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Gun Control On Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle over the Second Amendment (Hardback)


By Brian Doherty

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About the Book
In 2008, the Supreme Court decided a question at the heart of one of America’s most impassioned debates, ruling that individual citizens have the constitutional right to possess guns. With that decision, the District’s handgun ban—one of the toughest and most controversial in the nation—was ended.

In Gun Control on Trial, journalist Brian Doherty tells the full story behind the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller ruling. With exclusive, behind the scenes access throughout the case, Doherty delved into the issues of this monumental case to provide a compelling look at the inside stories, including:
• The plaintiffs’ fight for the right to protect themselves and their families from violent neighborhoods.
• The activist lawyers who worked exhaustively to affirm that right.
• The forces that fought to stop the case, including city officials and the NRA.

The story of the Heller case stretches back to long before the decision struck down D.C.’s restrictive gun ban and forward to the future of the political and legal battle over gun control in America. Doherty provides clear, concise explanations of the issues and battles that have driven the gun control debate for decades, detailing how the Heller decision is a new starting point for the gun control debate as it passionately and energetically continues in the years ahead.

It’s important to note that the Heller decision does not settle every controversy in the gun control debate. “It only settles the legal question of whether or not the right to possess weapons under the Second Amendment extends to personal self-defense: it does,” writes Doherty.

“What the Supreme Court decided in Heller may be narrow in its direct and immediate effect; but it’s deep in its implications for the relationship between the government and the American people,” explains Doherty. “It establishes a new shape to the arena in which the legal and political struggle over guns and gun control will be fought. And that fight assuredly continues.”
About the Author
Brian Doherty is a senior editor at Reason magazine and Reason.com. He is the author of the books Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement and This is Burning Man. His articles have appeared in dozens of national publications, and he has appeared as a commentator and analyst on hundreds of TV and radio programs.
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What Others Have Said
"As Brian Doherty so clearly demonstrates in Gun Control on Trial, were it not for the rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment—and reaffirmed, in this inside account, by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller—we would forfeit our individual right to survive."
Columnist, Village Voice
Author, Living the Bill of Rights: How to Be an Authentic American

"Brian Doherty’s Gun Control on Trial is to the Heller case what Richard Kluger’s Simple Justice is to the Brown decision—an essential history made up of equal parts legal theory and personal struggle, presented in page-turning fashion."
Professor of Law, University of Tennessee
Founder, Instapundit.com

"The Supreme Court’s Heller decision wasn’t merely a political bombshell, it was an historic advance in the ongoing struggle to restore the first human right: the right to self-defense. Brian Doherty, a tireless intellectual sleuth, not only sheds light on the political and legal questions surrounding gun rights today, he lucidly puts them in their proper historical and philosophical context. This is required reading for those interested in, never mind committed to, the right to self-defense."
Contributing Editor, National Review
Author, Liberal Fascism

“The book is a brisk read, and it has the kind of direct observation and insider detail that can help bring even a well-plumbed case back to life. There's some fine material here.”
—MICHAEL DOYLE, Suits & Sentences legal affairs blog

"Fine new book...It is remarkable how much Doherty packs into 181 pages."
—DAVID HOGBERG, American Spectator