Armed in America : A History of Gun Rights from Colonial Militias to Concealed Carry

We rated this book:


Fair warning: by the very nature of this compendium of hundreds of years of law, opinion, and argument, this is a tedious, slogging thing to read. Acquire it for reference, for adding to your background of understanding, but do not acquire it for entertainment! There are about three hundred pages of body and just over another two hundred of notes. It is all in an excruciatingly tiny font.

Full disclosure: I was an NRA instructor for a decade and a half and am buying my way to a life membership. So my own second-amendment thinking made me initially a critical reader. The author claims to be presenting the background of the second amendment and its language objectively and dispassionately. To the extent that he has explored the “militia” concept from English origins, long preceding American independence, and presented long-festering disputes thereafter, with the “controllers” almost always in ascendence, abjuring the arming of the lower social classes, he has done a fine job.

It is obvious through his account and quotations that militia was originally a concept of governmental enforcement, often of class exclusion and suppression.

In going forward with the increasingly disparate opinions and obvious (to the reader) evolution of the concept in America, the author’s objectivity can, I believe, be honestly called into question.

Still, an impressive work of scholarship, if somewhat snide in places.

Reviewed By:

Author Patrick J. Charles
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 496 pages
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publish Date 2018-Jan-02
ISBN 9781633883130
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2018
Category Current Events & Politics


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