December 2, 2008
First Books on Heller Published
This summer the Supreme Court had its first opportunity in seven decades to decide a question at the heart of one of America's most impassioned debates: Do Americans have the right to possess guns? Two new books now present a history and legal analysis of the Court's ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008): Brian Doherty's Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle Over the Second Amendment (Cato, December 25, 2008) and the highly recommended The Heller Case: Gun Rights Affirmed by Alan Korwin and David B. Kopel (September 17, 2008).
It's far to early to characterize a work on Heller as definitive but The Heller Case: Gun Rights Affirmed is far more comprehensive than Doherty's Gun Control on Trial. It includes the events from how it all started to eyewitness reports from inside the courtroom -- to the earliest post-case legal briefs, lawsuits, gun-rights theories, statements from officials and news-media coverage following the landmark decision. The work incorporates a thorough description of every gun case the High Court has ever heard -- all 96 -- including 16 self-defense cases rarely mentioned publicly. Anti-rights activists are planning creative interpretations of the decision to continue their disarm-America campaign and that's covered too. Plus, all 67 friend-of-the-court briefs are carefully summarized, and 20 leading Second Amendment experts have contributed essays discussing the case and its implications. [JH]
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