Whose Right Is It? The Second Amendment and the Fight Over Guns

Holt. Sept. 2020. 256p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250224255.
Gr 6-10–Yale Law School graduate and former U.S. Court of Appeals judicial law clerk Bajramovic begins this guide to the Second Amendment with current data about gun violence and the many students who have lost their lives since the massacre at Columbine in 1999. The majority of the book describes the history of the U.S. from the American Revolution through the present day, and how the interpretation of the Second Amendment has changed in context of major events such as the Civil War and Reconstruction. Bajramovic describes how gun control laws have been used to preserve white supremacy, including the Gun Control Act of 1968. Some historians feel the passage of this act was a response to the Black Panthers openly carrying guns to protect themselves from the police. Insets explain legal terms and political parties. The text details the difference between local, state, and federal rulings, but it does not always succeed because the rulings can be genuinely confusing. The book’s title refers to whether the Second Amendment is meant to protect the rights of individuals to bear arms or the militia’s right to fight an unjust government. With the gains made by the NRA, including influencing key politicians whose campaigns they financially support, the recent Supreme Court’s rulings currently protect individuals’ right to bear arms. Back matter includes a bibliography and four websites.
VERDICT This book will be of most use to student activists in favor of gun control.

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