The Second Amendment
On March 1, 1792, Secretary of State Thomas
Jefferson issued a terse announcement. Congress had established the post office. It had passed a new law governing fisheries. And the states had ratified the first ten amendments to the Constitution: the Bill of Rights.
Jefferson’s deadpan proclamation belied years of drama and conflict. The amendments were the product of a fierce debate over government’s role and the rights of the people, one that unfolded...