Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Debate At The 1872 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention

On a motion to amend the Pennsylvania state constitution by adding the word "openly" to the state's equivalent to the federal Second Amendment, so that it would read, “The right of the citizens openly to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State, shall not be questioned..." thus removing the protection of concealed carry:

I understand that among other things that cannot be taken from a man, is the privilege he has to defend his life and to protect himself. Of course he is answerable to the fullest extent for the use of it, and your law against carrying concealed weapons does not interfere with the habit among the dangerous classes. But there are periods in every community, periods of excitement, when it may be necessary for a man to say in his own behalf, “Say what your please and do what you please, but you must not beat or maltreat me,” and with all the inequalities of physical condition that exist, it is the very worst thing in the world to say that if a man of my condition offends a man like Judge Woodward, he is to take a severe beating whenever his enemy chooses to inflict it. I do not believe in it. I believe in the right of self-defence of the weak against the strong, and I do not propose to allow any man to maltreat me at his pleasure, as long as there are any weapons of defence to be had by which I can equalize any strength with his....

From the Volokh Conspiracy.

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