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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Bit a Piece Out of the Brady Law Shows Us Why
Stephen P. Halbrook, author and Constitutional lawyer, puts under a single cover in this compact and engagingly written volume an enormous sweep of the history and legal reasoning regarding a human right that has rather sadly fallen into disrepute in the last three decades -- the people's natural and supraconstitutional right to effective self-defense and by extension,...
Published on October 6, 1997 by urbane-guerrilla@rocketmail.com

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat out of date
This book is hard to read - it goes back to Greek and Roman times and finds examples both pro and con for arming the citizenry - depending on the powers at the time. But what disturbed me most was that it was c. 1984 - I missed that in selection this because of the great reviews. So when it starts talking about specific gun laws in various states, these are really out...
Published on January 18, 2013 by Biotexts2


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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Bit a Piece Out of the Brady Law Shows Us Why, October 6, 1997
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
Stephen P. Halbrook, author and Constitutional lawyer, puts under a single cover in this compact and engagingly written volume an enormous sweep of the history and legal reasoning regarding a human right that has rather sadly fallen into disrepute in the last three decades -- the people's natural and supraconstitutional right to effective self-defense and by extension, defense of their nation. His citings of such famous gun-law cases as _U.S. vs Cruikshank_ and _U.S. vs Miller_ are particularly valuable and conveniently placed where the lay reader can conveniently refer to them. (Did you know that the Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Cruikshank 1876 was exactly the opposite of what the anti-gun activists represent it to be? I didn't, until I read the more complete citation set forth in this book.)
Mr. Halbrook also assembles an extensive collection of the founding fathers' writings on firearms vis-a-vis civil liberties. You may have seen these things printed on T-shirts -- here they are set forth in full. These will provide the gun rights activist with the knowledge to rebut, indeed to flatten, the antigunners' misrepresentations about what the framers of the Constitution had in mind with the 2nd Amendment. A thorough study of the material in this book will allow the gun-rights activist and the freedom-minded individual to argue for arming the private person -- with machine guns, should he want them -- in any discussion, anytime, anywhere, without feeling like a tobacco lobbyist!
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent brief overview of the Second Amendment, September 17, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
Halbrook surveys the right to bear arms--which is an ancient democratic right--from ancient times to the Founding Fathers, all the way up to the modern debates on so-called "gun control." He proves irrefutably that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is an individual right. Even ultra-liberal gun haters like Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe have come to the conclusion, however reluctantly, that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is an INDIVIDUAL right of every American citizen.
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96 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book is excellent--one reviewer less so., October 30, 1999
By 
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
I'm pleased that a book has been written giving the Founder's view of the right to keep and bear arms. I am somewhat less pleased with the review left by "Reader from the United States", who didn't bother attempting to refute the arguments in the book, but made references to court decisions (which courts--and when?), and making insulting references to "rednecks" and "yahoos". I thought insulting personal references to groups of people, or individuals, was prohibited by Amazon.Com in reviews.
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Civil Libertarians, July 17, 2000
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
Stephen Halbrook's classic scholarly work should be read by all concerned with our civil liberties, and in particular, our second amendment right to keep and bear arms. The text leaves no doubt that the right is an individual one and that the militia is NOT the National Guard or some select militia, but the people themselves. Anyone who believes that the right is intended for a National Guard or select militia has ignored the fact that our Founding Fathers were very concerned about a select group having arms while the general population went unarmed. Also, Halbrook's review of the debates on the ratification of the 14th amendment clearly show that the second amendment is covered by the 14th amendment. Halbrook also describes how some states discriminated against freed slaves by denying them their second amendment rights.
Overall, this is an excellent learned treatise. After you finish with this book, try reading any book or article by David Kopel, Stephen Halbrook, Don Kates or Clayton Cramer (to name only a few of the second amendment scholars).
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and Important Work, August 28, 1999
By 
eunomius (St. Louis, MO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
This is one of the most profound works that one will ever come into contact with. In it, Halbrook demonstrates the true meaning of the right to keep and bear arms, and why it is so vital to the maintenance of liberty. The basic equation that emerges from his discourse is that liberty can only exist if a populace is armed. In addition to this, he delves into the constitutional, political, and ideological origins of the Second Amendment. Moreover, he demostrates exactly what the Amendment means, what it was intended to imply, and what it still means today. This book is essential reading for everyone who wishes to defend the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Historical & Legal Work on the 2nd Amendment, August 7, 2001
By 
Rod D. Martin (Grace Hall, Destin, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
That Stephen Halbrook is America's premier Second Amendment scholar is amply demonstrated in this tour de force, the definitive book on the history and law behind the citizen's right to keep and bare arms. Published by The Independent Institute, one of America's premier think-tanks, That Every Man Be Armed is comprehensive in scope, and yet easily accessible to the general reader.
The book looks at the right to possess arms in historical context, from ancient Athens down to the present. It gives proper attention to the Founders' generation, both before and after the Revolution, as well as detailed examination of the Fourteenth Amendment and its impact on gun rights under state and local law. In the present day, it examines modern court holdings, as well as the rise of gun control in America (and, of particular note, how it largely arose from the desire of white racists to suppress black freedom in the decades following the Civil War). The book is extensively documented, with close to a hundred pages of notes.
Halbrook establishes beyond question that the Founders' intent was to create a populace sufficiently armed to directly defend their newly won liberty, whether from foreign invasion or from overreaching government. Not only that, he further shows that "modern" gun control was the norm in 18th Century Europe, that the Founders rejected that approach as fatally undermining liberty, and that the Second Amendment was to them the linchpin of all our other freedoms. This fact is especially enlightening given the anti-gun practices of every 20th Century dictatorship, and a point few remember today.
And it is this above all which makes Halbrook's book so valuable. Rather than merely approaching the issue practically -- a worthy thing to do, make no mistake -- Halbrook shows that gun ownership is the premier civil and human right, without which none of the others may safely exist. That Every Man Be Armed is truly a must-read for all who care about human freedom.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A scholarly book that should be read by all., January 29, 2005
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
The reader who wrote "Pure Propaganda" is full of it. He mantains that the Patrick Henry meant the second amendment refers to a collective right. This is simply not true. Patrick Henry said, " Who are the militia? They consist of the whole people." He also said, ""First, the Constitution ought to secure a genuine (right) and guard against a select militia, by providing that the militia shall always be kept well organized, armed, and disciplined, and include, according to the past and general usage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms; and that all regulations tending to render this general militia useless and defenseless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests and attachments in the community to be avoided." Additionally, the Bush Administration has upheld this. The governments position is well stated at [...] The DOJ clearly states "For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and to bear arms."
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Work on Second Amendment Rights, May 19, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
This is an extremely lucid, devoid-of-emotion tracing of the philosophy of the citizen's right to bear arms. After reading this book, anyone (anti-gun or not) would have a difficult time not understanding that citizens remain free by virtue of their being armed. The disarming of populations is one of those constantly repeating dramas of most governments through history. This text reveals how the people fall for "logical reasoning" every time, always thinking their society has evolved beyond the need of armaments. We are made to feel it is a nasty business when citizens are armed to protect themselves from tyranny. After all, we are being "taught" that our government is there precisely to protect its people from tyranny. Fall for that one, and I've got a bridge to sell to you. Government remains well-meaning as long as its citizens are armed. Read this book, and you won't feel the politically correct pressure to disdain the concept of an armed, free citizenry, just as the founding fathers of our country intended. Arms are not just for hunters. If you accept that premise, you lose the right to bear arms, eventually, because they outlaw hunting. The right to bear arms keeps us free and law abiding, if not more honest. You are finished when only the government and criminals have guns. It's hard to tell them apart.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book regarding the 2nd Amendment, May 12, 2004
By 
Greg T. (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
I found this book to be quite interesting. I've read books by Lott, Bass, and others, and I found Halbrook's title to be an easy read (not weighed down by pages and pages of stats, though books like Lott's are in my library, too) and well thought-out. He made his points succinctly and in an manner that was easily understood.
I particularly find it amusing when those who proscribe to the anti-gun movement claim the 2nd Amendment is a collective right (i.e. it belongs to the militia) and it's not an individual right. When's the last time anybody ever said the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Amendments were anything but individual rights? How odd that only one out of ten Amendments should be classified as a collective right.
As far as the argument in favor of adopting an English or Austrailian version of gun control, even those own nations' goverments have indicated (through their respective versions of the Uniform Crime Report that's reported by the US' FBI) that the incidents or murder, rape, and other violent crimes occuring in the peoples' homes -- while they're home! -- has skyrocketed. Why? Because the thugs know the occupants aren't armed. To say that London is safe is absurd. Just plain absurd.
The fact of the matter, which Halbrook does a good job of pointing out more than once, is quite simple -- the 2nd Amendment isn't simply about hunting and recreational shooting. It's about the People (Citizens in the US, Subjects in the UK -- a difference that's not simply based on semantics) being able to defend themselves from a potentially tyrannical goverment gone bad.
Does anyone know which was the first industrialized nation in the 20th Century to ban all private firearms ownership? No? How about Nazi Germany, 1932. Even Ghandi, possibly the greatest example of an non-violent revolutionary, declared that of all the evil deeds perpetrated on the people of India by the British goverment, the restrictions enacted against the private ownership of firearms was the blackest. There's a reason for all of this, and Halbrook does of fine job of explaining the importance of private firearms ownership and the 2nd Amendment.
If you're a "gun nut" like me (which, in my mind, is no different than being "freedom of speech nut" or a "freedom of religon nut") then you'll definitely want to pick up this book.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good review, but a bit dry.., December 30, 2002
This review is from: That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy) (Paperback)
The history references are priceless, the background information indispensable. However, you won't find this book exciting unless you have a burning interest in learning the history of firearms and the concept of rights for firearms in the USA. Any "anti-gunner" who has an open mind might take a look at this to understand why the "pro-gunners" have such a strong feeling about it.
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That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Studies in Political Economy)
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