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Is the Second Amendment an Individual Right?
Monday, June 9, 2008

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Wine & Cheese Reception 5:00 pm
Program 6:00-7:00 pm
Q & A to follow

The Independent Institute
1319 Eighteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
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Speakers
Stephen P. Halbrook
Stephen P. Halbrook

Research Fellow, the Independent Institute author, The Founders’ Second Amendment

Joyce Lee Malcolm
Joyce Lee Malcolm

Professor of Legal History, George Mason University School of Law

Last year, a federal appeals court overturned the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns. Now the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the case after nearly seventy years of silence on the Second Amendment. Observers expect the Court to finally settle the legal question of whether the constitutional “right of the people to keep and bear arms” is an individual right held by all, or a “collective right” of the state governments to maintain militias. What did the Founders intend when they drafted the Second Amendment? Please join us as constitutional legal scholar and Independent Institute Research Fellow Stephen P. Halbrook and George Mason University Law School legal historian Joyce Lee Malcolm examine these issues. Halbrook’s new book, The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, is the fullest account yet of the Founders’ aims. Malcolm’s To Keep and Bear Arms traces that right to English law and traditions and provides a comprehensive history of the transmission of that right to the American colonies. Independent Institute President David J. Theroux will moderate.

The Foundersí Second AmendmentThe Foundersí Second Amendment

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 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 U.S. Supreme Court in the spring of 2008, The Founders’ Second Amendment could scarcely be more timely.

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