Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle Over the Second Amendment

Cato Institute
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In June 2008, 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 a right to possess guns? Gun Control on Trial tells the full story of the Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which ended the District’s gun ban. With exclusive behind-the-scenes access throughout the process, author Brian Doherty is uniquely positioned to delve into the issues of this monumental case and provides compelling looks at the inside stories, including the plaintiffs’ fight for the right to protect their lives, the activist lawyers who worked to affirm that right, and the forces who fought to stop the case.
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About the author

Brian Doherty is a senior editor at Reason magazine and Reason.com. He is the author of the books Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement and This is Burning Man. His articles have appeared in dozens of national publications, and he has appeared as a commentator and analyst on hundreds of TV and radio programs.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cato Institute
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Published on
Nov 1, 2008
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Pages
126
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ISBN
9781933995984
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Freedom
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Brian Doherty
This past June, the Supreme Court decided a question at the heart of one of America's most impassioned debates, ruling that individual citizens have the constitutional right to possess guns. With that decision, the District's handgun ban one of the toughest and most controversial in the nation was ended. In Gun Control on Trial, journalist Brian Doherty tells the full story behind the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller ruling. With exclusive, behind the scenes access throughout the case, Doherty delved into the issues of this monumental case to provide a compelling look at the inside stories, including: The plaintiffs' fight for the right to protect themselves and their families from violent neighborhoods. The activist lawyers who worked exhaustively to affirm that right. The forces that fought to stop the case, including city officials and the NRA. The story of the Heller case stretches back to long before the decision struck down D.C.'s restrictive gun ban and forward to the future of the political and legal battle over gun control in America. Doherty provides clear, concise explanations of the issues and battles that have driven the gun control debate for decades, detailing how the Heller decision is a new starting point for the gun control debate as it passionately and energetically continues in the years ahead. It's important to note that the Heller decision does not settle every controversy in the gun control debate. It only settles the legal question of whether or not the right to possess weapons under the Second Amendment extends to personal self-defense: it does, writes Doherty. What the Supreme Court decided in Heller may be narrow in its direct and immediate effect; but it's deep in its implications for the relationship between the government and the American people, explains Doherty. It establishes a new shape to the arena in which the legal and political struggle over guns and gun control will be fought. And that fight assuredly continues."
Brian Doherty
Direct action has become a key part of the strategy of the radical environmental movement since the early 1990s, used to address issues such as road building and car culture, genetically modified foods, consumerism and global finance institutions. It has helped shape the political climate and has transformed the way people view political action, undermining the assumption that the power of politicians and big businesses cannot be contested. At the same time it is highly controversial, often illegal, and, partly due to its move towards greater militancy, may be included in new Prevention of Terrorism legislation. Direct Action in British Environmentalism charts and analyses the nature and impact of this new wave of direct action. The contributors approach the phenomenon from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines and present data concerning both the quantity and type of recent environmental protest and the sociological and organisational features of those performing it. Subjects covered include; the history of the movement and its influence on contemporary activism the identities and new tribalism of eco-warriors the reaction of the mass media the impact of direct action on mainstream politicians and policy the strategies and tactical innovations which underlie direct action Direct Action in British Environmentalism is the fullest scholarly analysis yet available of this phenomenon. It is essential reading for students of Politics and Environmental Studies as well as all those interested in the development and impact of direct action in environmentalism.
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