The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Author Adam Winkler, a professor of Constitutional law, uses the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, which invalidated a law banning handguns in the nation's capital, as a springboard for a historical narrative of America's four-centuries-long political battle over gun control and the right to bear arms. From the Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment to the origins of the Ku Klux Klan, ironically as a gun control organization, the debate over guns has always generated controversy. Whether examining the Black Panthers' role in provoking the modern gun rights movement or Ronald Reagan's efforts to curtail gun ownership, Winkler weaves together the dramatic stories of gun rights advocates and gun control lobbyists, providing often unexpected insights into the venomous debate that now cleaves our nation.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Co., c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393077414
Characteristics: xi, 361 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Gun fight


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 27, 2016

I recommend it. Winkler follows the progress of Heckler v Washington DC to the final supreme court case all the while going back through American history to tell the story of gun regulation in this country. The solution to gun violence will require a very rare commodity these days: compromise.

unbalancedbutfair Aug 09, 2013

Easily one of the fairest books on this subject. It follows the legislative track of Heller V DC showing the behind the scenes aspects of the legislation. Along the way the book traces the history of firearms and the people who care deeply about them. Whether that care is hatred or adoration, or somewhere in between. I do think the author's biases unfortunately bleed through. The worst example I saw was equating registration laws that required all males of age to own and maintain firearms due to militia service in the 18th century with modern calls for registrations of anyone who happens to own a firearm. There are very large very important differences between these practices and to equate them indicates a slight bias against firearms. Still. In general he has written an informative, readable account of issues and idiocy on both sides of the debate and for that he deserves applause. Anyone who wants a picture of this debate would be well served by adding this to their reading in the area.

Mar 25, 2013

Well written, fairly balanced overview of the two hardened American extremes of gun ownership vs. gun control. Written by a professor of law at the University of California, it is nevertheless easy to follow the historical arguments, contradictions and absurdities put forth by both sides of a debate at the core of the American reality that puzzles and confuses the rest of the world.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at MenloPark

To Top