A Constitutional Right to Self Defense?

9 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2006 Last revised: 27 Jan 2014

See all articles by Nelson Lund

Nelson Lund

George Mason University School of Law


This very short comment examines the relationship between the Constitution and the presuppositions of the Constitution with respect to the right of self defense. As central as this right appears to be in the liberal tradition, its treatment in Hobbes' "Leviathan" shows why it is more problematic than we generally assume. Moreover, as well-established as it seems to be in our legal tradition, it seems not be included as such in the Constitution, and only partially or erratically protected by constitutional law.

Keywords: self defense, constitutional law, Thomas Hobbes

Suggested Citation

Lund, Nelson Robert, A Constitutional Right to Self Defense?. Journal of Law, Economics and Policy, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 213-220, 2006; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 06-29. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=912277

Nelson Robert Lund (Contact Author)

George Mason University School of Law ( email )

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

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