Self Defense, an Unalienable Right in a Time of Peril: Protected and Preserved by the Second Amendment

35 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2020 Last revised: 14 Oct 2020

See all articles by Joyce Lee Malcolm

Joyce Lee Malcolm

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: October 1, 2020

Abstract

For Americans frightened for their own and their family’s safety, the Covid-19 pandemic; lockdown in March 2020; release of convicted offenders; protests against the police morphing into weeks of violence and calls to defund them; and a presidential candidate promising to seize their guns has led to record-setting applications for firearms. This essay explores the constitutional background of the right to armed self-defense then tests the arguments against it: 1) it’s unnecessary, the police will protect you and 2) guns in your hands pose a danger to public safety. But can the police protect us and do they have a legal duty to do so? To answer the questions the success of restraining orders for vulnerable individuals and violent crime statistics during an era of increased public carry are examined. The essay concludes with the experience of England, where the very right to self-defense has been effectually removed.

Keywords: Second Amendment, self defense

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Malcolm, Joyce Lee, Self Defense, an Unalienable Right in a Time of Peril: Protected and Preserved by the Second Amendment (October 1, 2020). Liberty & Law Center Research Paper No. 20-02, George Mason Legal Studies Research Paper No. LS 20-18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3703895 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3703895

Joyce Lee Malcolm (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-9150 (Phone)

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