Showing papers in "Journal on firearms and public policy in 1994"
TL;DR: The hidden history of the Second Amendment is discussed in this article, where it is shown that during the ratification period of 1787-1791, Congress and the states considered two entirely separate groups of amendments to the Constitution.
Abstract: There is a hidden history of the Second Amendment which is long overdue to be written. It is this: during the ratification period of 1787-1791, Congress and the states considered two entirely separate groups of amendments to the Constitution. The first group was a declaration of rights, in which the right of the people to keep and bear arms appeared. The second group, consisting of amendments related to the structure of government, included recognition of the power of states to maintain militias. The former became the Bill of Rights, while the latter was defeated. Somehow, through some Orwellian rewriting of history, as applied to the issues of the right of the people to keep and bear arms and the state militia power, that which was defeated has become the meaning of that which was adopted.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that "sporting purpose" is quite beside the point in gun-control policy if only because combat firearms do in fact enjoy legitimate sporting uses, and argue by counter-example that the assumption that combat firearms serve no legitimate sporting purpose is false.
Abstract: In the context of gun-control policy, what does "sporting purpose" mean? Unfortunately, the term is ubiquitous but nowhere defined; its meaning must be divined from the legislative and enforcement debates. I pose two problems for the "sporting purpose" hypothesis: (I) The hypothesis presupposes without argument that it is a proper function of government to prescribe "legitimate" leisure; such unprincipled and therefore arbitrary authority is politically pernicious, a threat to all socially harmless leisure, not to say morally controversial leisure. Hunting, as a so-called "blood sport," is morally controversial in many quarters of our society, but its tools as such are implicitly protected under the prevailing "sporting purpose" standard. With an essentially undefined and therefore arbitrary standard of "legitimate sporting purpose," just how long will the equally deadly tools of the recreational hunter or target shooter stay the ban? Be that as it may, (II) the assumption of this hypothesis is in any case demonstrably false _ namely, the assumption that combat firearms serve no "legitimate" sporting purpose. The "sporting purpose" hypothesis presupposes that government has the authority to judge what counts as "legitimate" leisure or sport and the power to curtail leisure activities which it deems illegitimate. The "Recreational Firearms Protection Act" decidedly does not protect all forms of firearms recreation, such as collecting and recreating with combat firearms. Consider again the tacit hypothesis behind the prevailing notion of "sporting purpose": If combat firearms serve no "legitimate" sporting purpose, they may or should be banned. I argue by counter-example that the assumption of this hypothesis (that combat firearms serve no legitimate sporting purpose) is false. While I make a case for "legitimate" sporting uses of combat firearms, I do not hereby beg any questions about gun control. My argument here is simply that "sporting purpose" is quite beside the point in gun-control policy if only because combat firearms do in fact enjoy legitimate sporting uses.