The recent tragic school shooting in Connecticut has resulted in an outpouring of emotion laden grief, numerous calls for draconian gun control laws, and agitated commentary about the Second Amendment and its intent. Those who visit this blog are most likely looking for historical information to help defend their rights. A few, on the other hand, might be looking for someone to blame for the recent horror or to cast names (in typical Piers Morgan style).
I will address some of the erroneous and misleading claims being made about the Second Amendment in future posts. Any name calling by a commenter will result in a deleted comment.
For those looking for historical information, in addition to the numerous posts of this blog, I recommend reading my recent article, The American Revolutionary Era Origin of the Second Amendment's Clauses, which appeared in the 2011 issue of The Journal on Firearms & Public Policy. This short article traces the Second Amendment's language back to its earliest American authors, usage, context, and intent, and it is fully documented.
For those wanting the Ratification Era period sources in a document collection for their own research, The Origin of the Second Amendment: A Documentary History of the Bill of Rights in Commentaries on Liberty, Free Government, and an Armed Populace, 1787 - 1792, is readily available from Amazon.com in paperback (and also available in a sewn library bound hardcover). The Origin of the Second Amendment is the main document source for the above article as well as my most recent book, The Founders' View of the Right to Bear Arms: A Definitive History of the Second Amendment. Both of my books have been extensively cited in Federal court cases (Origin in Emerson, 2001, and Parker, 2007; both in Heller, 2008).
I have spent a lifetime researching the Second Amendment. Using American historical sources, I have documented the fact that both clauses of the Second Amendment were understood by the founding generation as protecting individual rights. Neither clause related to protecting state authority over the militia because both clauses were based directly on government limiting state declaration of rights provisions. The historical facts supporting these statements are overwhelming and consistent, and they can be found in my article and the two books described above.
The knee jerk reaction of gun control advocates to maniacal shootings is likely a factor in why the problem has not been solved. Every action taken to limit arms possession, the ability to defend oneself, and to create gun free zones by law has failed to stem violence by maniacs, especially in gun free zones. Those disarmed by law cannot defend themselves, and it is not the government's job to defend individuals, nor is the government very good at it.
Public policy should not be based upon hasty action that will not solve the problem being addressed. It should instead be based upon facts, and all relevant facts should be studied. Instead of searching for underlying causes of manic behavior, the intemperate demands for immediate action to do "something" about guns drown out all inquiry or cool reflection. Action should not be based upon the politicized, ideological beliefs of those who hate guns and despise the fundamental rights of American citizens.
For those here seeking historical facts, as well as any seeking someone to blame, I suggest taking note of the information at the SSRI Stories webpage. It presents a mind-boggling collection of school shooting and other maniacal action reports that have linked perpetrators to the use of legal drugs of the Prozac/Luvox class. That this situation has existed without study for decades and has yet to be addressed, largely due to the shrieking demands for gun control after each related tragedy, speaks volumes about why the ideological solutions widely supported by the mainstream media divert all attention away from necessary study of, and changes to, what appears to be a legal drug related catastrophe of the first order.
Shortly after this latest tragedy, I happened to listen to a National Public Radio program that seemed to be set up to discuss the need for gun control. Most of the people who called in during the period I listened instead wanted to discuss the legal psychotropic drug related mania problem. Perhaps there will be some inquiry into the widespread use of this class of drugs and their relationship to manic violence sprees in the near future. This may lead to study that is thorough, relevant, and might actually help prevent the school shooting problem rather than just doing “something” about guns. The latter action is counterproductive for self defense.
Let others know about the SSRI Stories webpage. You might also let others know about my research if they are interested in historical information from an independent Second Amendment scholar.