Reply To: A new argument against the 2nd Amd.: Slavery


The 2nd Amendment’s purpose is to leave the power to defend itself — as a group and as individuals — in the citizenry of each state. The overriding motivation here was to ensure that the states could resist any federal encroachment. Also mentioned in the ratification debates in some of the states was the possibility of “servile insurrection”/”domestic insurrection,” i.e., slave rebellion. This should not be surprising, since the Declaration of Independence justifies separation from the British Empire partly on the ground that George III had been exciting domestic insurrections.