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Supported Research


Lock, Stock, and Barrel: How American Gun Culture and Manufacturing Created the Modern World.

The applicant is responding to a new book entitled "The Gunning of America," in which the author contends that firearms were a much less significant part of our Nation's history than they are often held to be.  The applicant has written books and articles challenging such published assertions before, including a book entitled Armed America.  The applicant also played a core role in demolishing Michael Bellesiles' Arming America, which falsely asserted that guns and gun culture were rare and tightly regulated in early America.  The applicant travelled to Hartford, Connecticut to review some of the Colt Company and Samuel Colt correspondence cited by Haag and its immediate context.  The applicant concluded that Haag's characterizations are grossly wrong.

The applicant has also written a 40,000 word book on early American gunsmithing and manufacturing and the revolutionary effects the tools and processes they created had on creating the modern world.  The final chapter will be "The Myth of Manufacturing Demand" and demonstrate the gross errors in Haag's book.

The applicant has also written three related law review articles.

Greenwood Publishing Group, under its Praeger Press imprint, in March 2018 began publishing his book about gun culture in early America and the myth of gun marketing, Lock, Stock, and Barrel: The Origins of American Gun Culture.  It includes chapters that refute revisionist claims about the absence of early American gun culture and Haag's claims about gun makers creating a gun culture through marketing.

The applicant spoke about the book and his research at the NRA Foundation, Inc.'s 2018 National Firearms Law CLE at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas.  Mr. Cramer has also given interviews about the book, including an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Company.

An unpublished paper of the applicant's, resulting in part from research and writing conducted pursuant to the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund grant, has been cited in other published works.  Jacobs, James and Fuhr, Zoe, The Potential and Limitations of Universal Background Checking for Gun Purchasers (April 28, 2017); Wake Forest Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 7, No. 2, (2017 Forthcoming); NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-13. Available at SSRN: (citing Mr. Cramer's unpublished paper paper about universal background checks approvingly, pointing out serious flaws with Dr. Webster's claims about repeal of Missouri's UBC law.

Furthermore, the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy has published Mr. Cramer's law review article entitled Congressional Authority to Pass Concealed Carry Reciprocity Legislation, which, the applicant informs, is based in part on the research conducted with the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund grant.  Abstract:  "Congress is considering passage of national concealed carry legislation requiring all states to recognize concealed weapon licenses issued by any state, rather like the way that every state recognizes driver's licenses issued by another state. Are there any constitutional problems with such legislation? What practical problems might result? This paper seeks to answer those questions."

This matter may now be considered concluded.

Mass Murderers.

The applicant is writing a new book tentatively called Mass Murderers: Who? How? Why?The gun prohibitionists are inaccurately blaming guns for the mass murders.  The book addresses the question of whether gun ownership-and specifically ownership of "assault weapons"-causes acts of mass murder.  The applicant will also address mass murders across the world, including mass murders in countries that have restrictive firearms laws.  The book will also address the use of explosives and other non-firearm weapons.  The applicant will discuss the causal factors related to mass murders and to show that there is no correlation between access to firearms and mass murders.

One chapter seemed especially suited to a law review article countering the gun prohibitionists' argument that certain classes of firearms make the U.S. exceptional in mass murder problems.  The title: "Mass Murder: American Unexceptionalism."  It is currently available at  The applicant is submitting it to law reviews.  It is also available at


In April, 2018, the applicant participated in a 10th anniversary Heller symposium at Southern Illinois University School of Law.  He presented a paper titled, "Mass Murder: American Unexceptionalism, D.C. v. Heller, and 'Reasonableness'" which will appear in a subsequent Southern Illinois University Law Journal.  In September 2018, the applicant gave a presentation at the Texas Bar legal seminar.  The applciants will be giving a presentation at a Second Amendment symposium at Lincoln Memorial University Law School in Knoxville, Tennessee, in January 2019.

The applicant has also been answering media queries concerning the relationship between mass murder and mental illness.

The research and writing for the book is well under way: the 17th and 18th Centuries portions have been finished and he is researching and writing about the 19th, 20th and 21stCenturies now.

I have identified 292 mass murders in U.S. history with a total of 2,329 deaths.  Of those 203 incidents involved a firearm, 265 were non-firearm incidents.  While I do not yet have a breakdown by deaths (not incidents) by weapon type, I do know that the non-firearm mass murders are usually much larger death tolls (many dozens dead from arson mass murders, thousands dead from airplane mass murders, dozens to hundreds dead from explosives mass murders).

[M]ass murder is hardly a modern problem:  mass murder in America was a problem throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, yet it did not prevent ratification of the broad guarantee recognized in DC v. Heller, incorporated to limit the states in McDonald v. Chicago, and the numerous state constitutional guarantees.

Symposium and Law review, Southern Illinois University.

The applicant participated in a Second Amendment symposium relating to District of Columbia v. Heller, at Southern Illinois University on April 19, 2018.  The applicant addressed two main themes:  (1) the legal chaos which has resulted from numerous circuit splits and the Supreme Court's repeated denials of certiorari; and (2) the need to apply heightened standards of review.

The applicant's submitted materials will be published in the Southern Illinois University Law Review shortly.  The applicant's article, entitled The Second Amendment and the Courts, will address the Supreme Court cases, and describe

…the serious circuit splits that have occurred in two areas:  (1) Standard of review, where courts range from imposing a high level of scrutiny and demanding actual proof that a law works, to applying rational basis under another name, and upholding laws based on speculation.  (2) When Heller referred to 'long standing' [laws] surviving legal challenges, was it predicting that these laws would probably pass scrutiny, or created categorical exclusions where the Second Amendment has no application at all?  The article will close with a call for a high level of scrutiny, based on the proclivity of some legislatures to pass gun laws on a whim, or to punish firearm owners.

The article has two thrusts: (1) the Court really has to grant cert. Lower courts have split on every aspect of Heller, and the result is legal chaos. (2) In particular they have fractured badly on standard of review, all the way from strict scrutiny to rational basis (that Circuit holds that Heller's preclusion of rational basis only applies to its narrow holding: a complete prohibition gets elevated review, anything less gets rational basis).

The applicant revised the article after Brett Kavanaugh was nominated for the Supreme Court, as Judge Kavanaugh takes a different approach to standards of review. "Judge Kavanaugh holds that there is no standard of review applicable: review should be based on "text, history, and tradition." The applicant also incorporated two Circuit Court decisions that were handed down in the summer of 2018.

Lastly, the applicant has been invited to write for and present at a January 18, 2019 Second Amendment Symposium at Lincoln Memorial Law School in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Ex Post Facto Research.

The applicant is conducting research in order to write a law review article examining whether the firearm-related consequences of a conviction can be increased after the offense or the conviction.  The applicant believes that this poses an ex post facto problem.  Traditionally, that doctrine forbids (1) retroactively criminalizing conduct, or (2) retroactively increasing punishments.  The Lautenberg Amendment has been challenged under both, and courts have upheld it by ruling that:  (1) it relates to future actions, namely, possessing a firearm; and (2) it is a regulation of future conduct, not a punishment.  However, the applicant's research has revealed a third type of ex post factolaw:  one that "makes an offense greater than it was, at the time it was committed."  This refers to the civil consequences of an offense, not to its criminal punishment.  The applicant argues that this would clearly apply to the loss of a fundamental constitutional right. The applicant has found four Supreme Court cases that suggest that the ex post facto clause forbids not only increasing punishment, but "making an offense greater than it was, at the time it was committed."  This matter may now be considered closed.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Article.

The applicant is conducting research in order to write an article outlining the constitutional justifications for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, including the Commerce Clause, the Second Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Militia Clauses.  This matter may now be considered closed.

Mass Slayings Book.

The applicant informs as follows:

The applicant has written a book about the nature of mass killings, their perpetrators and potential solutions.  The author has addressed the perpetrators' mental state.  "The biggest contributor to that appears to be narcissistic personal disorder, which is actually worsened by the way schools handle them."

The book uses historical examples to demonstrate how gun control laws do not affect mass slayings.  The book addresses arming teachers and others, and will conclude that arming civilians can prevent mass slayings.

The book outlines reforms for the mental health system, including revisiting decades old Supreme Court cases that restrict commitments.  The applicant worked with a renowned author who is an expert on the mental health system and a psychiatrist.

The book concludes that there is no need to panic as there is no epidemic of such mass shootings as portrayed by the mass media.  There are solutions to the problem, but gun control is the most useless approach because the perpetrators of mass killings plan for months or even years, can pass all background checks, only a few of them use so called "assault rifles," and they carry multiple weapons so magazine sizes are irrelevant.

1.  Mass and school killings are not a uniquely American experience. Our mass killing rate is actually lower than several European countries, even if terrorism is excluded from their rates. The record mass killing came in China, using bombs. The runner-up came in Norway, and third place was in South Korea. Our own record mass killing involved arson (107 dead), and our record school killing (44 deaths) involved dynamite, 90 years ago.

2.  Mass killers and school killers are for the most part driven by extreme narcissism. They long for the Godlike power of life and death over others, and more importantly, they long for celebrity status, they want their names and faces to be exposed to millions. …

3.  They and the mass media have established a symbiotic relationship. They give the media what they want - viewers riveted to TV screen and print media, thereby also watching advertising - and the media gives them what they want, their names and pictures shown worldwide. The Columbine killers debated which big-name director would direct the movie about them. They got their faces on the cover of Time magazine - twice.  …

4.  There are solutions, starting with media self-control. One social scientist believes that mass killings would drop by over a third if the media stopped treating killers as celebrities.  Tell the story, but stop using their names and photographs.  …  If there is one form of crime where gun control can have no effect, it's mass killings. Waiting periods?  The killers plan for months or years. Background checks?  They can pass them.  The Navy Yard killer even had a security clearance. Ban large magazines? Almost all killers carry 2-3 guns.

5.  One approach that has an impressive record: a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.  I compile a list of cases where intended mass killers were stopped by civilians or out-of-uniform law enforcement.  These haven't received much publicity because the killer was stopped before he became a mass killer, and without a large body count the media treats it as local news.  When we talk of "hardening" school targets, arming some teachers, even just a few, must be part of it.  Mass killers are terrified by the thought of failure; instead of becoming a celebrity, they are dead and forgotten. Armed teachers add to the risk of failure.

On August 14, 2018, the book was released by Kindle as an e-book.  In August, 2018, the paperback version was also released. "For some weeks after its release it ranked in the top five on Amazon in American politics and in criminology."  This matter may now be considered closed.