Ohio State history professor Saul Cornell is the author of the new book A Well Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), and of the law review article "St. George Tucker and the Second Amendment: Original Understandings and Modern Misunderstandings," 47 W. & M. L. Rev. 1123 (Feb. 2006). Cornell is a talented writer and researcher, but his treatment of some topics is extremely misleading. In a new draft article, "St. George Tucker's Second Amendment: Deconstructing 'The True Palladium of Liberty'," Stephen P. Halbrook takes the reader step-by-step through Tucker's monumentally influential annotated American Blackstone, the most important legal treatise of the Early Republic. Analyzing Tucker's Blackstone, and other writings by Tucker, Halbrook shows that Tucker explicitly recognized the Second Amendment as an individual right, including the right to posses firearms for personal self-defense, unrelated to militia duty. As Halbrook proves, Cornell has built has argument through highly selective quotations and the omission of portions of the treatise which directly contradict Cornell's thesis.
St. George Tucker versus Saul Cornell on the Second Amendment: