A history of the Second Amendment in two paintings (with guidance from Akhil Amar)

“Are you at a computer?” asked Akhil Reed Amar, a professor at Yale Law School. I had called him because we had been scheduled to talk about the constitutionality of the filibuster. But just a few hours before our call, a madman had killed 26 people, mostly children, at a Connecticut elementary school. Neither of us was very interested in talking about the filibuster. So I asked Amar, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the Constitution, about the Second Amendment. That’s when he sent me to Google.

“Okay. Good. Go type in ‘John Trumbull’ — that’s T-R-U-M-B-U-L-L — and ‘death of General Warren’ in Google image search,” Amar continued. “Do you see the picture?”

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