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That Every Man Be Armed

The Evolution of a Constitutional Right. Revised and Updated Edition.

Stephen P. Halbrook

Publication Year: 2013

That Every Man Be Armed, the first scholarly book on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, has played a significant role in constitutional debate and litigation since it was first published in 1984. Halbrook traces the right to bear arms from ancient Greece and Rome to the English republicans, then to the American Revolution and Constitution, through the Reconstruction period extending the right to African Americans, and onward to today’s controversies. With reviews of recent literature and court decisions, this new edition ensures that Halbrook’s study remains the most comprehensive general work on the right to keep and bear arms.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

Front Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4

Copyright

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pp. 5-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface to the Revised and Updated Edition

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pp. ix-xiii

This book was originally published the same year as the title of the novel 1984, an epoch when the Second Amendment was mired in Orwellian Doublespeak in polite academic and judicial society. The plain words “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be ...

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Preface to the Original Edition

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pp. xv-xviii

Between 1981 and 1984, handgun bans were enacted in Morton Grove, Evanston, and Oak Park, all suburbs of Chicago. In the same period, bans on pistols and revolvers were defeated in Skokie and a half dozen other Chicago suburbs. On the west coast, San Francisco sought to prohibit ...

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Introduction: Firearms Prohibition and Constitutional Rights

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pp. xix-xxiii

The United States Supreme Court has recently reiterated that the right to keep and bear arms is one of many other “specific guarantees . . . provided in the Constitution.” More specifically, the Court listed these rights: “the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom from unreasonable searches and ...

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CHAPTER 1: THE ELEMENTARY BOOKS OF PUBLIC RIGHT

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pp. 1-34

The right of the citizen to keep arms has roots deep in history. The American Revolution was sparked at Lexington and Concord, and in Virginia, by British attempts to disarm the individual and hence the militia. Thomas Jefferson once wrote that the authority of the Declaration of Independence rested “on the harmonizing sentiments of ...

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CHAPTER 2: THE COMMON LAW OF ENGLAND

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pp. 35-56

English legal history has often embodied a classic tension between those ancient customs and judicial decisions known as the common law and the instruments of monarchial absolutism expressed in statutory law and royal proclamations. This tension reflects a recurring political struggle between the commoner, who insisted that his rights be ...

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CHAPTER 3: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT

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pp. 57-95

Strongly influenced by the philosophical classics and vigorously insisting on their common-law rights, the Americans who participated in the Revolution of 1776 and adopted the Bill of Rights held the individual right to have and use arms against tyranny to be fundamental. British firearms control policies that had been originally established ...

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CHAPTER 4: ANTEBELLUM INTERPRETATIONS

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pp. 96-116

In the period of American history extending from the adoption of the Constitution to the War between the States, the act of keeping and bearing arms was treated as a virtually unquestioned right of each individual citizen. The fundamental right to have arms was based, in part, on the political lessons of the Revolutionary experience. “None but an ...

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CHAPTER 5: FREEDMEN, FIREARMS, AND THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT

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pp. 117-172

After the conclusion of the War Between the States, judicial commentators continued to interpret the Second Amendment as protection of an individual right from both state and federal infringement. The right to keep and bear arms and other freedoms in the Bill of Rights were viewed as common-law rights explicitly protected by the ...

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CHAPTER 6: THE SUPREME COURT SPEAKS

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pp. 173-201

In Cummings v. Missouri(1867)1 the Supreme Court held that a state’s test oath was unconstitutional as a bill of attainder and ex post facto law. Analyzing civil rights protected by the Constitution, the Court stated: ...

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CHAPTER 7: STATE AND FEDERAL JUDICIAL DECISIONS

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pp. 202-217

For over a century now since Reconstruction, state courts have rendered comprehensive analyses and a large number of opinions involving the nature of the right to keep and bear arms, more so than have the U.S. Supreme Court and the lower federal courts combined. ...

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Afterword: Public Policy and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

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pp. 219-224

"Our War of the Revolution was, in good measure, fought as a protest against standing armies. Moreover, it was fought largely with a civilian army, the militia,” wrote Earl Warren in The Bill of Rights and The Military (1962).1 Warren’s remark came ...

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Update to the New Edition

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pp. 225-231

This book originally appeared in the aftermath of the unprecedented handgun ban passed by Morton Grove, Illinois, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld in 1982 on the basis that the Second Amendment did not protect individual possession ...

Notes

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pp. 233-299

Index

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pp. 301-312

Back Cover

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p. 338-338


E-ISBN-13: 9780826352996
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826352989

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2013

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Subject Headings

  • Firearms -- Law and legislation -- United States.
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