The volume before you now represents not only my work, but also the help, suggestions, and legwork of many others, without whose assistance it would not have come together in its present form. Professor Daniel Markwyn's suggestions and pointers to primary sources have been invaluable in bringing together the rich variety of materials in the original intent chapters; even more important was his encouragement to tackle a task that was larger than either of us realized.
The process of locating up to date case law citations for the various states was a major undertaking; without the assistance of my many correspondents around the United States, this task would have been far more expensive in time and money. The following have been of assistance in locating these indispensable starting points for legal research: Kirk Webb ( Colorado); Michael Plowinske ( New York & Vermont); David Robinson ( Tennessee); Spencer Garrett ( Washington); Dave Chesler ( Massachusetts); Joseph McConnell ( Michigan); Mike Rose ( Maryland); John Donahue ( Maine); and Drew Betz ( Ohio). Professor Joseph St. Sauver at the University of Oregon, Professor Preston Covey at Carnegie-Mellon University, and Jack Schudel, were kind enough to send me recent revisions to the Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Florida concealed weapons permit laws; Donald Newcomb sent me the National Firearms Act hearings. Andy Freeman provided me with Marcus Kavanagh's The Criminal and His Allies. Similarly, Wayne Warf's provision of Andrew Fletcher's works concerning the militia was much appreciated.
My colleagues Allan Clarke and Ron Kennemer looked over the manuscript at an early stage, and made useful suggestions. My wife Rhonda provided substantial assistance in locating information relating to slavery, civil rights, and racial fear, in addition to reviewing and thoroughly critiquing not only the writing, but also the organizational scheme of this book, and then assisting me in the grueling task of cutting it down to its current size. As the book reached its final form, Chris Hansen made a number of useful grammatical and stylistic suggestions. My children Hilary and James have, with good humor, accepted that all their father's spare time would be lost for a year.