The University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform has just published David Kopel’s groundbreaking scholarly treatise on knives and the Second Amendment. Kopel, with co-authors Clayton Cramer and Joseph Olson, argues that the Second Amendment applies equally forcefully to knives and edged weapons as to firearms.
Kopel’s argument has been circulating for months, but its actual publication in a scholarly journal is a significant milestone. While anyone can write or bloviate about their legal theories, it’s quite another matter to have a whole team of overachieving law students examine every one of your factual references and legal conclusions under a microscope.
This article is bound to be important, because this stringent scholarly review gives it serious credibility in the legal world. Judges don’t automatically give much credence to activists like Knife Rights or bloggers like me, but published law review treatises are routinely quoted by attorneys in their legal arguments. Even more importantly, they’re frequently cited by appellate courts in their written decisions.
Knife Rights will no doubt use Kopel’s treatise in their ongoing efforts to roll back idiotic knife laws in the legislatures of the fifty states, and individual litigants will now have a fact-checked resource as they fight misguided prosecutions in the courts.
None of us know where the edged-weapon equivalent of Heller v. District of Columbia will come from, but Kopel’s work will play a huge role in its outcome. Kopel’s article can be read or downloaded in its entirety at Knife Rights.