Quotes on The Right to Bear Arms

"This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist."

Alexander Hamilton
Daily Advertiser
January 10, 1788
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"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."

James Madison
New York Packet
January 29, 1788
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"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Amendment II
National Archives
March 4, 1789
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"Section 23. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of himself and the State."

Article 1, Section 23
August 15, 1817
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"Sec. 12. The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the Legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons."

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"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."

Mohandas K. Gandhi
Beacon Press
1929
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"At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders. Our best estimate is that the ban contributed to a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders between 1994 and 1995, beyond what would have been expected in view of ongoing crime, demographic, and economic trends. However, with only one year of post-ban data, we cannot rule out the possibility that this decrease reflects chance year-to-year variation rather than a true effect of the ban. Nor can we rule out effects of other features of the 1994 Crime Act or a host of state and local initiatives that took place simultaneously. Further, any short-run preventive effect observable at this time may ebb in the near future as the stock of grandfathered assault weapons and legal substitute guns leaks to secondary markets, then increase as the stock of large-capacity magazines gradually dwindles."

Jeffrey A. Roth
Christopher S. Koper
The Urban Institute
March 13, 1997
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"In reality, the English approach has not reduced violent crime. Instead it has left law-abiding citizens at the mercy of criminals who are confident that their victims have neither the means nor the legal right to resist them. Imitating this model would be a public safety disaster for the United States."

Joyce Lee Malcolm
Reason Magazine
November 2002
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"If you want to stop criminals, you have to speak to criminals in a language that they will understand."

Aaron Zelman
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
2003
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"Guns are just one among numerous available deadly instruments. Thus, banning guns cannot reduce the amount of suicides. Such measures only reduce the number of suicides by firearms. Suicides committed in other ways increase to makeup the difference. People do not commit suicide because they have guns available. They kill themselves for reasons they deem sufficient, and in the absence of firearms they just kill themselves in some other way."

Don B. Kates
Gary Mauser
Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 30, No. 2
June 6, 2006
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"Where civic rights proponents would assert that service in the militia defines those who enjoy a right to keep and bear arms, early American law recognized a right to keep arms that transcended this 'inextricable linkage.' Early American law imposed an obligation to keep arms on every adult male, even those exempt from militia service. From this obligation emerged a right to keep arms that extended to all citizens, defined as free white men willing to swear allegiance as a test of their voluntary membership in the body politic. At no time during the period under examination was the right subject to property qualification or actual membership in the militia. The right belonged to those citizens individually, and, in America, they exercised it individually."

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"The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically, but rather announces a purpose. The Amendment could be rephrased, 'Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.'"

Justice Antonin Scalia
U.S. Supreme Court
June 26, 2008
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"We move now from the holder of the right—'the people'—to the substance of the right: 'to keep and bear Arms.'

Before addressing the verbs 'keep' and 'bear,' we interpret their object: 'Arms.' The 18th-century meaning is no different from the meaning today. The 1773 edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defined 'arms' as 'weapons of offence, or armour of defence.' ... Timothy Cunningham’s important 1771 legal dictionary defined 'arms' as 'any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.' ...

The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity."

Justice Antonin Scalia
U.S. Supreme Court
June 26, 2008
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"Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications ... and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search ..., the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding."

Justice Antonin Scalia
U.S. Supreme Court
June 26, 2008
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"There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment's right of free speech was not .... Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose."

Justice Antonin Scalia
U.S. Supreme Court
June 26, 2008
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"Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct."

Justice Antonin Scalia
U.S. Supreme Court
June 26, 2008
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"The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia. It was a response to concerns raised during the ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States. Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature's authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms. Specifically, there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution."

Justice John Paul Stevens
U.S. Supreme Court
June 26, 2008
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"[T]he Amendment's text does justify a different limitation: the 'right to keep and bear arms' protects only a right to possess and use firearms in connection with service in a state-organized militia."

Justice John Paul Stevens
U.S. Supreme Court
June 26, 2008
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"'[K]eep and bear arms' thus perfectly describes the responsibilities of a framing-era militia member.

This reading is confirmed by the fact that the clause protects only one right, rather than two. It does not describe a right 'to keep arms' and a separate right 'to bear arms.' Rather, the single right that it does describe is both a duty and a right to have arms available and ready for military service, and to use them for military purposes when necessary. ... Different language surely would have been used to protect nonmilitary use and possession of weapons from regulation if such an intent had played any role in the drafting of the Amendment."

Justice John Paul Stevens
U.S. Supreme Court
June 26, 2008
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"Americans overwhelmingly do not want concealed carry permits to be easier to acquire, with 73% opposing easy permit requirements. In fact, more than 40 percent of Americans support a nationwide ban on the carrying of concealed firearms."

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"Self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day, ... and in Heller, we held that individual self-defense is 'the central component' of the Second Amendment right. ... Explaining that 'the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute' in the home, ibid., we found that this right applies to handguns because they are 'the most preferred firearm in the nation to "keep" and use for protection of one's home and family,' .... Thus, we concluded, citizens must be permitted 'to use [handguns] for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.'"

Justice Samuel Alito
U.S. Supreme Court
June 28, 2010
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"The right to keep and bear arms was considered no less fundamental by those who drafted and ratified the Bill of Rights. 'During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric.' ... Federalists responded, not by arguing that the right was insufficiently important to warrant protection but by contending that the right was adequately protected by the Constitution's assignment of only limited powers to the Federal Government. ... Thus, Antifederalists and Federalists alike agreed that the right to bear arms was fundamental to the newly formed system of government."

Justice Samuel Alito
U.S. Supreme Court
June 28, 2010
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"Applying what is now a well-settled test, the plurality opinion concludes that the right to keep and bear arms applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause because it is 'fundamental' to the American 'scheme of ordered liberty,' and 'deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition,' .... I agree with that description of the right. But I cannot agree that it is enforceable against the States through a clause that speaks only to 'process.' Instead, the right to keep and bear arms is a privilege of American citizenship that applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause."

Justice Clarence Thomas
U.S. Supreme Court
June 28, 2010
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"In my view, taking Heller as a given, the Fourteenth Amendment does not incorporate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for purposes of private self-defense. Under this Court's precedents, to incorporate the private self-defense right the majority must show that the right is, e.g., 'fundamental to the American scheme of justice,' .... And this it fails to do."

Justice Stephen Breyer
U.S. Supreme Court
June 28, 2010
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"Moreover, there is no reason here to believe that incorporation of the private self-defense right will further any other or broader constitutional objective. We are aware of no argument that gun-control regulations target or are passed with the purpose of targeting 'discrete and insular minorities.' ... Nor will incorporation help to assure equal respect for individuals. Unlike the First Amendment's rights of free speech, free press, assembly, and petition, the private self-defense right does not comprise a necessary part of the democratic process that the Constitution seeks to establish. ... Unlike the First Amendment's religious protections, the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Fifth and Sixth Amendments' insistence upon fair criminal procedure, and the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishments, the private self-defense right does not significantly seek to protect individuals who might otherwise suffer unfair or inhumane treatment at the hands of a majority. Unlike the protections offered by many of these same Amendments, it does not involve matters as to which judges possess a comparative expertise, by virtue of their close familiarity with the justice system and its operation. And, unlike the Fifth Amendment's insistence on just compensation, it does not involve a matter where a majority might unfairly seize for itself property belonging to a minority."

Justice Stephen Breyer
U.S. Supreme Court
June 28, 2010
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"There are many like me, and fewer of them would be alive today were it not for exercise of their gun rights. In fact law-abiding citizens in America used guns in self-defense 2.5 million times during 1993 (about 6,850 times per day), and actually shot and killed 2 1/2 times as many criminals as police did (1,527 to 606). Those civilian self-defense shootings resulted in less than 1/5th as many incidents as police where an innocent person was mistakenly identified as a criminal (2% versus 11%)."

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"It's critical that you ground your messaging around gun violence prevention by making that emotional connection. Don't skip past emotional arguments and lapse into a passionless public policy voice. And don't make the gun violence debate seem as if it is a political 'food fight' between two interest groups. ...

Our first task is to draw a vivid portrait and make an emotional connection. We should rely on emotionally powerful language, feelings and images to bring home the terrible impact of gun violence. Compelling facts should be used to back up that emotional narrative, not as a substitute for it."

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"Statistics, properly used, can be a powerful way to make people understand the human reach and impact of gun violence in America. But they should always be used to undergird an emotionally persuasive case.

Never let a dry recitation of the facts disguise the fact that you are deeply saddened and moved by the terrible human toll that gun violence claims."

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Commentary or Blog Post

"The Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday that a District of Columbia ban on handgun ownership is unconstitutional appears to be solidly in step with public opinion. A clear majority of the U.S. public -- 73% -- believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns. And almost 7 out of 10 Americans are opposed to a law that...

This article looks at non-homicide crime data from Canada in an effort to debunk the myth that guns are more dangerous than other weapons. The author concludes that, "[a]nalyses of Statistics Canada data for 2003, the most recent year these data are available, show that violent crimes involving firearms typically result in fewer injuries, and less serious injuries...

"Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation 'Fast and Furious' to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.

In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the 'big fish.' But ATF whistleblowers told CBS...

This article looks at the history of gun control in England and its impact on crime rate. The author determines that gun control has left English citizen barely able to protect themselves and done nothing but increase the rate of violent crimes.

After looking at and dispelling various myths perpetuated by the mainstream media with regard to firearms, this article concludes that, "[t]he basic premise of the gun control movement, that easy access to guns causes higher crime, is contradicted by the facts, by history and by reason. Let's hope more people are catching...

"If you own a gun in Illinois, take precautions. The state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, wants to release the names of guns owners in response to an Associated Press request. Publication of that list would tell the criminal class where the guns are, which could be useful to two different sorts of lawbreakers: gun thieves who want to know where the guns are and burglars who want to know where...

The author discusses the disposition of a court case challenging the District of Columbia's gun ban. It cites a study by Harvard which demonstrates that countries in Europe with strict gun control have some of the highest murder rates.

This article gives a brief rundown of the history of concealed carry, including references to various studies and statistics demonstrating its benefits to society as a whole.

The author responds to the Mcdonald v City of Chicago ruling and opines as to what standards of review will henceforth be appropriate when considering firearm regulations.

"The Aurora, Colo., shooting spree will fuel fresh calls for gun control, but changes in laws are unlikely, partly because of a lack of support for new measures in Congress and among the public at large, people on both sides of the debate said Friday."

This is a press release issued announcing the results of a study on the effects of Florida's concealed carry law. The release includes the findings of the study that criminals apply and are approved for concealed carry permits and then often go on to commit crimes.

This article is in response to the recent gun-show "raid" performed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office. The author opines that in light of the failure of many gun-show vendors to follow laws, further enforcement of current laws, including  the "gun-show loophole," is required.

"Last week's horrific crime in Aurora, Colo., has, predictably enough, prompted many leftist politicians and commentators to call for more antigun laws. Actually, that's not quite right. Rather than directly call for more antigun laws, some of them are complaining about the absence of a debate over gun control. Where's the 'searching conversation over what rational steps can be taken by individuals, communities and various levels of government to make the recurrence of a comparable tragedy less likely'? the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne wants to know."

This article tells the tale of Hale DeMar and his path from victim of a burglary, armed citizen, criminal, and finally plaintiff in court cases challenging gun bans. Throughout, the author informs the reader as to the state of gun law in the nation, even touching on the collective vs private-right debate.

States with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun death according to a new analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) of just-released 2006 national data (the most recent available) from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

This post presents information on the recent ruling of the Supreme Court in McDonald v Chicago. It also includes released statements from various libertarian and conservative organizations.

"The Second Amendment is clear. The right to keep and carry a firearm shall not be infringed. However current state law clearly does infringe that right by requiring that anyone who wishes to carry, yet not publicly display, the weapon can only do so if he or she has first applied to the government for a permit...

"Numerous studies have shown that gun shows are not a significant source of guns used in crime. Ignoring this evidence, some gun control activists claim that 70 percent of the guns used in crimes come from shows. And Handgun Control, Inc. asserts that '25-50 percent of the vendors at most gun shows are unlicensed dealers.'"

"There is a remarkable academic consensus that the original meaning of the 14th Amendment protected an individual right to keep and bear arms against interference by state governments. Yesterday's Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago affirmed that this is indeed the case. It is, therefore, a great victory for enforcing the original meaning of the Constitution. Thankfully for the rights of Americans, the Chicago gun ban at issue will soon be consigned to the dust bin of history."

"The insurrectionist idea undermines the most important idea in American political philosophy: political equality. The concept that one citizen's vote is as important as the next is America's bedrock principle and the gift that our Founders gave to the rest of the world in the Declaration of Independence. When political violence is used to undermine that principle, it corrodes our basic democratic institutions, including the rule of law (see CSGV's 'Insurrectionism Timeline'). This fact sheet is intended to provide talking points to patriotic Americans who—either in debate or discussion—want to speak out against 'Second Amendment remedies' in a direct and informed manner."

"It may not come as surprising news to many of you that the United Nations doesn’t approve of our Second Amendment. Not one bit. And they very much hope to do something about it with help from some powerful American friends. Under the guise of a proposed global 'Small Arms Treaty' premised to fight 'terrorism', 'insurgency' and 'international crime syndicates' you can be quite certain that an...

Chart or Graph

This chart shows that the percentage of Americans in favor of stricter gun sale laws has declined over the past 20 years.

As can be seen, there is no clear pattern between gun ownership and murder rates.

According to this Gallup poll chart, the percentage of Americans claiming to possess guns in their homes has been on the decline since the 1960s.

"A clear majority of the U.S. public -- 73% -- believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns."

This chart shows many of the common firearms restrictions that are used and in what percent of cities they are used.

"A mid-1980s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study of convicted felons in 12 state prisons found that criminals purchased firearms at gun shows so rarely that those purchases were not worth reporting as a separate category."

"The analysis reveals that the five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, and Nevada."

"How could governments kill so many people? The governments had the power - and the people, the victims, were unable to resist. The victims were unarmed."

"A survey of 1,874 felons in 10 states found that most worry more about meeting an armed victim than about running into the police."

A study shows that contrary to some arguments, the majority of people who are killed by guns are not people that are inclined to be around the house like family members or significant others.

Analysis Report White Paper

This study includes a background on concealed carry, including "may issue vs shall issue" states. It also includes fact to bolster the claim that more liberal concealed carry laws lead to more crime.

"During 2000--2002, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force), an independent nonfederal task force, conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury. The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified...

"This essay first explores the body of colonial and early national militia law as the source of the practice, obligation, and language of keeping arms. The second section compares the legal regulation of gun ownership under the emergency military powers and the civil police powers of the colonial and early national state. It concludes by considering the use of the...

"Title XI of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (the Crime Control Act) took effect on September 13, 1994. Subtitle A banned the manufacture, transfer, and possession of designated semiautomatic assault weapons. It also banned 'large-capacity' magazines, which were defined as ammunition feeding devices designed to hold more...

"Firearms are used to commit as many as 650,000 crimes each year. But firearms are also used to prevent crimes as many as one million each year. In fact, criminals are three times more likely to be killed by armed victims who resist them than by the policy. Would tougher gun control laws make our lives safer? Fair appraisal of the issue requires us to put aside...

"Most states issue permits to carry a concealed handgun for lawful protection to an applicant who is over twenty-one years of age, and who passes a fingerprint-based background check and a safety class. These permits allow the person to carry a concealed defensive handgun almost everywhere in the state. Should professors, school teachers, or adult...

This guide is intended to help organizations and individuals choose effective arguments and language when communicating with the public on behalf of stronger public policies to prevent gun violence.

"It is commonly estimated that more than 20,000 federal, state, and local firearms laws are on the books in this country, and more are being written all the time. There is little evidence that these laws have restrained crime. Nor is there much reason to believe that still more laws would produce additional public benefit. The reasons why are examined in this study...

"'Shall issue' right-to-carry concealed weapons laws require authorities to issue concealed-weapons permits, allowing the permit holder to carry a concealed handgun, to anyone who applies, unless the applicant has a criminal record or a history of mental illness. The shall-issue laws are state laws, applicable to all counties within the state. In contrast, states...

"Thousands of gun shows take place in the U.S. each year. Gun control advocates argue that because sales at gun shows are much less regulated than other sales, such shows make it easier for potential criminals to obtain a gun. Similarly, one might be concerned that gun shows would exacerbate suicide rates by providing individuals considering suicide with a more lethal means of ending their...

"This information brief reviews major research studies on the effects of enacting 'shall-issue' laws which govern the licensing of people to carry concealed firearms."

"In this study, I examine crime trends in Commonwealth countries that have recently introduced firearm regulations: i.e., Great Britain, Australia, and Canada. The widely ignored key to evaluating firearm regulations is to examine trends in total violent crime, not just firearms crime. Since firearms are only a small fraction of criminal violence, the public would...

"This paper uses state-level data from 1984–96 to examine how right-to-carry laws and waiting periods affect the felonious deaths of police. Some people oppose concealed weapons carry laws because they believe these laws jeopardize law enforcement officials, who risk their lives to protect the citizenry. This paper strongly rejects this contention. States that...

"The United States Supreme Court has decided only one significant case involving the Second Amendment, and that was almost 70 years ago. Next week, the Court will return to the issue when it hears arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller. This is a test case brought by a D.C. special police officer who carries a gun while on duty."

"International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths. ... Unfortunately, such discussions are all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative. It...

Video/Podcast/Media

"The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, in which a 1976 law was challenged that had the effect of banning handguns in the District of Columbia. The Court will decide the central meaning of the Second Amendment's "right of the people to keep and bear arms," and whether it is an individual right or a right in relation to...

"Facts of the Case:

Several suits were filed against Chicago and Oak Park in Illinois challenging their gun bans after the Supreme Court issued its opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller. In that case, the Supreme Court held that a District of Columbia handgun ban violated the Second Amendment. There, the Court...

John Lott, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Jim Kessler, Director of Americans for Gun Safety, debated the necessity and effectiveness of laws restricting the ownership, sale and carry of firearms.

"Last year, a federal appeals court overturned the District of Columbia's ban on handguns. Now the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the case after nearly seventy years of silence on the Second Amendment. Observers expect the Court to finally settle the legal question of whether the constitutional 'right of the people to keep and bear arms' is an individual right held...

"Alan Gura, counsel in DC v Heller and now McDonald v Chicago discusses what the effect this latest case could have on the Second Amendment. Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation also weighs in."

"On June 28th, 2010, the Supreme Court dealt a massive blow to Chicago's 28-year-old ban on handguns. Chicago's Mayor, Richard Daley, insists the ban is integral to fighting crime. But just how effective are gun bans? And would letting citizens arm themselves be a more effective way in dealing with crime?"

"In this powerful documentary produced by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, you will learn how governments have historically deprived people of firearms ... and then wiped them from the face of the Earth." - Amazon.com

"Down on the boardwalk, we interview a few young Americans to find out what they know about the Constitution of the United States. Can you answer the questions? Does it matter?"

"We ask moms on the street what they know about the Constitution. Can you answer the questions? Does it matter?"

"The controlled study documented in these videos show that concealed carry permit holders are fooling themselves if they think they will be able to react effectively to armed aggressors. Most CCW holders won't even be able to un-holster their gun. They will more likely be killed themselves or kill innocent bystanders than stop the aggressor. For more details, see '...

"On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court rediscovered the Second Amendment. More than five years after six Washington, D.C. residents challenged the city's 32-year-old ban on all functional firearms in the home, the Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller that the law is unconstitutional. Cato Institute Senior Fellow Robert A. Levy comments on the ruling and what...

"Judge Laurence Silberman explains the origins of his ruling against the ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. He explains, 'It wasn't a right to bear arms granted by the Constitution, it was a right that was protected by the Constitution.'"

Primary Document

Transcript of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution.

This case revolved around several murders performed by an allegedly insane man. The case dealt with Due Process of law, but it also had implications for self-defense, for the opinion declared that "there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen."

"U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today announced that next week she will introduce the Common-Sense Concealed Firearms Act of 2011, which would require all states that allow residents to carry concealed weapons in public to have minimum standards for granting permits."

"The Slaughter-House Cases was wrong when it was decided. It ignored the fundamental change in constitutional order represented by the Union victory in the Civil War and subsequent amendment to the Constitution. It ignored all relevant legislative history, rendered the Privileges or Immunities Clause redundant of the Supremacy Clause, and failed to give effect to...

"The horrible facts of this case are contained in the complaint that respondent Jessica Gonzales filed in Federal District Court. ... Respondent alleges that petitioner, the town of Castle Rock, Colorado, violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution when its police officers, acting pursuant to official policy or custom, failed to respond...

"We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking his blessing on our work, do ordain and establish this constitution."

This opinion declared that "[a] State's failure to protect an individual against private violence generally does not constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause, because the Clause imposes no duty on the State to provide members of the general public with adequate protective services. The Clause is phrased as a limitation on the State's power to act, not as a guarantee of certain minimal...

This is the opinion issued by the Supreme Court that invalidated Washington, DC's gun ban and established the Second Amendment as an individual right, as opposed to a collective right.

This is a comprehensive listing of all federal firearm laws and regulations.

In this Federalist Paper, Hamilton argues for the need to restrain the legislature's authority with regard to defense, and that armed citizens are the last line of defense for liberty.

Alexander Hamilton (under the pseudonym Publius) extols the necessity of having the Commander-in-Chief be in charge of the militia, and also argues the benefits of an armed citizenry.

Writing under the pseudonym "Publius" James Madison discusses the relationship between the federal and state governments, concluding that "the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual States, as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes...

"Congress has debated the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition, with strong advocates arguing for and against greater gun control. In the wake of the July 20, 2012, Aurora, CO, theater mass shooting, in which 12 people were shot to death and 58 wounded (7 of them critically) by a lone gunman, it is likely that there will be calls in the 112th Congress to reconsider a 1994 ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices that expired in September 2004."

"Our law is that in the absence of a special relationship, such as exists when a victim is in custody or the police have promised to protect a particular person, law enforcement agencies and personnel have no duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others; instead their duty is to preserve the peace and arrest law breakers for the protection of the general public."

While this case primarily revolved around the Second Amendment issue of gun ownership, the case was decided in regards to issues found in the Fourteenth Amendment. The main opinion was written by Justice Alito and declared that "the Due Process Clause of the...

"This appeal presents, in a very sympathetic framework, the issue of the liability of a municipality for failure to provide special protection to a member of the public who was repeatedly threatened with personal harm and eventually suffered dire personal injuries for lack of such protection."

"We, the Representatives of the people inhabiting the western part of the Mississippi Territory, contained within the following limits, to wit: Beginning on the River Mississippi at the point where the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee strikes the same; thence east along the said boundary line to the Tennessee River; thence up the same to the mouth of Bear Creek; thence, by a...

"If I had only to discuss academic principles. I should clearly not attempt an autobiography. But my purpose being to give an account of various practical applications of these principles, I have given the chapters I propose to write the title of The Story of My Experiments with Truth. These will of course include experiments with non-violence, celibacy and other principles of conduct...

"The respective trial judges held that the police were under no specific legal duty to provide protection to the individual appellants ... and dismissed the complaints for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. ... However, in a split decision a three judge division of this court determined that appellants Warren, Taliaferro and Nichol were owed a special duty of care by...

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