In March 2000, 47 law professors and historians sent a stiff letter to NRA President Charlton Heston. They told him "the Second Amendment permits broad and intensive regulation of firearms" and urged him to move beyond such trifles as constitutional guarantees. At least three signers would write glowing reviews of Michael Bellesiles`s Arming America. Five others would pen laudatory blurbs for its jacket. Yet another would sit on the committee that gave Mr. Bellesiles the prestigious Bancroft Prize. This letter takes on new meaning now, as we consider the controversy over Arming America, which ended last week when a distinguished panel of scholars declared the work "unprofessional and misleading," and Mr. Bellesiles resigned from Emory University.