OAKLAND, Calif., March 17, 2008After nearly 70 years of silence regarding the Second Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court is presiding over District of Columbia v. Heller and oral arguments will be held tomorrow.
At issue, as attorney and Independent Institute Research Fellow Stephen P. Halbrook explains in his new book The Founders Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms (June 6, 2008 / Ivan R. Dee / $28.95), is whether the Second Amendment protects a private citizens right to keep arms in the home.
Many have argued that the language in the Bill of Rights refers only to individuals active in a militia, such as the National Guard. But as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has opined, and as a growing body of evidence seems to indicate, the right of the people to keep and bear arms may very well be personal.
Having won three cases before the Supreme Court, Halbrook recently filed an Amici Curiae Brief on behalf of 55 members of the Senate, the Senate President, and 250 members of the House of Representatives.
While many books have been penned on gun control and related issues, none have delved so deeply into the nature of the right to keep and bear arms as it was understood and practiced during the first generation of the American Republic. The Founders Second Amendment captures the intent of the Founders in their own words from newspapers, correspondence, and political debates; and also draws on archival sources revealed for the first time ever.
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in the city that has come to be known as Murder Capital U.S.A., Stephen P. Halbrook urges the Justices to recognize that the Second Amendment is as essential to the Bill of Rights as is the First.
# # #