Sources on the Second Amendment:

Since the Second Amendment is even more in the news today than usual, I thought I'd repost a link to my Sources on the Second Amendment, a Web page that includes:

  1. The text of related contemporaneous right-to-bear-arms provisions

  2. Calls for the right to keep and bear arms from state ratification conventions

  3. "The right of the people" in other Bill of Rights provisions

  4. Some other contemporaneous constitutional provisions with a similar two-clause structure

  5. Leading 18th- and 19th-century commentary on the right to bear arms

  6. Excerpts from Supreme Court cases that mention the right

  7. Relevant statutes, such as the Militia Act of 1792 and the currently effective Militia Act

Here also are my latest and best-formatted lists of state constitutional rights to keep and bear arms, current and past, sorted by state and by date, and categorized by type.

Finally, here's my testimony on the Second Amendment to the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution -- it's a bit date, since it doesn't include my research on the phrase "free state," but it should still be a helpful articulation of my views.

Very helpful site. Thanks.
11.20.2007 1:43pm
11.20.2007 2:03pm
EV, one more that people miss because, I suspect, the name of the source document, "The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention, of the State of Pennsylvania, to Their Constituents," causes the mind to skid sideways.

7. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers.

It's worth mentioning that item four in this list of proposals is almost word-for-word the Eighth Amendment, so it can't be argued that this document was very far off center.
11.20.2007 2:13pm
PGofHSM (mail) (www):
Along the lines of PfP's addition, Mark Tushnet's book may offer more sources and arguments, including those less in favor of the individual-rights interpretation.
11.20.2007 2:38pm