Professor Michael Bellesiles` book Arming America purported to establish that the core historical argument behind the Second Amendment was a fraud. The brave minuteman armed with his trusty rifle, Bellesiles told us, was mostly a myth-Americans at the time of the Revolution, and for many decades afterward, seldom owned guns, but instead relied on the government for protection. Bellesiles received glowing reviews in the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, the Atlantic Monthly, and many other publications, from reviewers who were often visibly pleased that he was sticking it to NRA. As it turns out, the fraud was on Bellesiles’ end. At least, that’s the conclusion of those who have examined his work-from journalists, to historians, to law professors-and found it wanting.
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