Toward an Annotated Bibliography of the Second Amendment

Journal on Firearms and Public Policy, Vol. 9, 1997

15 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2017

Date Written: 1997

Abstract

This article summarizes the treatment of the Second Amendment in law journals in the last decade and offers the author’s analysis of the merits of some of the more important articles. Of the more than sixty law review articles treating the Second Amendment that have appeared since 1980, only a handful argue that the Amendment is a right pertaining to state militias rather than to individuals. The individual right literature so completely dominates the scholarship in this field that even vehemently anti-gun academics now recognize the individual right view as the “standard model” among scholars writing on the Amendment. Unlike articles promoting the states’ right view, articles endorsing the standard model are authored by preeminent constitutional scholars, regardless of their attitude toward firearms, and appear in top journals. Opponents of the individual right view tend to see the Amendment’s purpose as allowing the armed people to overthrow a tyrannical government. Also, the literature is broadly divisible into historical versus philosophical versus legal treatments (though many articles reach all three categories).

Keywords: Second Amendment, history, gun control, guns, Constitution

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Kates, Don B., Toward an Annotated Bibliography of the Second Amendment (1997). Journal on Firearms and Public Policy, Vol. 9, 1997, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2953461

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