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Subdeacon Joe

In the 1850s They Knew

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Scott v. Sandford decision: " It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs,
and to keep and carry arms wherever they went.
And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State."
Seems that back in the 1850s it was recognized that every citizen had the right to "keep and carry" firearms wherever they went. Seems to have been recognized as an individual civil right.

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And most of the firearm laws enacted after the Civil War were put into place by Southern Democrats as a way to punish those very same people for exercising the right to self defense from the KKK and Jim Crow.

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