Define: Second Amendment

Can you imagine having the opportunity to listen to some of the most prominent intellectuals in your field of interest?  Perhaps those same individuals attract people of the same caliber who share the similar ideals and interests, yet are just as diverse.  College education should work the same way, except it’s more common for students to chase their papers; grudgingly jumping through hoops to get it.  Wednesday night, I opted out of hoop jumping obligations.

I played hookie from class to attend another lecture in Oakland, CA titled, “What the Second Amendment Means Today.”  If only I were so excited about lecturers at UC Davis.  Stephen P. Halbrook and Don B. Kates Jr. provided us the opportunity to discuss issues related to a post-Heller era and Halbrook’s recent work titled The Founders’ Second Amendment:  Origins of the Right to Bear Arms.  Through historical analysis and support of physical documentation, Mr. Halbrook outlines the true intent of our founders.  Furthermore, Mr. Halbrook offers the most comprehensive analysis of our Second Amendment.

Mr. Kates then discussed his views on the economic social phenomenon and our cultural war with the anti-gun mentality.  He made it a point that more gun bans do not equal less crime as it does nothing about the real problem in society – a statement we can all agree on.  What I found most particular about Mr. Kates is his abundant collection of facts and figures.  Though I couldn’t catch every single figure he spoke of, the good news is that he provides the footnotes from his outline!  Hopefully, I’ll have a copy for myself.

Being in the presence of these two gentlemen was something different.  To me, they were doing important work.  This is not to say I don’t appreciate other research from other fields – far from it.  But when there are intellectual leaders indulging us with information that can potentially affect our rights, one can’t help but to hang on to every word.  I also got to meet Gene Hoffman, the Chairman of the Calguns Foundation.  If any of you are familiar with his posts on, he’s quite the inspirational individual as well.

Anyway, I did pick up Halbrook’s book and had it autographed too!  Thank you David for buying a copy for me – I greatly appreciate it.  Speaking of whom, I finally had the opportunity shake the man’s hand and had a wonderful series of conversations beyond our meet at the Independent Institute.  Though I would have stayed longer, I still had to make the drive back home [construction on I-580… bleh].

You should purchase Halbrook’s book if you can.  In fact, we were told that the major players of Washington DC vs. Heller utilized his book prior to publishing.  From the looks of it, it’s a read you do not want to skip.

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Categories: Firearms, Guns


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  1. Random Nuclear Strikes » Stephen Halbrook and Don B. Kates - July 5, 2008

    […] and the Packing Rat His review is here. Excerpt: Being in the presence of these two gentlemen was something different.  To me, they were […]

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