RESEARCH PAPER 80

The Hidden History of the Second Amendment

Carl T. Bogus Professor of Law

This paper can be found at 31 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 309 (1998)

This paper can be downloaded free of charge from the Social Science Research Network: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1465114

THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT
Carl T. Bogus

ABSTRACT

Professor Bogus argues that there is strong reason to believe that, in significant part, James Madison drafted the Second Amendment to assure his constituents in Virginia, and the South generally, 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. His argument is based on a multiplicity of the historical evidence, including debates between James Madison and George Mason and Patrick Henry at the Constitutional Ratifying Convention in Richmond, Virginia in June 1788; the record from the First Congress; and the antecedent of the American right to bear arms provision in the English Declaration of Rights of 1688.

“This work, copyright 1998 by Carl Bogus, was originally published in the UC Davis Law Review, vol. 31, p. 309, copyright 1998 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.”