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A Well-Regulated Militia – The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America

Saul Cornell


Americans are deeply divided over the Second Amendment. Some assert that the Amendment protects an individual's right to own guns. Others, that it does no more than protect the right of states to maintain militias. This book gives a history of this bitter controversy. It shows that the Founders understood the right to bear arms as neither an individual nor a collective right, but as a civic right — an obligation citizens owed to the state to arm themselves so that they could participate in a well regulated militia. The book shows how the modern “collective right” view of the Second Amendment, ... More

Keywords: Second Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, gun control, militia, constitutional history, Founding Fathers, civic rights, Anti-Federalists, Republicans, Democrats

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780195147865
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195147865.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Saul Cornell, author
Ohio State University
Author Webpage