Gun Control: A Documentary and Reference Guide

Gun Control: A Documentary and Reference Guide

Gun Control: A Documentary and Reference Guide

Gun Control: A Documentary and Reference Guide

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to bring together a wide variety of documents, organized both by chronology and subject, in order to provide the reader with a fuller understanding of the history, evolution, scope, and consequences of the issue of gun control. The great emphasis on documents in this book is especially important for this subject matter because it allows the reader to examine these sources firsthand instead of relying on someone else’s account of what these documents say. This proves to be of particular value to the reader because so much of the writing and commentary on the contentious gun issue centers on what the nation’s founders did and said, on laws, court cases, and other documents that may or may not be described accurately in public writings on the issue.

Chapter 1 begins with founding-era documents up to the formulation and debate concerning the adoption of the modern Constitution. Chapter 2 picks up with the Bill of Rights, centering on the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms enshrined in that amendment, focusing in particular on the critically important debate in the First Congress, followed by the federal government’s efforts to effectuate national defense and effective militia service. This chapter also includes early state gun regulations, some of which read very much like contemporary gun laws. Chapter 3 excerpts early, and often neglected, Supreme Court rulings on the meaning of the Second Amendment from the nineteenth century. State court decisions pertaining to gun regulations and rights are examined in chapter 4, and chapter 5 examines twentieth century Supreme Court cases on the Second Amendment and militias, and concludes with the most recent—and significant—high court ruling from 2008 (which is of course in the twenty-first century), D.C. v. Heller. Chapter 6 turns to lower federal court rulings, Chapter 7 examines modern federal gun laws, and Chapter 8 provides the texts of state right-to-bear-arms-type provisions, along with party platform excerpts pertaining to gun issues.

The style of document presentation is uniform throughout this book. Each document is introduced by an outline giving the name of the document to follow, the document’s date, its location, and a brief summary of its significance. The document is then reprinted, sometimes in edited form (a necessary step given the sheer length . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.