This Professor is Not Politically Correct

posted on April 17, 2024

Robert J. Cottrol is a law and history professor with George Washington University. He is also the author of To Trust the People with Arms. He has the air, as you’ll see in this video, of the absent-minded professor, but don’t let his thoughtful and careful demeanor fool you. He wasn’t raised with guns in his home. He grew up in New York City, but he did intellectually find the need for the Second Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights in his youth.

“Most people who are somewhat strong supporters of the Second Amendment will tell you they grew up in families with guns and they went hunting and so forth,” said Cottrol. “None of that applies to me. I grew up in New York City. My family didn’t have guns. I became interested in the Second Amendment at roughly the age of 12 after three things hit me.”

He then cited the The Diary of Anne Frank, the 1962 book by Robert Williams titled Negroes with Guns and The Boy Scouts Handbook. His reasons how each touched him makes, by itself, worth listening to him speak here.

But he has much more to say.

When I noted that he wrote his Second Amendment book at a very interesting time, as he finished it book just after the NRA-backed Second Amendment case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022) was decided, he said, “Yes, indeed. It’s rare for an historian to have a stop-the-presses moment. Basically, we had, this with Bruen. We had written a book that basically takes us from the founding to Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010), but then we saw Bruen coming and we thought, My goodness, we can’t omit Bruen. This is incredible. They’re talking about the right to carry outside the home.”

Indeed, Cottrol’s perspective is of a learned and enthusiastic scholar.


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