The Second Amendment and the Inalienable Right to Self-Defense

First Principles, No. 16, April 2014

George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 14-11

6 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2014

See all articles by Nelson Lund

Nelson Lund

George Mason University School of Law

Date Written: April 17, 2014

Abstract

This paper provides a very concise introduction to the history of the Second Amendment and the case law as it stands today.

Modern debates about the meaning of the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms or a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard. This question, however, was apparently never even raised until long after the Bill of Rights was adopted. Early discussions took the basic meaning of the amendment for granted and focused instead on whether it added anything significant to the original Constitution. The debate later shifted because of changes in the Constitution and in constitutional law and because legislatures began to regulate firearms in ways undreamed of in our early history.

Keywords: natural right, private, individual, collective, original meaning, militia, standing army, regulation, state, federal, Federalists, Anti-Federalists, District of Columbia v. Heller, McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ezell, United States v. Marzzarella

Suggested Citation

Lund, Nelson Robert, The Second Amendment and the Inalienable Right to Self-Defense (April 17, 2014). First Principles, No. 16, April 2014; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 14-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2426647

Nelson Robert Lund (Contact Author)

George Mason University School of Law ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8045 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
298
Abstract Views
1,732
rank
101,488
PlumX Metrics