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The Second Amendment: The Intent and Its Interpretation by the States and the Supreme Court
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What Charles ulimately concludes is that through an exhaustive look at all the colonial laws leading up to the adoption of the Constitution, gun ownership and use was a political question based on the police powers of the state. He is not saying indivdiuals shouldn't be allowed to own guns, but that the Second Amendment, and many of the early state constitutions "bear arms" provisions, were not intended to protect individual gun ownership. In his analysis he debunks the myths such as Halbrooks beliefs that "every man be armed" supports the individual right model, and many of the historical assumptions he makes, among the many other arugments that other individual right theorists have put out there.
I think Charles most compelling argument comes from his look at Shays Rebellion and Ohio's right to bear arms. In Shays Rebellion the Massachusetts government clearly defined what the right to "keep and bear arms" meant, but somehow this has gone unnoticed by individual right supporters.Read more ›
Unlike the current majority on the U.S. Supreme Court or the National Rifle Association, who "cherry-pick" (i.e., deliberately pick out data or court rulings that support their view, while ignoring the laws or cases studies that oppose their view), Charles thoroughly examines ten essential sets of facts or evidence that anyone interpreting the Second Amendment must grapple with:
1) each state's gun, hunting, crime and militia laws up to 1800
2) the Second Amendment's placement in the Bill of Rights
3) a textual analysis of the phrase "bear arms"
4) a textual analysis of the word "keep"
5) a historical analysis of the phrase "keep and bear arms"
6) the intent of the framers in drafting the Second Amendment
7) the legislative history and intent of the National Militia Act (1792)
8) a history of the founders confiscation of arms (e.g., after Shays' Rebellion, 1786-87)
9) the framers intent behind the word "state"
10) the "bear arms" provision in Ohio's constitution
Charles chides the "individual right theorists," the "collective right theorists" and the Supreme Court majority ruling in D.C. v. Heller (2008) for misconstruing the Second Amendment.Read more ›