Book Mini-Symposium: Guns in Law

We’re happy to announce another mini-symposium on the blog. This time, we have pieces from the contributors to the book Guns in Law, a collection of articles published this year by the University of Massachusetts Press and edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey. The contributors will summarize the main themes of their essays in the book, and we’ll be sharing these posts this week and next. I’ll update this introduction with links once the posts are all published. [Updated with links]

The book explores the changing meaning of guns and the methods to address gun violence. As the editors note, “Like other rights, gun rights are embedded in a continuing struggle over the boundaries of permissible regulation and permissible uses of guns.” This struggle continues unabated, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s announcement in 2008 that the Constitution protects the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and carry firearms for self-defense. With contributions from historians, legal scholars, and sociologists, the volume exposes the rift in contemporary American society over the appropriate role of guns in public (and private) life.

For our mini-symposium, we have pieces from many of the contributors, including:

  • Saul Cornell, The Changing Meaning of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms: 1688-1788[Link here]
  • Darrell Miller, The Expressive Second Amendment. [Link here]
  • Katherine Shaw, Guns, Interpretation, and Executive Branch Constitutionalism. [Link here]
  • Carl T. Bogus, The Hard, Simple Truth About Gun Control. [Link here]
  • Laura Beth Nielsen, Good Moms with Guns. [Link here]

The book is an excellent look at an increasingly relevant aspect of firearms law.