The 2nd Amendment Explained
Parkland. Las Vegas. Sandy Hook. Despite all the speeches, all the marches, and all the tweets from fist-clenched celebrities proclaiming “never again” — the legal reality is that gun rights in the United States are presently expanding, not contracting. And in the wake of these tragedies, the facts and nuances surrounding the gun control issue are being lost. Both Left and Right are firmly dug in. Constructive debate has fallen by the wayside.
The 2nd Amendment of our Constitution says the people have a “right to bear arms.” But it also says that right is meant to serve the interests of a “well-regulated militia.” So wait, does that mean if you’re not in a militia you don’t get a gun? And how is it even legal that a guy in Texas can bring a gun to a playground but I can’t carry a knife on the E train? And even though the amendment says the government can’t take away “arms,” grenade launchers are still illegal everywhere, right? Where are the lines drawn, exactly?
This Olio explores the legal evolution of the 2nd Amendment over the last hundred years. A frank discussion with a Constitutional scholar about the whole of the gun control issue. No political agenda — just all of the facts and then a mature examination of the leading interpretations of those facts from the confiscate-them-all position of the far Left to the from-my-cold-dead-hands position of the far Right and everything in between. Those who attend will likely not leave with an entirely new stance on gun rights, but they will certainly be able to speak more intelligently about the finer points of this issue.
Teacher: Lawrence Cappello
Lawrence Cappello is the author of None of Your Damn Business: A History of Privacy in the United States, due out this September. His essays have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Nation. He is an Assistant Professor of U.S. Legal/Constitutional History at the University of Alabama, and received his PhD in History from the City University of New York.
Hip, late-night beer hall featuring microbrews & food vendors in a spacious, industrial-chic venue. Classes will be held in the private room.