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The Founders' Second Amendment


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About 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.


Stephen Halbrook's The Founders' Second Amendment is first-rate work, utterly convincing. This is a solid and important work. -- Forrest McDonald, University of Alabama; author of We the People 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 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, emeritus professor of philosophy, Emory University 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 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 Historian and philosopher Stephen Halbrook is the single most prolific researcher on the Second Amendment, having contributed literally dozens of scholarly articles on various aspects of the subject. The Founders' Second Amendment masterfully both extends and summarizes his (and others') research. It is the last word-the single most comprehensive work on the thinking of the Founding Fathers' era about the constitutional right of citizens to be armed. -- Don B. Kates The subject of The Founders' Second Amendment is currently 'front-and-center' as a 'hot' and major controversy. Well researched and well presented, Halbrook's book has brought forward a substantial amount of new research, not redundant of what others have provided, and this book will find a solid place among leading works on the subject. -- William W. Van Alstyne A timely introduction to this most contentious of debates. Publishers Weekly 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. New American 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. Midwest Book Review [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. CHOICE 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 American Historical Review

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