The Second Amendment Works

Note: This is an excerpt from The Second Amendment Works:  A Primer on How to Defend Our Most Important Right.

When I was a teenager, I supported gun control.  I had no real understanding of the issue, having never been taught about the history, purpose or efficacy of the right to bear arms in school.  I read Robert Sherrill’s book, The Saturday Night Special, and supported candidates who were anti-gun such as Ramsey Clark and Morris Udall.  I was on all other issues strongly in favor of civil liberties, but I did not make the connection at a young age.

In 1979, I joined the libertarian movement which is based on the natural rights of the individual to life, liberty and property, so the right to bear arms was an obvious part of the package.  Occasionally over the years, I would discuss the Second Amendment in my writings. In 1994, I wrote a column for the Mises Institute called “Guns and Drugs,”[1] in which I predicted, correctly, that the violence caused by the war on drugs would lead to an intensification of the war on guns, ironically since most gun owners favored the war on drugs.  I have urged, to no avail so far, advocates of the right to bear arms to join forces with advocates of the right to bear drugs, both being private property.  In the same article, published fourteen years before Heller v. District of Columbia, I argued that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms to deter government tyranny.

In 2001, the Journal of Libertarian Studies published my article on “The Rise and Fall of Jury Nullification,” in which I drew an analogy between the right to trial by jury and the right to bear arms, as instances of the Founders preserving liberty by allowing the people to retain certain fundamental rights lest the government get out of control.  That article, heavily reproduced herein, reiterates that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms, not merely the right of states to maintain militias.

Although a long-time Second Amendment advocate, I only got involved with gun litigation in recent years.  In 2015, I filed a lawsuit to overturn the New York Pistol Permit Law.  That case, Libertarian Party of Erie County v. Cuomo, is pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  At oral argument last year, the Court indicated it would hold the case until the Supreme Court issued a ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, argued on December 2, 2019.

In the lower courts, I have won some gun cases and lost some gun cases.  My biggest win so far was overturning the first SAFE Act conviction in People v. Wassell, 2019 NY Slip Op 03187 (4th Dept. 2019).  However, overall, New York State courts continue to operate as if Heller and McDonald had never been decided.

Frustrated with lower court rulings ignoring Heller and noting that public opinion appeared to be swinging against the right to bear arms, I helped organize a forum on Second Amendment strategy in Batavia, New York on April 15, 2018.  As a result of that meeting, it was decided that the movement needed a short, readable primer on the Second Amendment that would be made freely available to all those interested in learning the history and purpose of the Second Amendment.  I hope this book fulfills that mission.

Political Class Dismis... Ostrowski, Mr. James Best Price: $4.00 Buy New $9.50 (as of 09:20 EST - Details) There was no foundation or deep pocket behind this book.  It is the product of a genuine grassroots movement.  It effectively responds to and rebuts a gun confiscation movement funded by billionaires who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to take your guns away by force.  These men and women have armed bodyguards protecting them 24 hours a day.  They have the most sophisticated security systems money can buy protecting their many mansions.  They are driven around in limousines.  They are shielded from the mean streets that most of us must navigate daily. Despite being outspent by hundreds of millions of dollars, I have the advantage of having truth and justice on my side.  With all their billions, the sponsors of gun confiscation cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

If you like this book, you can support my work on behalf of American liberty by buying my other books: Political Class Dismissed (2004), Government Schools Are Bad for Your Kids (2009), Direct Citizen Action (2010) and Progressivism: A Primer (2014)These books form a quadrilogy that, together, provides the education about politics and liberty you did not receive in any school.

Though I make much of my living selling books, I decided this cause was so important that I would make this book available for free online at and at (forthcoming).  We will also be making print copies available at cost.  To take advantage of the world’s best distribution system, the book will also be available for sale at for a nominal cost since Amazon has to make a living too. Please spread the word far and wide because the Gun Grabbers are coming!  The Gun Grabbers are coming!

[1] See, Appendix.

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