Do Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms? Or is this power vested solely in government? Recent years have seen a sea change in scholarship on the Second Amendment. Beginning in the 1960s, a view emerged that individuals had a “right” to bear arms only in militia service—a limited, “collective” right. But in the late 1980s Dr. Stephen Halbrook and a handful of other scholars began producing an altogether persuasive analysis that changed thinking on the matter, so that today, even in canonical textbooks, bearing arms is acknowledged as an individual right.
Table of Contents
Preface to the 2019 Edition
- “The Inhabitants to be Disarmed”
- From the Tea Party to the Powder Alarm
- The Arms Embargo and Search and Seizure at the Neck
- A Shot Heard ‘Round the World and “a Cruel Act of Perfidy”
- “Times That Try Men’s Souls”
- “That the People Have a Right”
- “A Musket to Defend These Rights”
- A Constitution with No Bill of Rights?
- The “Dissent of the Minority”
- Virginia Tips the Scales
- “A Majority That Is Irresistible”
- Mr. Madison’s Amendments
- The Bill of Rights in the States
- The Great Militia Debate
- Old Founders Never Die, They Just Fade Away
- What Does the Second Amendment say?
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