Damon Root on Libertarians, Guns, and Federalism


In a new essay titled "The Libertarian Gun Fallacy," New York University law professor Richard Epstein argues that most libertarians, including Reason Senior Editor Damon Root, are wrong to believe that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms applies against state and local governments. As Epstein sees it, the Second Amendment isn't about individual rights at all. Instead, its purpose is to maintain federalism. In his reply to Epstein, Root argues that the text and history of the 14th Amendment show that the right to keep and bear arms does in fact apply to the states.