Halbrook Lauded for Defense of the Constitutional Right to Bear Arms
Washington, DC –-(Ammoland.com)- Three weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment bars the states and their jurisdictions from violating the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, Stephen Halbrook (Research Fellow, The Independent Institute) and Nelson Lund (Professor of George Mason University School of Law) discussed the run-up to the Court’s decision McDonald v. Chicago.
(Video, audio, and a transcript from the June 8 forum, “The Supreme Court and the Battle for Second Amendment Rights,” are available here.)
When attorneys for the City of Chicago presented oral arguments in McDonald, they cited the most racist foes of the Fourteenth Amendment, who opposed granting African Americans a constitutional right to bear arms. Apparently Chicago’s counsel did not know that the Amendment was passed partly so that former slaves could protect themselves from violence perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan and others, explained Halbrook, author of Securing Civil Rights: Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms–a book cited by the Supreme Court’s majority decision in McDonald and its precursor, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).
Nelson Lund focused his presentation on Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority decision in Heller, which struck down D.C.’s handgun ban. Lund lauded Justice Scalia’s citation of Halbrook’s work, but he criticized what he regarded was Scalia’s pragmatic, unprincipled approach in Heller.
Said Lund: “To whatever degree the courts prove willing to protect our constitutional rights in this area, I think we will all owe Steve Halbrook a large debt of gratitude.”
Event video, audio, and transcript
- “Heller, the Second Amendment, and Reconstruction: Protecting All Freedmen or Only Militiamen?” by Stephen P. Halbrook (Santa Clara Law Review, 5/1/10)
- Securing Civil Rights: Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, by Stephen P. Halbrook
- The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, by Stephen P. Halbrook
- That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, by Stephen P. Halbrook
About The Independent Institute
The Independent Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, scholarly research and educational organization that sponsors in-depth studies of critical social and economic issues. The mission of the Independent Institute is to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. Visit: www.independent.org