Trip back in the time machine
Found something in an old archive. A copy of the manuscript (original, it has green pencil edits by the law review editors) for my 1974 article, the first law review article to argue for an individual rights reading of the Second Amendment.
It's in a manila envelope, return address "Knox, Box 3030, Prescott AZ" (click on thumbnail to get full size). Background: I my own law review turned it down as too controversial, so I had to look elsewhere. Chicago-Kent said they'd take it, but there was a policy against publishing students at other schools, so they needed to make it special in some way. Maybe a gun magazine would anoint me as legal advisor or something like that? My favorite gun mags were Reloader and Rifle, and they were published in Prescott, so I called them and their editor, Neal Knox, said sure. I guess I sent him a copy of the manuscript, and this is his return of it.
Here's the first page. Yes, the title was one that nearly 30 years later I'd use as the name of this blog. It's taken from the opening words of the Aeneid: "Of arms and the man I sing."
It's 1974. No legal academic is thinking seriously of the Second Amendment; there is just a vague belief that it has something to do with the National Guard.
The NRA has about 600,000 members, and has no ILA. One person, as I recall, handles all political and legal affairs. The Cincinnati revolt that would create the modern NRA lies in the future (it came in 1977, arising out of problems revealed in 1976). Harlon Carter is enjoying retirement in Green Valley AZ, where he can shoot rifles out his back window. Neal Knox is a magazine editor in Prescott. I'm a law student.
That was how it stood, 36 years ago. Glad that I lived to see Heller, and now McDonald.
UPDATE: I can't find where it's online anywhere, but may be able to get it scanned. Looking it over, it was pretty simple. I cite Elliot's Debates on the Ratification, Madison's Federalist 46 where he refers to Americans' "advantage of being armed" as security against tyranny, and Hamilton's Federalist 24, where he says that for the bulk of the militia the most than can be expected is that they have arms. Also the New Hampshire and Pennsylvania minority proposals for a federal bill of rights, with clearly individual right to arms, Also the fact that many early State constitutions had language similar to the 2A, which indicated a desire for protection against both State and Federal action, which must mean an individual right.
The use of "right of the people" in the First Amendment's freedom to assemble, and Fourth Amendment protections against search, and the 9th Amendment's distinction between "people" and States." And the use of "militia" as meaning the whole people, not the National Guard.