Gunfight: The Battle Over The Right To Bear Arms In America

Hey there reader.  I hope you’re doing great.  I started another book, Gun Fight: The Battle Over The Right To Bear Arms In America by Adam Winkler.  Winkler is a constitutional law professor at UCLA.  

Winkler wrote about the history of guns in America.  He took a sanguine approach and explained the eternal coexistence of gun rights and gun control policies in the US.

Winkler debunked several myths about American gun culture;

Winkler emphasized how the Heller decision recognized the individual right to own guns for self defense under the 2nd Amendment: gun ownership rights weren’t just reserved for state militias, as established in the Miller Decision of 1939.

And since nearly every state constitution already had an individual right to own guns and the 14th Amendment provided equal protection under the law, an individual’s right to own guns were protected under the 2nd Amendment with the Heller decision.

Winkler believed the Heller decision was a win for gun rights and for gun control: Scalia noted gun rights aren’t unlimited and dangerous and unusual weapons could continue to be restricted by states.

The Supreme Court ruled Washington DC’s handgun ban was unconstitutional: handguns are for common use.  Winkler alleged, if Scalia ruled in favor of the militia’s right to own guns instead of the individual, the machine gun ban under the NFA of 1934 would be unconstitutional.  Scalia noted handguns were for self defense of the owner’s home which leaves states open to interpret open and concealed carrying laws.

Ultimately, the Heller decision was a compromise: it answered many gun rights questions but also left many gun control questions for the states to decide.  And Scalia actually used a modern interpretation of the 2nd Amendment disguised as originalism to reach his decision.

I think the Supreme Court got it right: gun rights have always coexisted with gun control.  But in the years following Heller, hundreds of court cases were filed to refute gun laws and nearly all were thrown out.  Winkler wrote a wonderful book here, I encourage everyone who is interested in the gun debate to read it.



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I want to write about new experiences, the people I meet and the things I learn. I moved from Tempe, AZ to Arlington, VA with my dog 5 years ago. We love it here.

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