, , , , ,

2ndamendmentWhile the American right to arms has for a century been controversial in courts, scholarship, and the popular press, its history has never before been explored by a documentary. ‘In Search of the Second Amendment‘ is the first documentary on the history of the American right to arms. Twelve law professors, including four of the biggest names in Constitutional Law, lay out the history of the individual right.

In Search of the Second Amendment is based on the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. It was produced and directed by American author and attorney David T. Hardy. He argues the individual rights model of the Second Amendment. Hardy also discusses the Fourteenth Amendment.

Outline of the documentary (see documentary below):

How Did You Become Interested in the Second Amendment?
  • Legal Scholarship and the Second Amendment
England and the Militia
  • Duty to be Armed
A Medieval Duty Becomes an “Antient[1] and Indubitable Right”
Rights of Englishmen, Rights of Americans

The Right Is Challenged as Revolution Approaches
The First State Constitutions Give Different Models for a Right to Arms
A Proposal for a New Constitution Leads to Calls for a National Right to Arms
  • The Constitutional Convention and the Bill of Rights
  • State Ratification and Declaration of Rights Proposals
  • Virginia and the Demand for a Bill of Rights
  • The Compromise and James Madison
  • Drafting of the Right to Arms
  • The Militia and Standing Armies
In the First Congress, James Madison Fulfills the Great Compromisegreat-compromise

So What’s the Debate? Tracing the Origin of the Belief that the 2nd Amendment Relates to a State’s Right to have a National Guard
The 14th Amendment Creates a New Guarantee of the Right to Arms: The Afro–American Experience
Civil Rights Movement
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Symposium on the Right to Arms
  • Meaning of “The People” Revisited
  • Dred Scott Revisited
  • A New View of Standing Armies and Militias
  • The Fourteenth Amendment Revisited
  • Republican and Democratic Party Platforms on the Right to Arms
  • Freedmen’s Bureau Act of 1866 Revisited
  • 18th and 19th Century Interpretation of the Second Amendment
Governments, Genocides, and Utility of the Right
  • Armed Resistance and Genocide
  • Protection from Different Sources of Oppression
  • Frequency of Defensive Gun Uses and Crimes Committed
  • Guns and Number of Lives Saved vs. Lives Taken
  • Police and the Legal Duty to Protect the Public
  • Warren v. District of Columbia (1981)
  • View of Fellow Citizens
  • Effectiveness of Defensive Gun Use
  • Right of Self–defense and the Right to Arms
  • Protecting the Second Amendment and Other Rights




Persons appearing in the documentary

Professors of law
Professor School
Akhil Amar Yale Law School
Randy Barnett Boston University School of Law
Robert Cottrol George Washington University Law School
Brannon Denning Cumberland School of Law
Nicholas Johnson Fordham University School of Law
Sanford Levinson University of Texas School of Law
Nelson Lund George Mason University School of Law
Joyce Lee Malcolm George Mason University School of Law
Joseph Olson Hamline University School of Law
Daniel Polsby George Mason University School of Law
Glenn Harlan Reynolds University of Tennessee College of Law
Eugene Volokh UCLA School of Law
Professors of criminology
Professor School
Gary Kleck Florida State University
Name Background
Carol Bambery Attorney, NRA Director
Clayton Cramer Historian, author
Sandy Froman Attorney, NRA President
Stephen Halbrook Attorney, Second Amendment author
David T. Hardy Attorney, Second Amendment author
Roy Innis National Chairman of CORE, NRA Director
Don Kates Civil rights attorney, author
Dave Kopel Attorney, Research Director of Independence Institute
Larry Pratt Author, Executive Director of GOA

External links:



In Search of the Second Amendment

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Constitution of the United States (1787) – Heritage Foundation

Bill of Rights Transcript Text

The James Madison Research Library and Information Center

Robert F. Williams, Negroes With Guns, Ch. 3-5, 1962