Law and History Review Vol 22 No 1 Spring 2004
less a right of the states, although clearly the i states rights was closely connected to the fate of militia, but more accurately described as a civic Although Americans extended the right to bear arms who would not have enjoyed this right in Britain,
was hardly universal.
Women, free Africans, resi genuinely individual right
to many the right dent such as
the right generally
Founding era, in most cases
a Quaker might bear a gun against they did not bear arms.12 The civic
of religious conscience, but they included among those who bore arms.
described by Konig, a right
communal defense as part of
a well regulated militia.
rights theorists have stumbled over the the Second Amendment which refers to the
formulation of the Amendment as an individual right exercised collectively comes closer to faithfully translating the dominant understanding of the Amendment the Founding era than does either the modern collective individual rights paradigms. In this sense the right to
in or bear
arms shares some features the right of assembly and
with the original conception of
that citizens act public purpose. 13