This article uses a recent move on the part of feminist legal advocates-social justice feminism ("SJF')--to explore the contours of the Second Amendment. Feminist legal theory, specifically SJF, reveals that the Second Amendment and attendant societal understandings ofthe right to keep and bear arms played a role in establishing and reproducing white male dominance. Understood in this way, the Court's decisions in Heller and McDonald reinforce structural oppression under the guise of promoting individual rights. To make that case, this article proceeds in four parts. Part I briefly addresses the question of why a feminist lens is useful in this context, with a focus on SJF to set the stage for the analysis that follows. Part II reviews the Ratification Era, while Part III explores Reconstruction, broadly speaking. Part IV then concludes by suggesting the implications for this expanded understanding of the Second Amendment, looking specifically at Stand Your Ground laws.
Verna L. Williams, Guns, Sex, and Race: The Second Amendment through a Feminist Lens, 83 Tenn. L. Rev. 983 (2016).
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