The Public Interest

Guns in the U.S. and U.K.

Jeremy Rabkin

Fall 2002

GUNS and Violence: The English Experience † was clearly intended as a contribution to the ongoing American debate about gun control. Several years ago, Joyce Lee Malcolm, an historian at Bentley College, published a careful study of the English legal background to the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. That book lent support to the claim that America’s Founders intended to safeguard an individual right to own guns. In her new book, Malcolm offers a wider historical survey, which strengthens the policy case for private gun ownership. She also offers intriguing hints about why American policy in this area differs so much from the English (or general European) consensus.

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