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Vol 22 No 2 Feb/March 2017

Book of the Month

Cover of Spencer Bower: Reliance-Based Estoppel

Spencer Bower: Reliance-Based Estoppel

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The Militia and the Right to Arms, Or, How the Second Amendment Fell Silent

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ISBN13: 9780822330318
ISBN: 0822330318
Published: July 2005
Publisher: Duke University Press
Format: Hardback
Price: £79.00

The Second Amendment is regularly invoked by opponents of gun control, but H. Richard Uviller and William G. Merkel argue the Amendment has nothing to contribute to debates over private access to firearms. In ""The Militia and the Right to Arms, or, How the Second Amendment Fell Silent"", Uviller and Merkel show how post-ratification history has sapped the Second Amendment of its meaning. Starting with a detailed examination of the political principles of the founders, the authors build the case that the Amendment's second clause (declaring the right to bear arms) depends entirely on the premise set out in the Amendment's first clause (stating that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state). The authors demonstrate that the militia envisioned by the framers of the Bill of Rights in 1789 has long since disappeared from the American scene, leaving no lineal descendants. The constitutional right to bear arms, Uviller and Merkel conclude, has evaporated along with the vanished universal militia of the 18th century.

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Introduction; 1: Arms, the Man, and the Militia: the History of a Concept; The Social and Judicial Foundations of the Dispute; The Militia Ideal in the Historiography of the American Revolution; Madisonian Structuralism: The Place of the Militia in the New American Science of Government; 2: From Militia to National Guard; The Decay of the Old Militia; The Era of the Volunteers; The United States Army and the United States National Guard, 1903-1999; 3: The Meaning of Meaning; Text and Context; A Few Other Theories Briefly Considered; A Post Script: The Emerson Case