his fully automatic firearm at home.rnThe murder rate in Switzerland is actuallyrnlower than that in Japan, where therncivilian population has virtually no accessrnto firearms. For centuries the Swiss havernviewed weapons as synonymous with citizenship;rnin Switzerland, to put it differently,rnthe symbol of a free man is ownershiprnof one or more firearms. (Itrnshould be added that while Switzerlandrnhas a suicide rate twice that of America,rnonly 35 percent of suicides are committedrnwith firearms.)rnThe Founding Fathers of the AmericanrnRepublic intended that universalrngun ownership should prevent the federalrngovernment from having a monopolyrnof force. The goal was “to prevent arnstanding army, the bane of liberty,” saidrnElbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, one ofrnthe members of the Constitutional Convention.rnThe West (from the Shcnandoahsrnto the Rockies and beyond) wasrnopened by armed Americans movingrnahead of the police or the army. This experiencernwas very different from anythingrnin British, as well as in Canadianrnand Australian, history—though not, interestingly,rnfrom the example of NewrnZealand, whose gun laws are among thernleast oppressive of the English-speakingrnworld.rnKopel devotes a fascinating section ofrnhis book to the rise of vigilantisrn in thernabsence of police service, or when thernpolice have been totall}’ corrupted by therncriminal element. Contrary to the Hollywoodrndepiction, vigilantes tended tornrepresent the sense of the communityrnand were drawn from leaders who werernwell-established and elected. They usuallyrnran criminals out of town in preferencernto executing them.rnThe history of race relations in Americarnhas been influenced by the right tornkeep and bear arms; the 14th Amendmentrnwas added to the Constitution, inrnpart, to overturn Jim Crow laws in thernSouth, one of the purposes of these lawsrnbeing to disarm blacks. The logic wasrnsimple: disarm the freedmen, and itrnwould be easier to continue their slaveryrnde facto. Less than a century later. Deaconsrnfor Defense and Justice armed andrnorganized in order to protect civil rightsrnworkers who could expect little or nornprotection from some Southern sheriffs.rnSurprising as it sounds today, thernNAACP convention of 1957 resolvedrnthat, “We do not deny but reaffirm thernright of individual and collective self-defensernagainst unlawful assaults.”rnKopel’s analysis of contemporaryrnviolence in America leads him to concludernthat Americans are not very likelyrnto want to give up their guns, since thernclaim that “the police will protect us” isrnless and less credible. As a chief justicernof the West Virginia Supreme Court hasrnremarked, “Private security guards arernsimply vigilantes for the rich.” Clearly,rnfor the rest of us who cannot afford ourrnown vigilantes, a handgun in the pocketrnand an AK-47 for defense from socialrndisruption (as in Los Angeles in Aprilrn1992) seem to be the accepted answerrnfor a growing number of people. Besides,rnself-defense mav actually be saferrnthan police protection, since police shootrninnocent people 5.5 times more oftenrnthan do civilians.rnLarry Pratt is executive director ofrnGun Owners of America and authorrnof Armed People Victorious.rnPro Patriarnbyf.O. TaternAgainst the Barbarians and OtherrnReflections on Familiar Themesrnby M.E. BradfordrnColumbia: University of Missouri Press;rn268 pp., $37.50rnThe recent passing of Mel Bradfordrnhas cast a chastening light upon thisrnlatest of his collections. Who hadrnwished to be reminded of the author’srnindispensability in this or indeed anvrnother way? Yet reminded wc are andrnmust be. This book means much in itselfrnas it stands, and means more as thernproduct of a powerful mind and a courageousrnman.rnAs he himself insists in his introduction,rnthese 25 pieces are united by muchrnmore than the identity of their author.rnThe essays on Southern literature are informedrnby the same historical and culturalrnconsciousness that encapsulates thernlives of 14 “Fathers”: men of the foundingrnof the Republic, whose service andrnconvictions have been overshadowed,rnperhaps, by those of the colossi we knowrnbetter than we know Rawlins Lowndes ofrnSouth Carolina or James Duane of NewrnYork. Such short lives impress themselvesrnupon the memory, delighting us asrnrevelations of character, and instructingrnus in our national historv in all its varietvrnand specificity. The Antifederalism ofrnPatrick Henry, the glory and shame ofrn”Light-I lorse Harry” Lee, the sketches ofrnSamuel Adams and James Iredell—thesernand others are incisive attempts to restorernAmerican history and the politicalrnpatrimony to those who have inheritedrnit, but too often do not know it.rnInformed b- such awareness, Bradfordrnwas uniquely the man to write a study ofrnthe ratification debates, and a study toornof their related and consequential inversion,rnthe Southern valedictories of 1860-rn1861. His treatment of the argumentsrnfor and against ratification of the Constitutionrnclarifies the meaning of thatrntormented though clear document. Hisrnaccount of the Southern farewells reversesrnmore than a century of receivedrnopinion about the tone of the debatesrnpreceding the secession. In addition, hisrnessavs on Abraham Lincoln and LyndonrnJohnson extend the logic of his views tornthose redeemer-figures, whose rhetoricrnand claims to virtue are linked to theirrnsearch for power. Bradford has donernmore than any commentator I know tornmake the study of American history asrn”exciting” and “relevant” as any liberalrnhistorian could wish.rnBut of course, when we think aboutrnBradford, we think of Southern literature.rnHere we have a personal tribute tornAndrew Lytic, two useful pieces onrnFaulkner, a reconsideration of WilliamrnCilmore Simms, and a fine piece connectingrnDonald Davidson’s poem aboutrnSimms’ home, “Woodlands, 1956-rn1960,” to the “great house” tradition ofrnHorace, Jonson, Marvell, and Yeats. Thisrnlast piece in particular reminds us of thernloss implied bv Bradford’s exit, for hernwas working on a biography of Davidsonrnwhen he died. And it reminds us too ofrnother essays on Davidson in Bradford’srnGenerations of the Faithful Heart (1983).rnThe title essay illustrates the scope ofrnBradford’s mind, the extent of his engagement.rnIt reminds us that Bradfordrncould never be “politically correct” preciselyrnbecause he was correct politicallyrn(and morally). Against nihilists, neo-rnMarxists, multiculturalists, and all thernrest, he speaks the truth about the perversionrnof the academy in our time:rnFor there can be no rational responsernto the errors of judgmentrnand analysis made by persons whornOCTOBER 1993/37rnrnrn