America’s Founding Fathers Offered an Escape from Guns

America’s gun lobby says private ownership of firearms prevents tyranny. That’s why the Founding Fathers guaranteed the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment. The first part of that argument makes little sense and is easily put aside. I think the second part is wrong too. The Second Amendment wasn’t meant to guarantee the right to bear arms (however it’s used today). But understanding why requires a bit of history and a bit of thought. Continue reading “America’s Founding Fathers Offered an Escape from Guns”

The “Entail,” Primogeniture, and Why Matthew Inherits Downton Abbey

The Downton Abbey TV series begins with a predicament for the Earl of Grantham. Earl Robert has no sons, and an “entail” keeps any of his three daughters from inheriting his great estate and mansion: Downton Abbey. Robert’s heir is Matthew Crawley, a distant cousin. Matthew will someday inherit both the earl’s title and his real estate, thanks to the entail. What is this “entail”? (I’m a lawyer and amateur historian, so this question is just made for me.)

Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England: the Victorian mansion serving as TV’s Downton Abbey

Continue reading “The “Entail,” Primogeniture, and Why Matthew Inherits Downton Abbey”