Independent Institute

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The Independent Institute, with offices in Oakland, California and Washington, D.C., is an organization committed to penetrating the partisanship which has come to characterize public discourse. By providing timely, accurate analysis and scholarship, the Institute seeks to shape and impact how citizens, scholars, and legislators understand the public policy debate on a host of issues.

The Second Amendment Book Bomb

The Founders' Second Amendment, authored by Independent Institute Research Fellow Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook and published in 2008 (on the heels of the famous District of Columbia v. Heller case), consists of what Forrest McDonald called "first-rate work" and is "utterly convincing.”[1] The book
"investigates the nature of the ideas underlying the Second Amendment during the Revolutionary generation (between 1768 and 1826). How did the founders regard the issue of gun control? What prompted them to define the right to bear arms as fundamental, second only to freedom of speech? Basing his research on contemporary newspapers, political resolutions and private correspondence, Halbrook delves deeply into the importance of firearms during the Revolution, finding that attempts by search-and-seizure to control the flow of guns was regarded as the typical tyrannical behavior of a standing army. Liberty hinged on free ownership."[2]

As of 15 December 2008, Halbrook's work held a "#1 category ranking at in Law, Civil Rights and Liberties, Constitutions, Constitutional Law, Constitutional History, Freedom & Security, and Revolutionary and Founding History, as well as #12 in History, #11 in Professional and Technical, and #24 in Nonfiction...."[3]

Mission, organization, and scholars


The Independent Institute seeks to "to transcend the all-too-common politicization and superficiality of public policy research and debate, redefine the debate over public issues, and foster new and effective directions for government reform."[4]


The Institute is divided into several educational centers, including:


Scholars at the Independent Institute include:

Helpful links