Founders' Second Amendment: The Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

Founders' Second Amendment: The Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

4.3 10
by Stephen P. Halbrook
     
 

Stephen P. Halbrook's The Founders' Second Amendment is the first book-length account of the origins of the Second Amendment, based on the Founders' own statements as found in newspapers, correspondence, debates, and resolutions. Mr. Halbrook investigates the period from 1768 to 1826, from the last years of British rule and the American Revolution through to the

Overview

Stephen P. Halbrook's The Founders' Second Amendment is the first book-length account of the origins of the Second Amendment, based on the Founders' own statements as found in newspapers, correspondence, debates, and resolutions. Mr. Halbrook investigates the period from 1768 to 1826, from the last years of British rule and the American Revolution through to the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the passing of the Founders' generation. His book offers the most comprehensive analysis of the arguments behind the drafting and adoption of the Second Amendment, and the intentions of the men who created it. With the question of the right to bear arms scheduled to come before the Supreme Court in the spring of 2008, The Founders' Second Amendment could scarcely be more timely.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
[Halbrook] covers the Second Amendment's historical underpinnings from 1768–1826, and so offers readers a rich interpretive framework from which to grasp the U.S. Supreme Court's (conservative) decision in June 2008 . . . affirming the constitutional right of individuals to keep guns at home.
American Historical Review
Stephen P. Halbrook's new book represents the most careful and well-thought-out study yet in support of the politically ascendant claim that the Second Amendment, as originally intended and understood, protects a right to own guns for purposes other than service in the lawful militia.
— William G. Merkel
Publishers Weekly

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent hearing of arguments in District of Columbiav. Heller—which may overturn the capital's ban on handguns—signals a general re-evaluation of the Second Amendment. The trend is toward an unlimited individual right rather than a restricted, collective one applying only to government militias. Halbrook, a research fellow at the Independent Institute in California, is firmly of the former school and investigates the nature of the ideas underlying the Second Amendment during the Revolutionary generation (between 1768 and 1826). How did the founders regard the issue of gun control? What prompted them to define the right to bear arms as fundamental, second only to freedom of speech? Basing his research on contemporary newspapers, political resolutions and private correspondence, Halbrook delves deeply into the importance of firearms during the Revolution, finding that attempts by search-and-seizure to control the flow of guns was regarded as the typical tyrannical behavior of a standing army. Liberty hinged on free ownership. While readers might disagree with some of Halbrook's historical interpretations, his book should be welcomed as a timely introduction to this most contentious of debates. (June)

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Midwest Book Review
The depth and detail added to source material quotes makes this a fine pick for both college and high school collections strong in American history and politics.
New American
The book is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to form a knowledgeable opinion on the meaning, application and reason behind the Second Amendment.
CHOICE
[Halbrook] covers the Second Amendment's historical underpinnings from 1768-1826, and so offers readers a rich interpretive framework from which to grasp the U.S. Supreme Court's (conservative) decision in June 2008 . . . affirming the constitutional right of individuals to keep guns at home.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566637923
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
06/25/2008
Series:
Independent Studies in Political Economy
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.58(w) x 9.52(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are saying about this

GLENN HARLAN REYNOLDS
"Stephen Halbrook's The Founders' Second Amendment is crisply written, rich with history, and sure to be valuable to anyone interested in understanding the original meaning of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms."--(GLENN HARLAN REYNOLDS, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Tennessee)
JOYCE L. MALCOLM
"I enthusiastically recommend Stephen Halbrook's book, The Founder's Second Amendment. This is an original and valuable approach, focusing on the place of individual ownership of firearms during the time of the American Revolution and the drafting and ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It will add appreciably to the scholarship on the origins and meaning of the Second Amendment."--(JOYCE L. MALCOLM, Professor of Legal History, George Mason University School of Law)
FORREST McDONALD
"Stephen Halbrook's The Founders' Second Amendment is first-rate work, utterly convincing. This is a solid and important work."--(FORREST McDONALD, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of History, University of Alabama)
Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Stephen Halbrook's The Founders' Second Amendment is crisply written, rich with history, and sure to be valuable to anyone interested in understanding the original meaning of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.
DONALD W. LIVINGSTON
"The Founder's Second Amendment is an impressive achievement. Halbrook shows conclusively to any honest mind, both in respect to historical evidence and analytical jurisprudence, that the Framers intended the Second Amendment not as the reserved right of a State government to organize a militia, but of the people as individuals to keep and to bear arms. In this meticulously researched and exhaustive study, Halbrook has produced what promises to be the standard work for years to come on the original intent of the Second Amendment. It will be an invaluable resource for scholars of the Constitution."--(DONALD W. LIVINGSTON, Professor of Philosophy, Emory University)
NELSON LUND
"Like much of Halbrook's other excellent work, The Founders' Second Amendment is both well-written and full of fascinating details. It will serve as an important resource for professional scholars and interested laypersons. One especially useful aspect of Halbrook's work is that the author so consistently lets a huge variety of original sources speak for themselves."--(NELSON LUND, Patrick Henry Professor of Constitutional Law, George Mason University)
Forrest McDonald
Stephen Halbrook's The Founders' Second Amendment is first-rate work, utterly convincing. This is a solid and important work.

Meet the Author

Stephen B. Halbrook is Research Fellow at The Independent Institute and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a Ph.D. in social philosophy from Florida State University. His other books include That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right; Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms; Firearms Law Deskbook; and A Right to Bear Arms.

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Founders' Second Amendment: The Origins of the Right to Bear Arms 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done intellectually honest presentation for those who take our Constitution seriously.
guitaoist3 More than 1 year ago
amazingly researched and well thought out
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