3
Impediments to More Gun Controls

The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defense, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed bylaw…andis indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and selfpreservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression. —William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England

Americans also have a right to defend their homes, and we need not challenge that. Nor does anyone seriously question that the Constitution protects the right of hunters to own and keep sporting guns for hunting game any more than anyone would challenge the right to own and keep fishing rods and other equipment for fishing—or to own automobiles. To “keep and bear arms” for hunting today is essentially a recreational activity and not an imperative of survival, as it was 200 years ago; “Saturday Night Specials” and machine guns are not recreational weapons and surely are as much in need of regulation as motor vehicles. —Former U. S. Supreme Court chief justice

Warren E. Burger, “The Right to Bear Arms”

That the Second Amendment poses no barrier to strong gun laws is perhaps the most well-settled proposition in American constitutional law.

—Former solicitor general and Harvard Law School dean Erwin Griswold, “Phantom Second Amendment Rights”

-37-

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Can Gun Control Work?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Contents xv
  • I - Essential Background 1
  • 1 - Dissecting the Gun Problem 3
  • 2 - Existing Gun Controls 19
  • 3 - Impediments to More Gun Controls 37
  • II - America's Dominant Gun Control Paradigm 59
  • 4 - The Politics of the Brady Law 61
  • 5 - What the Brady Law Says 77
  • 6 - Holes in the Brady Law 99
  • 7 - Evaluating the Brady Law 111
  • III - Policy Options for the Future 123
  • 8 - Closing the Gun Show and Secondary Market Loophole 125
  • 9 - Comprehensive Licensing and Registration 137
  • 10 - Prohibition and Disarmament 153
  • 11 - Other Gun Control Strategies 171
  • 12 - Creating Gun-Free Public Spaces 197
  • 13 - Conclusion: The “Problem” Reconsidered 213
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 263
  • Index 279
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