A Right to Bear Arms?: The Contested Role of History in Contemporary Debates on the Second Amendment

A Right to Bear Arms?: The Contested Role of History in Contemporary Debates on the Second Amendment

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Overview

This collection of essays explores the way history itself has become a contested element within the national legal debate about firearms.

The debate over the Second Amendment has unveiled new and useful information about the history of guns and their possession and meaning in the United States of America. History itself has become contested ground in the debate about firearms and in the interpretation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Specifically this collection of essays gives special attention to the important and often overlooked dimension of the applications of history in the law. These essays illustrate the complexity of the firearms debate, the relation between law and behavior, and the role that historical knowledge plays in contemporary debates over law and policy. Wide-ranging and stimulating The Right to Bear Arms is bound to captivate both historians and casual readers alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944466268
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date: 08/20/2019
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 348
File size: 12 MB
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About the Author

BARTON C HACKER is currently senior curator in armed forces history at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Washington, DC. His publications include Astride Two Worlds: Technology and the American Civil War (2016), A Companion to Women's Military History (2012), Science in Uniform, Uniforms in Science: Historical Studies of American Military and Scientific Interactions (2007), American Military Technology (2006, 2007), and Materializing the Military (2005). JENNIFER TUCKER is Associate Professor of History and Science in Society at Wesleyan University and a specialist on British technology, law, photography, and media. She is the author of Nature Exposed: Photography as Eyewitness in Victorian Science (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005) and Photography and Law (forthcoming). MARGARET VINING is curator of armed forces history in the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. and a specialist in American women's military history, military material culture, and the social sciences in the Great War. Her publications include A Companion to Women's Military History (2012), Science in Uniform, Uniforms in Science: Historical Studies of American Military and Scientific Interactions (2007). and American Military Technology (2006, 2007).

Table of Contents

PART I. GUNS AND FIREARMS OWNERSHIP IN SEVENTEENTH- AND EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND AND AMERICA
Introduction to Part I
1. The Right to Bear Arms in English and Irish Historical Context
Tim Harris
2. Who Had Guns in Eighteenth-Century Britain?
Priya Satia
3. Firearms Ownership and Militias in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century England and America
Kevin M. Sweeney
4. Limits on Armed Travel under Anglo-American Law: Change and Continuity over the Constitutional Longue Durée, 1688–1868
Saul Cornell
5. “You Never Dreamt of a Poysoned Bullet”: “Forbidden” Ammunition from the Sixteenth Century to the Present
Jonathan S. Ferguson
6. Why Guns Are and Are Not the Problem: The Relationship between Guns and Homicide in American History
Randolph Roth
 
PART II. THE RIGHT TO ARMS AND THE ANGLO-AMERICAN TRADITION: HISTORICAL DEBATE
Introduction to Part II
7. English and American Gun Rights
Lois G. Schwoerer
8. The Right to Be Armed: The Common Law Legacy in England and America
     Joyce Lee Malcolm
9. The “Reasonable Regulation” Right to Arms: The Gun-Rights Second Amendment before the Standard Model
Patrick J. Charles
 
PART III. HISTORY AND THE SUPREME COURT: OPPOSING LEGAL VIEWPOINTS
Introduction to Part III
10. Going Armed: How Common Law Distinguishes the Peaceable Bearing of Arms from Carrying Weapons to Terrorize Others
Stephen P. Halbrook
11. The Use and Misuse of History in Second Amendment Litigation
Mark Anthony Frassetto        
 
Appendix I. District of Columbia et al., Petitioners, v. Dick Anthony Heller, Respondent – Brief of the Cato Institute and History Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondent
Appendix II. District of Columbia et al., Petitioners, v. Dick Anthony Heller, Respondent – Brief of Amici Curiae Jack N. Rakove, Saul Cornell, David T. Konig, William J. Novak, Lois G. Schwoerer et al. in Support of Petitioners
Bibliography

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