Second Amendment Textbook Released

Well, folks, the first Second Amendment legal textbook is finally out. Since it’s a textbook, it’s priced like one, but if you have an interest in Second Amendment law, this could very well be the definitive book. It’s co-written by Nicholas Johnson of Fordham Law School in New York, David Kopel of the Sturm College of Law at University of Denver, George Moscary of University of Connecticut School of Law, and Michael O’Shea of Oklahoma City University School of Law.

It wasn’t too long ago that many believed this stream of legal thought was an elaborate hoax, namely a bunch of  gun nutty lawyers tilting at windmills. Well, sometimes when you tilt at a windmill, you make the windmill fall over. That’s what’s happened here, and it’s not to be forgotten how many individuals and thousands and thousands of man hours of research helped get us here.

17 Responses to “Second Amendment Textbook Released”

  1. Jeff says:

    Youch, textbook prices have gotten even more ridiculous. Also, the problem is, it’s already out of date. 2A law is moving at a breakneck pace (relatively speaking) these days.

    • terraformer says:

      And it’s not available electronically (most law and grad school texts aren’t) or searchable. Educational institutions and the commercial entities serving them are dinosaurs.

  2. harry sucio says:

    This is so exciting. I am not envious of anyone still in law school especially at what it costs these days, except they get to learn about the 2a.

    Here is the extent of 2a instruction in Con Law I at my law school in the early 90s:

    “The 2nd Amendment is about militias and will not be discussed in this class. Anyone wishing to discuss it further can see me in office hours.”

    Use your imagination, but the liberal weenie professor saying this looked exactly as if you imagine him. “Effete” I believe is the word.

    • Ken says:

      Frankly, I doubt if most of them have changed much since then. The irony is that although he may have been an effete liberal weenie, he was endorsing the very un-effete use of government violence to prevent citizens from defending themselves. The Waco Massacre was many things, but effete it wasn’t.

  3. AZRon says:

    I realize that the team that put this book together should be compensated for their work.

    But, am I wrong in thinking that when we have to pay $179.00 for a textbook that explains only ONE of our Constitutional rights, that lawyers have had too much influence for far too long?

    • Sebastian says:

      Textbooks are expensive in any graduate level field.

      • AZRon says:

        That’s kinda’ my point. Why should a fundamental right require graduate study? Even in the third grade, I knew what the word “convoluted” meant. It shouldn’t apply to the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

        • Sebastian says:

          No right has ever been taken to be absolute. There will be cases that define what the right is and isn’t. That’s the case for every amendment out there. The process is called construction. We’re pretty early in that process with the Second Amendment.

        • Brandon Combs says:

          Feel free to do that other thing we learned about the third grade – research the issue yourself. The textbook is an opportunity to pay for not having to do that.


          • AZRon says:


            It seems that I have stumbled into a hornets nest of law student/grads. While I certainly meant no offense to anyones dedication to higher learning, I stand by my original point.

            It is ridiculous to require a graduate degree to understand the concept of law. The old standard of “ignorance of the law is no excuse” is fraught with offal when us less than human citizens without a law degree are told by courts and lawyers that we’re too ignorant to know right from wrong. It’s simplistic at best, socialist in use.

            I enjoy this site, and have no intention of ruffling feathers. My initial point was merely to state that WE THE PEOPLE shouldn’t have to pay to understand the laws of our own Constitution. That we can’t is the fault of lawyers, politicians, and activist judges.

            • Sebastian says:

              I agree with you that we should’t have to pay, and we don’t. The target market for this textbook is law students. I’m very interested in the subject as a lay person, and even I won’t be shelling out the bucks for this textbook. That said, I’m glad it exists, because it would be nice if up and coming law students understand the Second Amendment the way it should be understood: as a fundamental individual right.

            • Arnie says:

              Concur, AZ. The NRA has a “Second Amendment Primer” they gave out free to members a few years ago and probably still have some in stock.

              I found it to be an excellent tool for researching the Founders’ understanding of the right to bear arms. It is all original research and contains excerpts (in context) from the great men of our early republic, some I had never heard of in high school or college.

              It’s a great reference on our right to arms and will give you plenty of ammo to respond to the “collective right” advocates.

      • HSR47 says:

        You should have stopped after three words.

      • Alpheus says:

        I seem to remember my math textbooks (graduate-level) being less expensive than that, so I decided to do a quick search–“Topology” by Mungres–and discovered that it was $119 new, $80 used. While not quite as expensive as this textbook, it was more expensive than I expected it to be.

        While technically this is a sample size of 1 (and is thus questionable at best), I don’t have the time or desire to go over my other textbooks, and figure out how much they cost at the time.

        With things like Student Loans, it’s easy to overlook the price of textbooks! Even so, if $180 is typical for a law textbook, I have the feeling that math textbooks, on average, are probably cheaper.

  4. Overthetop says:

    As a law student in Philly…all my texts cost this much. Supply and demand anyone? I would LOVE to take a 2A course, but I won’t hold my breath that my leftist school would ever offer it. Heck, we didn’t even read the 2A in my Constitutional Law class.

    • HSR47 says:

      “…all my texts cost this much. Supply and demand anyone?…”

      Actually, it’s worse than that. The exponential rise in the end-user cost of textbooks is mostly due to the continual push to upgrade and upsell information every few years.

      To put it very simply, most mass-produced goods have pre-production costs (generally high) and production costs (generally low). The issue is that the continual push to release new versions of textbooks more often than is genuinely necessary incurs more costs in the first column, and doesn’t allow enough time for them to be offset by the second column.

      Then there is the issue of the textbook companies being in bed with the university staff, and they create an artificial demand for their product which has an unjustified inflated cost.

      The whole thing is a scam.


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