The 5/4 split decision in the Supreme Court’s District of Columbia vs Heller case demonstrated a continuing dichotomy in Second Amendment history between relevant period sources, which were largely relied on in the Courts’ decision, and the views of modern historians that backed up the dissent in that case. Justice Breyer’s statement that most of the historians supported the Heller dissent was correct, but that is exactly the problem. The historians’ brief contained numerous errors of fact and failed to present the essential bill of rights related developmental history of the Second Amendment’s clauses.
David E. Young
The American Revolutionary Era Origin of the Second Amendment’s Clauses
From Volume 23 (2011) of the JOURNAL ON FIREARMS & PUBLIC POLICY.
[It’s a great resource on the origin of the Second Amendment. I wish there were a way to get these points across to current historians and judges. But as near as I can tell facts are frequently superfluous to the decision making process of most people.
Update: Young’s blog post about the paper.—Joe]