment, lots of states (including Virginia) passed various gun control laws.

@MarkFrassetto documented them here:…

Some examples:
16/ The fact that gun control laws existed before, during, and after the ratification of the 2nd Amendment pretty much obliterates the argument that the Amendment allows unfettered access to guns.

So how do we get from⤵️ to the idea that it protects individual gun ownership?
17/ The (modern) argument goes like this:

In the old days, militia members furnished their own guns, so they couldn’t have militias without individual gun ownership, thus the 2nd Amendment protects individual gun ownership.

me = 🤦‍♀️(we no longer rely on citizen militias!)
18/ I don’t like to go beyond 20 tweets in a thread so I have room to add comments, so I’ll wrap this up with three takeaways:

🔹There have always been gun control laws so the idea that the Second Amendment allows for unfettered access to guns is nonsensical.
19/ I just realized that I entirely left out the part about all those pre-Civil War laws restricting Blacks from having guns, but you didn't need me to tell you that, right?

🔹The Second Amendment is steeped in our racist past. . .
20/ The Second Amendment was written by slaveowners to preserve the institution of slavery and is thus steeped in our racist past.

🔹The Second Amendment is based on an outdated idea: The need to protect citizen militias.
Note: @MarkFrassetto opened his compilation of gun laws by quoting Scalia (the great originalist) in the Heller decision saying, "We didn't undertake an exhaustive historical analysis . . . "

Then Frasetto did the work 🔥which decimates Scalia's logic.
They answer.

They tell me things like: "Without guns, we wouldn't have won the Revolutionary War."

Me = 🙄🤣

Does that apply to all wars? Does that mean individuals have the right to tanks, machine guns, and hand grenades?

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More from @Teri_Kanefield

19 Apr
Last night, @HC_Richardson ended her thought-provoking letter by asking this:

"Last month, six in ten Republicans in a Reuters/Ipsos poll said they believed the election was stolen. Where do Republican lawmakers think this is going to end?"

Heather Cox Richardson is the author of⤵️, so the question comes from someone with a deep knowledge of party history.

It seems to me that the GOP leaders have no long-term plan, and no long-range ideas or visions.

They have a short-term plan: Win at any cost and hold power.

2/ Image
Scholar @jasonintrator defines fascism as a set of tactics for seizing and maintaining power."

The fascist wants power. They do what it takes to achieve that power.

It comes from cynicism: They think everyone is out for power.

Read 12 tweets
17 Apr
I just gave a talk on what we learn from the History of the Second Amendment to Lift Every Voice Oregon and The Youth Leadership Academy to end gun violence.

An [edited] transcription is here:…

I will have an audio recording to post. Meanwhile . . .
The talk is too long for a Twitter thread (35 minutes plus questions!) but I can put a few takeaways here.

What do we learn from studying the history of the Second Amendment?

First, there have always been gun control laws . . .
. . . there were gun control laws in the U.S. before the ratification of the Second Amendment and immediately after. The idea that the Second Amendment was intended to allow unfettered access to guns is therefore nonsensical.
Read 10 tweets
16 Apr
If you haven't seen this, oh goodness.…
I have a little white terrier, and JJ would totally do this.

I can translate that final bark into people-talk: "And don't come back!" the little terrier told the bear.
The video is here:
My terrier took on a raccoon who jumped the fence and came into our backyard. JJ survived. He needed some stitches and shots.

This particular raccoon was not as mellow and good-natured as a bear.

If you're curious how that fight ended. . .
Read 5 tweets
14 Apr
We need to divide the people responsible for the attack into two groups:
🔹The thugs who carried out the attack
🔹The leaders who didn't actually storm the capital, but who either aided with the planning or in some way enabled the attack.

It's easier to catch the first group.
The second group has deniability. They have more defenses and wiggle room.
They can point the finger at the first group.

But ultimately, it's fundamentally unfair to prosecute the foot soldiers but not the generals.
They're doing that. But the foot soldiers don't have all the information.

The foot soldiers may not understand why they were actually able to get so far.

Read 9 tweets
11 Apr
Did Trump incite a riot under the D.C. code?

You’re probably thinking, "Yes, DUH." But I marched through the legal analysis.

As before, I found it easier to record a video.

If you prefer to read, stand by for a transcription. via @YouTube

An edited transcription is here:…

I should have called this video Fun With Criminal Law (or Teri Does IRAC).

I’ll also do a quick Twitter summary. (Spoiler: Yes he incited a riot, duh. But . . .)

D.C. A.G. Karl Racine said he’s looking into whether Trump and others violated D.C. Code section 22-1322, inciting a riot.

To get a conviction, a prosecutor has to prove each relevant element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

The relevant elements are (a) and (c).

Read 15 tweets
6 Apr
I read the lawsuit the capitol police officers (Blassingame and Hemby) brought against Trump.

In a nutshell: This case is bad for Trump.

My analysis seemed too long for a thread, so I recorded a video (9 minutes).

I'll have a transcription shortly.

If, like me, you prefer to read, I put an [edited] transcription on my blog, here:…

To summarize, this case is bad for Trump for a whole bunch of reasons.

🔹First, the plaintiffs sustained actual injuries . . .

Some of these tort cases are a bit weak because the plaintiffs have a hard time showing why they should have standing to sue. (Also, these are particularly sympathetic plaintiffs.)

🔹The facts are bad for Trump. The facts in this case are devastating.

Read 15 tweets

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