Armed in America: A History of Gun Rights from Colonial Militias to Concealed Carry


Product Details

Prometheus Books
Publish Date
6.4 X 1.9 X 9.1 inches | 1.75 pounds
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About the Author

Patrick J. Charles is the author of Historicism, Originalism and the Constitution: The Use and Abuse of History in American Jurisprudence and The Second Amendment: The Intent and Its Interpretation by the States and the Supreme Court as well as numerous articles in law journals. His writings on the history of the Second Amendment have been cited by Second, Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and DC Circuit Courts of Appeals, and his book The Second Amendment was cited by Justice Stephen Breyer in the landmark Supreme Court decision McDonald v. City of Chicago. Charles currently serves as a senior historian for United States Special Operations Command, located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. In 2016 and 2014, Charles was awarded the Allan S. Major Award, and is the only two-time recipient of the award. The Major Award is given annually to recognize the top history program out of the over 170 wings and groups in the United States Air Force. Additionally, in 2008, Charles received the Judge John R. Brown Award for Excellence in Legal Writing. The Judge Brown award is given annually to recognize the top law school student note, article, or unpublished paper in the United States.


""Impeccably sourced and including useful illustrations, Armed in America delves into the complete history of American gun rights, republican virtue, and militia ideology and offers a keen critique of the NRA's highly influential rhetoric and stance.... This thorough, clarifying volume should be displayed prominently and recommended for coverage of this hot-button subject. In the never-ending battle over gun rights, the public safety side now has a go-to source for facts about the Second Amendment." --Booklist "Meticulous, objective, and captivating. The history of gun rights is constantly being exploited and manipulated by self-interested forces for political gain. Armed in America finally sets the record straight." --Louis Klarevas, author of Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shootings "Others have written on the Second Amendment, but no account provides such a detailed, clear-headed, and deep analysis of the amendment's origins, construction, and interpretation, including much new history and evidence. An important, valuable, and highly readable work that does much to clarify the ongoing debate." --Robert J. Spitzer, Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, SUNY Cortland, author of Guns across America and The Politics of Gun Control "Patrick Charles's historical work is already central to many areas of Second Amendment law--scholars, lawyers, and judges all rely on him. Armed in America is his most comprehensive work yet, and draws attention to some of the most fundamental disagreements, misunderstandings, and misrepresentations in the gun debate. This will be required reading for anyone involved or interested in the gun debate." --Joseph Blocher, Professor of Law, Duke Law School "Provides solid history that is welcome in our current political atmosphere. An evenhanded book about a controversy that will not die." --Kirkus Reviews "A scrupulously documented survey of gun rights and gun regulations spanning from ninth-century England to twenty-first century America. Full of fresh and surprising details, and unflinching in its analysis, Armed in America provides incisive new perspectives for any serious student of the right to keep and bear arms." --Darrell A. H. Miller, Melvin G. Shimm Professor of Law, Duke Law School