The evolution of the Second Amendment is expertly detailed in a spellbinding New Yorker story, “Battleground America," in the current issue. Here are some highlights.
6.“In 1957, when the N.R.A. moved into new headquarters, its motto, at the building’s entrance, read, ‘Firearms Safety Education, Marksmanship Training, Shooting for Recreation.’ It didn’t say anything about freedom, or self-defense, or rights.”12.“According to the constitutional-law scholar Carl Bogus, at least sixteen of the twenty-seven law-review articles published between 1970 and 1989 that were favorable to the N.R.A.’s interpretation of the Second Amendment were ‘written by lawyers who had been directly employed by or represented the N.R.A. or other gun-rights organizations.’ In an interview, former Chief Justice Warren Burger said that the new interpretation of the Second Amendment was ‘one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special-interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime’.”14.“There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. That works out to about one gun for every American.”15.“According to the General Social Survey, conducted by the National Policy Opinion Center at the University of Chicago, the prevalence of gun ownership has declined steadily in the past few decades. In 1973, there were guns in roughly one in two households in the United States; in 2010, one in three. In 1980, nearly one in three Americans owned a gun; in 2010, that figure had dropped to one in five.”