The Second Amendment and the Ideology of Self-Protection
Constitutional Commentary, 1992
13 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 25, 1992
This article explores the numerous ways in which the concept of self-protection related to the Second Amendment in the minds of its authors, a concept that was not only stronger but also more inclusive than the concept is described by many modern thinkers. Indeed, the second amendment emerged from a view that general possession of arms is a social good, as well as an indispensable adjunct to the individual right to self defense. The Founders would not have necessarily repudiated their belief in the right of self-defense – and of the individuals to be armed for self-defense – if they had anticipated the replacement of the militia by modern police agencies because such a notion would never have occurred to them. There were no police in eighteenth-century America and England.
Keywords: gun control, originalism, Founders, self-defense, guns, rights, crime
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation