This book, published by the University of New Mexico Press in 1984 and now republished in an updated version, is the most comprehensive work ever written on the right to keep and bear arms, which is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Its author, attorney Stephen P. Halbrook, traces the philosophical, historical, and legal roots of the right of the citizen to have arms, beginning in ancient Greece and carrying the analysis forward to legal and policy controversies of today.
The power of firearms has stirred passions over the right of the citizenry to own and bear weapons throughout western civilization. Authored by the principal legal expert on the Second Amendment, That Every Man Be Armed is the authorative book on the ideas, history, and legal precedents of the citizen’s right to possess arms as being essential to democracy as is freedom of speech.
That Every Man Be Armed traces the Second Amendment’s origins from ancient Greece and Rome to 18th century France and England through the American Revolution, ratification of the Constitution and adoption of the Bill of Rights. Halbrook further traces the Amendment’s significance throughout American history to current debates over gun controls, assembling a systematic interpretation of state and federal opinions and Supreme Court decisions. This comprehensive and lucid book reveals that the right to bear arms is in indispensable form of individual protection against both violent crime and government infringement of human liberties.
That Every Man Be Armed was cited as authority by the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, “Whether the Second Amendment Secures an Individual Right” (2004), and in the following judicial opinions:
“Relying on his background as a political philosopher and lawyer, Halbrook’s meticulous research has produced the encyclopedic book on the Second Amendment from its background in Ancient Greece through English common law to its enactment in 18th Century America and subsequent legal interpretations. That Every Man Be Armed is must reading for all those interested in the right to possess and acquire firearms.”
— DON B. KATES, JR., Editor, Restricting Handguns:
The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out
“That Every Man Be Armed is the first scholarly treatise that is both comprehensive and in-depth. [...] The book is suitable for a very wide audience.”
— JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY
“That Every Man Be Armed is the definitive book on the historical and legal development of the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms.”
— SENATOR ORRIN G. HATCH
“The need for careful, impartial information makes Halbrook’s book especially welcome. [...] That Every Man Be Armed is comprehensive and well-written.”
— GEORGE WASHINGTON LAW REVIEW
“That Every Man Be Armed is extremely well-documented and is indispensable to anyone seriously interested in understanding the constitutional and other issues involved in the great American gun control debate.”
— QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF IDEOLOGY
“Halbrook has amassed a great deal of original material and has synthesized it in a very convincing manner. The book is a very impressive research job, showing a deep and wide-ranging knowledge of sources. Much new material has been uncovered. [...] This book is clearly unique, a path-breaking study of the subject.”
— DAVID I. CAPLAN, Ph.D., Attorney at Law