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When Jim Fleming asked me to participate in this Symposium, and more specifically to be part of the Second Amendment panel, I must confess that I was a bit puzzled. There are many parts of our political and constitutional system that are arguably dysfunctional, meaning that our late-eighteenth century Constitution prevents the achievement of policy results that are desirable in our early-twenty-first century present. I do not see, however, the Second Amendment as one of those constitutional features. As a result, this Essay challenges two assumptions: first, that the Second Amendment historically has provided much of a barrier to a desirable policy result, radical gun control or perhaps more accurately gun prohibition; and second, that such a result is indeed desirable.

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GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2019-30; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-30

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