The Original Plain Meaning of the Right to Bear Arms
6 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2008 Last revised: 7 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 1, 2008
In this article, written about twenty years ago, Professor Peter Junger developed an idiosyncratic interpretation of the Second Amendment: the right to bear arms is the right to display armorial bearings - coats of arms - and the original plain meaning of the Amendment is that the government shall not infringe upon one's right to be a lady or a gentleman. That interpretation was derived (loosely, to be sure) from a 1955 decision of the Court of Chivalry, an English court (known to Blackstone) that had been silent since 1737. Whether Professor Junger, who died in November 2006, was serious about this or not, this unfinished article is a fitting memorial to a person with an amazingly creative mind.
Keywords: 2nd amendment, right to bear arms, gun control, plain meaning, original intent, armorial bearings
JEL Classification: K10, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation