RKBA research paper for a College English class


October 27, 2008, 07:38 PM
A night english class I am taking is requiring that I write a research paper on one of many topics. One the alotted topics is "Gun Control". I chose this topic and after some hours of research in the college library and the databases available on the intranet there, I have been fairly unsuccessful is finding sources that are pro-RKBA or 2A.

I don't like the name GUN CONTROL, so I'll undoubtably write my research paper on 2nd Amendment Rights, Public Disarmament, or something along those lines.

What I am looking for is some advice, feedback, and most definitely some published sources that are not anti-RKBA, anti-2A, etc etc. This can be books, newspaper & magazine articles, websites, etc.


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October 27, 2008, 07:43 PM
Try here:


October 27, 2008, 09:34 PM
Use the Amicus briefs from the Heller case. They're very easy to read, they're extremely well foot-noted, and they're the arguements that helped sway the court.

Here's a link: http://dcguncase.com/blog/case-filings/

In my opinion, the best filings are those by:
Buckeye Firearms Foundation, et al. [The "911" Brief]
GeorgiaCarry.org ["Racist Roots of Gun Control"]
Citizens Committee ["Debunking the other side’s myths and errors"]

I'd also refer you to the 5th circuit's "Emerson" case. The court's final ruling contains the very best single arguement I've ever seen.

- - - Yoda


Sebastian the Ibis
October 27, 2008, 10:07 PM
How much do you seriously have to write?

Just a couple of pages? - then check out the talking points on the NRA-ILA page.

10 or more? Then follow the heller amicus briefs or any of the topics in legal.

30 or it has to be legalish - Find my post in Legal on Conservative judges against the RTKBA and write a rebuttal to Judge Wilkinson and/or Posner. This would actually be a pretty easy paper to write, you just use the Heller Majority Opinion and rewrite it a bit.

October 27, 2008, 10:34 PM
More Guns Less Crime
By John Lott


There's plenty to read here

October 27, 2008, 10:34 PM
Some info (and links to primary sources such as the FBI Uniform Crime Reports) on the "assault weapon" bait-and-switch may be found in this thread:


Another excellent source is www.guncite.com, and they have links to a number of peer-reviewed papers there.

October 28, 2008, 10:51 AM
Helpful hint. Don't use the "word" undoubtably. It's undoubtedly.

I find it hard to believe that you were unable to find the information that you need in your school's library. The periodicals section will undoubtedly have some of the information you are looking for. The articles you find might be overwhelmingly anti-gun, but look hard enough and you will find what you need.

Find as many sources as you can related to what you are researching whether they are pro or anti. Then look in the bibliographies of those pieces. They will probably lead you to something useful. Articles advocating gun control will be bound to cite studies that are against gun control for the purpose of debunking them. You can do a rebuttal of their attempts to debunk those studies, or find the source where that study was originally published and find information from that.

You may need to take an unconventional route to find what you are looking for, but it's out there.

Narrow down your topic some before you start research. You don't need to have a thesis formulated before you start, but you do need to have some focus. This is where Wikipedia and other questionably accurate websites come in. They are a good place to start to narrow down your topic. If you are just researching gun control it will be like drinking from a fire hose.

Good luck.

October 28, 2008, 11:04 AM
Find out if your prof thinks that advocate's web sites are regarded as legit sources - except for basic documents like the Heller briefs. Profs don't like secondary sources or nonscholarly sources.

Second - is this professor pro or antigun? If you write a partisan and unbalanced diatribe for guns - expect to be slammed. That happens periodically and the student then whines on the forum about.

You need a legit discussion of pros and cons. If you think that apriori there are no arguments for gun control - then you are writing a rant and deserve to get nailed.

Lott has been under major and legit attack on technical reasons - even from progun scholars - use him judiciously and reference the criticisms.

A good pro and con book that is reasonable is :

Gun Control and Gun Rights by McClurg, Kopel and Denning - NYU Press.

Write a reasoned paper unless you want to write an unsubstantiated rant, get slammed and then complain to us.

My best advice here.

October 28, 2008, 11:29 AM
"Second - is this professor pro or antigun? "

Sadly, the words "professor" and "antigun" are virtually synomous. And, it seems the English departments are the most rabidly antigun. (Actually, they are the most rabidly anti individual or logical thinking dept. of any kind! They seem to hold that a lock-step, group-think mentality is the ideal goal of education.)

You have chosen a difficult path if you wish to get a high grade. First, it it's good you will likely be accused of plagerism, as I was. And then graded down for poor writing, as I was!

Lott's "More Guns, Less Crime" should be in the library. But, again, maybe not!

October 28, 2008, 11:52 AM
FBI statistics are your friend as well. Well respected as legitimate and really give an unbiased view of guns. Gunfacts.com has a lot of professors from other universities cited. Most PhDs will send you copies of their previous work if you yourself are compiling a scholarly paper- especially if its for publication. Professors thrive on citations of their own publications for validation as to the importance of their work. (read: helps them get tenor)

Oleg Volk
October 28, 2008, 12:31 PM
You could also write from the perspective of "uses of gun control" and focus on social control, especially of minorities.

October 28, 2008, 12:37 PM
Find out if your prof thinks that advocate's web sites are regarded as legit sources - except for basic documents like the Heller briefs. Profs don't like secondary sources or nonscholarly sources.

I concur - work from the Heller briefs, and the opinion. In fact, the majority and minority opinions lay out both sides of the debate in rational, reasonable, and extraordinarily well written terms. Whether you agree with a particular justice or not, they are all extremely bright and articulate.

The other thing about Heller is that since there was so little previous law, the opinions are less loaded with "legalese" than other opinions I have read.

The problem with using the advocacy sites is that they are really propaganda more than research - many of the statements and arguments rely on an "I really want this to be true" standard of proof - and your professor will be able to debunk claims pretty quickly. For example, if you cite some claim by John Lott, and she checks that claim and finds that it's been debunked or disputed, then she may expect that you either defend the claim or explain why it didn't need to be defended. That's just more work for you. :)


October 28, 2008, 02:52 PM
Not all professors are antigun. :D

Writing research stuff aids in getting 'tenure' :D

October 28, 2008, 03:00 PM
I think a good angle would be how gun control is racist, sexist and/or homophobic.

October 28, 2008, 04:21 PM
Remember that you're allowed to dip back farther than the couple years that the periodicals at the local library are going to go.
It's perfectly acceptable - and incredibly relevant - to go back 220 years and find out what the people who ostensibly started this argument had to say about it.

Also, remember that the gun control that happened in between then and now was seldom done "for the children", to "keep our streets safe", or any of the other lies used today. Racism was already mentioned. But I find it hard to ponder NFA '34 without thinking about all the other ideological turmoil of the progressive era, and how an armed citizenry isn't conducive to the totalitarian ideas being hawked back then.

Even GCA '68 was largely a reaction to MLK and JFK, and less about safety. The point is, remember that the stated reasons for gun control haven't always been what they are now, and it might help to get some perspective by studing topics other than gun control from the same time.

In "Intro to Speech & Communication" I did a speech-to-persuade about the legal ownership of guns. I started by describing late medieval spring-tempered steel armor in great detail, the costs involved in making it (and therefore owning it), and the utter hopelessness of trying to stop (without guns) the guy wearing it from taking all your crops and raping your daughters. It wasn't a paper, but I got through to some people by going outside the box.

October 28, 2008, 04:32 PM
Google scholar can bring up a good deal of the relevant literature. Also, if you use the sociological/criminological data bases in the library at school (ask the librarian) you can get the real literature as compared to just advocacy pieces.

October 28, 2008, 04:44 PM
Try here:



Also try


Don't be afraid to cite the Heller and Parker cases either.

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