The Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Fall, 2013 ~ St James Place, Theater Room~ 9:30-11:30 Thursdays

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,
the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. (1791)



1)   History and Text
      The British background
      The background in the colonies

      Writing and adopting the Second Amendment

2)   Court Cases
      Early understandings
      Hunting and sports

      The rise of the arms industry and firearm interest groupsFirearms and politics
       Firearms and the media

3)   Gun Violence
        Firearms and self-defense
        Firearms and crime
        Guns and mass murders

4)   Gun Control Legislation
       Challenges of federalism
       Early legislation
       Later legislation

5)   Firearms and Public opinion
            Public opinion, campaign finances, and interest groups

6)   Solutions and Challenges

Online Resources

 Semester at a Glance - August 23, 2013 [Word] [PDF]

The Second Amendment - The Constitution Annotated

The Bill of Rights 0f 1688

Court Cases Relating to the "Right to Bear Arms" - from Justicia

The Second Amendment - Findlaw Annotation

The Second Amendment - Justia Annotation

The Oyez Project

United States v. Miler (1939)

Developments Since United States v. Miller (1939)

District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)

McDonald v. Chicago (2010)

Google Books link to "Second Amendment" - January 19, 2013
[To update this link please go to and enter "Second Amendment" in the search field.]

The United Nations Treaty - from

Brady Campaign to End  Gun Violence 

Gallup Poll - Public Opinion on Gun Control - May, 2013

Gun Violence Since New Town - Bill Moyers - PBS Program

History of Federal Gun Control Legislation -  PBS

David E. Vandercoy,
"The History of the Second Amendment, " Law Review Article (1994)

Pew Resecarch Center - Reports on Gun Control 

Gun Ownership - National Institute of Justice

Handgun Laws

Concealed Carry Laws - from Wikipedia

Gun Ownership in the United States - Just Facts

Gun Ownership in the United State - National Institute of Justice - Agency of the U.S. Justice Department

Murder Victims--Circumstances and Weapons Used in Cause of Death: 2000 to 2009 - Statistical Abstract

Michael Bellesisles Takes Another Shot - The Chronicle of Higher Education - August 3, 2010

The Potowmack Institute - A website favoring gun control

President Obama's Proposals - August, 2012 - Fact Sheet - Now Is the Time

U.S. Code - Title 32 - National Guard

U.S. Code - Title 10 - Armed Forces - eserve Components - Organization and Administration

Second Amendment definition in Texas school work book triggers uproar- Fox News - September 18, 2013

James Madison, Federalist Number 10 (1787)

Michael Connelly, Commentary on the Second (and Other Amendments) - Video

The Incorporation of the Bill of Rights into the Fourteenth Amendment - from Wikipedia

Gun Deaths in World

History of Gun Legislation

Gun Laws in the United States

 Gun Deaths Since New Town - Slate - June, 2013 

Provisions of the Brady Law  - from the 'Lectric Law Library

More Than 40,000 Stolen Lives - An Examination of Gun Murders in the U.S.  - -
A graphic presentation on gun deaths in the U.S. for 2010 and 2013

Mass Shootings in U.S. History - from The New York Daily News

Pew ResearchCenter - Gun Control 

Conceal and Carry Laws in the U.S. - from Wikipedia

The NRA and Campaign Finance - from Influence Explorer

Mass Killings Since 2006 - from USA Today

Gun Crime Statistics by U.S. State - from The Guardian I

The Second Amendment, Firearms, Violence, and Legislation  - "Slideshow" - PDF)

Firearms Legislation in the United States - National Rifle Association Legislative Action  

Firearms - from the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Agency

Summary of Federal Firearms Laws - U.S. Attorney's Office, U.S,. District Court (Maine)

California and Gun Control Legislation

United States v. Lopez (1994)

CBS Evening News on Mass Murders - Video - November 4, 2013

A Guide to Mass Shooting in America - Mother Jones

Michael Moore, "It's the Guns - But We All Know, It's Not Really the Guns"  - (July, 2012)

Fareed Zakaria, "The Solution to Gun Violence Is Clear" -   Washington Post - December 12, 2012

Gallup Poll on Gun Ownership and  Gun Control

Interview (Jim Engster interviews Michael Waldman, author of The Second Amendment: A Biography
May 28, 2014


Tea Party Congressional Districts - 2012 - from The New Yorker