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.
Stephen 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. Dr. Halbrook investigates the period from the last years of British rule and the American Revolution through the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the passing of the Founders’ generation. His book offers a comprehensive analysis of the arguments behind the drafting and adoption of the Second Amendment, and the intentions of the men who created it. Hardback, 448p., list price $28.95. Laissez Faire price, $18.95.