Gun violence is surging. Despite lockdowns and social distancing, 2020 ended up as one of America’s most violent years in decades. 2021 is following a similar path. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has laid out his strategy. The plan involves targeting illicit gun dealers, upping police budgets, and bolstering community prevention efforts, though it steers clear of anything that smacks of gun control. And that got us thinking. Here at Intelligence Squared, we’ve done a series of debates centered on guns over the years. And many of the same questions are still relevant. In light of that, we thought we’d bring you something a little different today. Instead of just one debate, we’re bringing you three. The first takes aim at the second amendment, and whether it has outlived its usefulness. The second, focuses on the controversial position of whether firearms, and in particular the ability to carry a concealed handgun, can reduce crime. And finally, we take a more recent look at police, the guns they use, and whether police departments have become too militarized.
1. The Constitutional Right To Bear Arms Has Outlived Its Usefulness (Sanford Levinson of University of Texas Law School and David Kopel of Cato Institute)
2. Guns Reduce Crime (John Lott, economist, and former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske)
3. Unresolved American Policing (Paul Butler, Jason Johnson, Rafael Mangual, Sue Rahr, Vikrant Reddy)