- Hardcover: 838 pages
- Publisher: Golden Oak Books (May 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0962366455
- ISBN-13: 978-0962366451
- Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,105,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Origin of the Second Amendment: A Documentary History of the Bill of Rights in Commentaries on Liberty, Free Government and an Armed Populace, 1787-1792 0th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Author David Young has brought together, for the first time, all of the original source material regarding what the Second Amendment meant to the nation which enacted it. The book opens in the summer of 1787 with the federal Constitutional Convention debating Congressional powers regarding the militia.
One of the final major documents of the book is a January 29, 1791 article in the Independent Gazetteer (a Philadelphia newspaper), in which the author, who identifies himself only as "A Farmer" warns: "Under every government the dernier [last] resort of the people, is an appeal to the sword; whether to defend themselves against the open attacks of a foreign enemy, or to check the insidious encroachments of domestic foes."
In between the first and last documents are a treasure trove of American history. Leafing through these pages, you encounter the great men who founded our Republic, and whose words speak to us today. Wrote Tench Coxe, James Madison's friend, in the Feb. 20, 1778 Freeman's Journal: "Who are the militia? are they not our selves...Their swords, and ever other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American."
Hear Patrick Henry thundering from the June 5, 1788 Virginia ratifying convention: "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force you are inevitably ruined."
The men who speak to us through The Origin of the Second Amendment harbor no fear that government would interfere with "sporting" guns or hunting. They express the greatest apprehension of select, uniformed military forces, such as the standing army.
As The Origin of the Second Amendment makes unmistakably clear, the great object of the Second Amendment was to preserve liberty by ensuring that the American people would have in their individual hands the weapons with which to resist federal tyranny. The "well-regulated militia" included almost every able-bodied free male.
In addition to collecting an excellent selection of documents, author David Young also provides a good introductory essay summarizing the historical context of the debate and ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as well as an appendix giving the full text of all state Bill of Rights from 1787-89, and a very detailed index.
Besides supplying many hours of pleasure to anyone interested in American history, the book would also make an excellent gift to a local library
Mr. Young devotes only a few pages of this thick volume to his own opinions, mostly just allowing those alive back in Constitution-making days to speak for themselves about the Second Amendment. And speak they do. Truthfully, I've never read the whole book straight through, but every time I crack it open to some random page I am amazed at the attitudes people had back then. How different from our modern sheep-like mentality, or the version of history we're fed by today's pop culture.
This book ought to be in every public library and on every citizen's bookshelf.