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Gun Control On Trial

Inside the Supreme Court Battle over the Second Amendment

By Brian Doherty
About the Book

In June 2008, the Supreme Court had its first opportunity in seven decades to decide a question at the heart of one of America’s most impassioned debates: Do Americans have a right to possess guns? Gun Control on Trial tells the full story of the Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which ended the District’s gun ban. With exclusive behind‐​the‐​scenes access throughout the process, author Brian Doherty is uniquely positioned to delve into the issues of this monumental case and provides compelling looks at the inside stories, including the plaintiffs’ fight for the right to protect their lives, the activist lawyers who worked to affirm that right, and the forces who fought to stop the case.

About the Author

Brian Doherty is a senior editor at Reason magazine and Rea​son​.com. He is the author of the books Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement and This is Burning Man. His articles have appeared in dozens of national publications, and he has appeared as a commentator and analyst on hundreds of TV and radio programs.

What Others Have Said

“As Brian Doherty so clearly demonstrates in Gun Control on Trial, were it not for the rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment—and reaffirmed, in this inside account, by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller—we would forfeit our individual right to survive.”
—Nat Hentoff, Columnist, Village Voice

“Brian Doherty’s Gun Control on Trial is to the Heller case what Richard Kluger’s Simple Justice is to the Brown decision—an essential history made up of equal parts legal theory and personal struggle, presented in page‐​turning fashion.”
—Glenn Reynolds, Professor of Law, University of Tennessee and Founder, Instapun​dit​.com

“The Supreme Court’s Heller decision wasn’t merely a political bombshell, it was an historic advance in the ongoing struggle to restore the first human right: the right to self‐​defense. Brian Doherty, a tireless intellectual sleuth, not only sheds light on the political and legal questions surrounding gun rights today, he lucidly puts them in their proper historical and philosophical context. This is required reading for those interested in, never mind committed to, the right to self‐​defense.”
—Jonah Goldberg, Contributing Editor, National Review

“Fine new book…It is remarkable how much Doherty packs into 181 pages.”
—David Hoberg, American Spectator