Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle Over the Second Amendment

Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle Over the Second Amendment

by Brian Doherty
     
 

This past June, the Supreme Court decided a question at the heart of one of America's most impassioned debates, ruling that individual citizens have the constitutional right to possess guns. With that decision, the District's handgun ban—one of the toughest and most controversial in the nation—was ended. In Gun Control on Trial, journalist Brian Doherty

Overview

This past June, the Supreme Court decided a question at the heart of one of America's most impassioned debates, ruling that individual citizens have the constitutional right to possess guns. With that decision, the District's handgun ban—one of the toughest and most controversial in the nation—was ended. In Gun Control on Trial, journalist Brian Doherty tells the full story behind the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller ruling. With exclusive, behind the scenes access throughout the case, Doherty delved into the issues of this monumental case to provide a compelling look at the inside stories, including: The plaintiffs' fight for the right to protect themselves and their families from violent neighborhoods. The activist lawyers who worked exhaustively to affirm that right. The forces that fought to stop the case, including city officials and the NRA. The story of the Heller case stretches back to long before the decision struck down D.C.'s restrictive gun ban and forward to the future of the political and legal battle over gun control in America. Doherty provides clear, concise explanations of the issues and battles that have driven the gun control debate for decades, detailing how the Heller decision is a new starting point for the gun control debate as it passionately and energetically continues in the years ahead. It's important to note that the Heller decision does not settle every controversy in the gun control debate. It only settles the legal question of whether or not the right to possess weapons under the Second Amendment extends to personal self-defense: it does, writes Doherty. What the Supreme Court decided in Heller may be narrow in its direct and immediate effect; but it's deep in its implications for the relationship between the government and the American people, explains Doherty. It establishes a new shape to the arena in which the legal and political struggle over guns and gun control will be fought. And that fight assuredly continues.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The 2008 Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller interpreted the meaning of the Second Amendment's "right to bear arms" as an individual right but left it unclear the extent to which guns might be regulated. Doherty, an editor at Reason magazine, journalist, and commentator, was recruited by the libertarian Cato Institute to write this insider account of the case, with behind-the-scenes information on personalities and events and legal/historical context. He makes clear that he is an advocate for gun rights and that the five-to-four decision was, in his opinion, the only reasonable one. While there is considerable information here, Doherty clutters the book with his numerous gratuitous one-sided opinions and quotes from interviewees. This may be the first book to discuss Heller, but libraries would do better to wait for a more carefully written, balanced work or rely on a pre-Heller legal discussion such as Mark V. Tushnet 's Out of Range: Why the Constitution Can't End the Battle over Guns.
—Mary Jane Brustman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933995250
Publisher:
Cato Institute
Publication date:
02/15/2009
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
421,668
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

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