Gun Violence – Gun Rights – Gun Regulation
In a polarized society rife with diametrically opposed points of view, the issue of gun rights vs. gun regulation stands out as particularly divisive. In its exploration of this contentious topic, the colloquy will examine the human costs of gun violence, the legal bases underlying gun rights and gun regulation, and the arguments currently being advanced by each side of the gun debate in support of its position. Finally, we will consider whether some kind of middle ground is achievable.
Among the subjects discussed will be the basis of gun rights and gun regulation in Anglo-American common law and under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (“the right to keep and bear arms”) and how the courts have interpreted these rights over the course of U.S. history, culminating in the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Heller v. the District of Columbia (2008). We’ll also survey the reasons why people own guns and the increasing level of gun violence. The colloquy will then consider a variety of gun regulation measures that are in effect or have been proposed and try to determine which of these are: a) permissible under Heller; b) likely to achieve their intended effect; and c) acceptable to the American public. Finally, we will discuss whether or not even those proposals that meet these criteria are likely to be enacted into law. Recommended reading: Living with Guns, A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment by Craig Whitney.
John O’Shea received BA and MA degrees in English Literature, from NYU, a JD degree from St. John’s Univ. School of Law, and an LLM (Master of Laws in Trade Regulation and Intellectual Property) from NYU School of Law. Retiring after 35 years of the practice of law, John and his wife, Diane, now live in Sedgwick, ME and Jupiter, FL.
Living with Guns, A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment by Craig Whitney.
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