For generations it has been assumed by most people that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms. Approximately 70% of all Americans and virtually all gun enthusiasts support this basic assumption.
The National Rifle Association resists much gun legislation using the argument that restrictive laws often infringe on the right to gun ownership established by the founding fathers as a significant part of the Bill of Rights. Others claim, however, that the Second Amendment pertains only to the right of the individual states to form well-regulated militias.
The “individual” vs. “collective” rights controversy has been heatedly argued in the courts since 1939, resulting in a strong leaning toward denial of the individual rights view, notably in the federal appeals courts. However, an opinion released by the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia el. al., v. Heller in 2008 (No. 07-290) challenged the lower court opinions by deciding_ the issue in favor of the individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment. Several lower court opinions and also an analysis of the deciding Supreme Court case are reported in this informative book. An in-depth review of these cases should be prerequisite to any claim of sophistication regarding the issue of gun rights in America.