Saul Cornell Receives a Professional Whuppin’

(h/t: Geek with a .45 who emailed me the link!)

Professor of Law Stephen Halbrook has apparently had his fill of Associate Professor of History Saul Cornell and his attempt to rewrite history in the effort to convince people that the Second Amendment wasn’t written to protect an individual right to arms.

For those unfamiliar, Associate Professor Cornell is the director of the “Second Amendment Research Center” at Ohio State University – a “research center” established with funds from the rabidly anti-gun Joyce Foundation. Yet Associate Professor Cornell presents himself as an unbiased academic, merely out to explain to we poor, unwashed, ignorant savages what the Second Amendment to the Constitution really means. He writes op-eds that end up in newspapers all over the country, and he has recently published a book has received glowing reviews from gun-grabbers. I’ve written several pieces here on Associate Professor Cornell, including a rebuttal to an email he sent me in response to my first piece. See:

Dept. of They Never Ever Stop

Professor Saul Cornell Responds, and So Do I

Saul Cornell, Unbiased Researcher

and, most recently, The Jabberwocky World of Saul Cornell.

While I’m merely an amateur, Stephen Halbrook is a professional. His curriculum vitae:

Attorney at Law, Fairfax, Va.; Ph.D. Florida State University, J.D. Georgetown University; former philosophy professor, Tuskegee University, Howard University, George Mason University. Books include The Founders’ Second Amendment (forthcoming); That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (1984, 2000); A Right to Bear Arms: State & Federal Bills of Rights & Constitutional Guarantees (1989); Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, & the Right to Bear Arms (1998); Firearms Law Deskbook (2006). Argued Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997), and other Supreme Court cases.

So when Professor Halbrook talks about law, especially firearms law, one ought to listen. Professor Halbrook has written a 25-page rebuttal (a PDF file, about half of it footnotes) to Cornell’s recent presentation of “St. George Tucker and the Second Amendment: Original Understandings and Modern Misunderstandings” at a symposium at the William and Mary College of Law. Once again, Professor Cornell has twisted history to meet his agenda. Like others of his ilk, he selectively quotes, baldly misstates, and deliberately omits material that conclusively disproves the ideas he attempts to foist off on his unsuspecting, credulous victims readers.

I’m not going to quote too extensively from Professor Halbrook’s truly devastating rebuttal but let me give you a little of the flavor of it:

While humble people generally think that they are among “the people,” a segment of the not-so-humble appear to disagree when it comes to the right of “the people” to keep and bear arms.

Debunking the individual-rights “hijackers” of the Second Amendment, Professor Cornell refers to “the often-quoted passage describing it [the Second Amendment] as the ‘palladium of liberty’” at least five times, but strangely fails to provide the actual quotation or to acknowledge its contents. It would be worthwhile to do so at the outset in order to determine the extent of the constitutional hijacking by scholars who read the Second Amendment as protecting individual rights.

As with Tucker, Cornell studiously avoids mention of the content of Story’s analysis of the Second Amendment, much less does he quote any of Story’s “palladium of liberty” statement.

Having left the reader in the dark about what Tucker and Story actually said on “the palladium of liberty,” Cornell asserts that for both: “Protection of states’ rights, not individual rights, was the issue that had prompted the inclusion of the Second Amendment.”

Cornell refers to this statement of Tucker, but fails to quote it, and asserts that it does “not address the question of individual self defense.”

Tucker made further references to infringement of the individual right to bear arms which Cornell fails to mention.

As usual, Cornell avoids the embarrassing quotations.

Cornell’s rendition of Tucker is long on Cornell’s characterizations and citations to recent law review articles supporting the “collective rights” view of the Second Amendment, but woefully short on Tucker’s actual words. This pattern also arises regarding Tucker’s views on judicial review.

Cornell refers to the page number, but neither quotes the passage nor summarizes its content.

Halbrook corrects Cornell’s omissions, and proves conclusively that what Cornell is selling is unadulterated bullshit.

When I wrote Why Ballistic Fingerprinting Doesn’t (and Won’t) Work, I noted

What they say (and this is overwhelmingly true for these groups) is only partly (in this case, minimally) true. There’s a whole lot of information they neglect, gloss over, bury, and avoid.

Associate Professor Cornell is another example of this sad fact. Professor Halbrook hammers that point home until Cornell’s reputation ought to be nothing but a thin, putrid smear. However, as is common for the type, I’m sure Associate Professor Cornell will continue with cockroach resilience, writing more op-eds and more books filled with omissions, distortions, and outright lies.

And we, amateurs and professionals alike, will keep exposing him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *