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The Constitutional Right To Bear Arms Has Outlived Its Usefulness

From the Panel

  • For: Alan Dershowitz

  • Cerberus Divestment Decision Is a Risky Way to Combat Gun Violence
    Alan Dershowitz, The Daily Beast, December 19, 2012Divestment actions, boycotts, and blacklists aimed at chilling the exercise of a constitutional right can create a dangerous precedent.
  • Stop the Slaughter, Change U.S. Gun Laws Now
    Alan Dershowitz, Haaretz, December 18, 2012If the Newtown killings don’t oblige legislators and courts to show courage against the gun lobby and its junk politics and to end the easy availability of weapons that are efficient killing machines, what ever will?
  • Why the United States Won’t Control Guns
    Alan Dershowitz, Haaretz, July 23, 2012Ours is the only Constitution that explicitly protects “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” But the Second Amendment is anything but clear about what those Delphic words were intended to mean at the time they were enacted.

  • For: SANFORD LEVINSON

  • The Embarrassing Second Amendment
    Sanford Levinson, Yale Law Journal, Volume 99, 1989For too long, most members of the legal academy have treated the Second Amendment as the equivalent of an embarrassing relative, whose mention brings a quick change of subject to other, more respectable, family members. That will no longer do.
  • For Whom is the Heller Decision Important and Why?
    Sanford Levinson, Symposium, May 14, 2009While the Heller decision has already been deemed of great significance by the legal community, it is too soon to tell what its long term effects may be.
  • Sanford Levinson and David Kairys on ‘Radio Times’
    Radio Times, December 20, 2007Levinson and Kairys discuss the 2nd Amendment ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Heller.
  • Sanford Levinson Talks About Our Constitutional Rights
    Joseph Cotto interviews Sanford Levinson, The Washington Times Communities, February 3, 2013‘Due attention’ should be paid to text, structure, history, and precedent, but it is also important for the Supreme Court to be sensitive as well to what Justice Holmes called ‘the felt necessities of the time.’
  • Where’s the Revolutionary Spirit?
    Sanford Levinson, Room for Debate, The New York Times, April 19, 2013One might think that when roughly 90 percent of the American people support enhanced background checks for people who wish to purchase firearms, there would be a good chance that that policy preference would result in legislation.
  • Our Imbecilic Constitution
    Sanford Levinson, Campaign Stops, The New York Times, May 28, 2012Critics across the spectrum call the American political system dysfunctional, even pathological. What they don’t mention, though, is the role of the Constitution itself in generating the pathology.
  • To Keep and Bear Arms: An Exchange
    Sanford Levinson, New York Review of Books, November 16, 1995The Second Amendment is most plausibly read as acknowledging the right of otherwise peaceable and law-abiding American citizens “to keep and bear arms” against the dreaded possibility that they will find it necessary to join with other citizens in making the Lockean appeal against an overweening national government.

ARTICLES FOR & AGAINST

  • FOR

  • Facing the Real Gun Problem
    David Cole, The New York Review of Books, June 20, 2013If proponents of gun control fail to understand or respect the opposing point of view, they may well undermine their own interests in achieving reform.
  • Rewrite the Second Amendment
    Zachary Elkins, The New York Times, April 4, 2013Before you mock the idea of a constitutional amendment, consider that hardly anyone is happy with our unstable status quo: gun enthusiasts fear their rights are under constant threat; gun-control advocates point to the danger of illegal guns and easy access to firearms.
  • Ditch the Second Amendment
    Benjamin Wittes, The New Republic, March 19, 2007We should seek gun control and a Constitution that means something.

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