The Libertarian Podcast: The Second Amendment and Mass Shootings

 

shutterstock_124466629In the wake of last week’s shooting rampage by Elliot Rodger in California, there’s been a predictable firestorm over the Second Amendment and whether America makes it too easy to access guns. In this episode of the Libertarian podcast from the Hoover Institution, Professor Epstein addresses some of those issues: Was the Second Amendment meant to protect individual rights or collective ones? Has the Supreme Court’s recent jurisprudence on the issue gotten us closer to, or further away from, the original meaning? And, even if the critics have their way, do the kind of gun control regulations we most frequently hear proposed have any real prospect of curbing violence like what we saw last week? Listen to hear Richard’s take.

 

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  1. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I always figured the 2nd amendment was only ever about the violent overthrow of the US government as the final backstop of liberty.

    I think that the case whose name I forget in early 20th century which stated that the government can regulate weapons for which there is no legitimate martial use, probably incorporated the preparatory clause the most appropriately.

    My other pet peeve is that we are talking about 2 individual rights held by the people:  The right to keep, and the right to bear arms.  I have the right to the weapon, and the right to its legitimate application.

    So we can regulate weapons which have no legitimate martial use, and also to put boundaries on its legitimate application (time and place restrictions, etc), but we can’t tell people they can’t have arms, or use them.

    The problem for the gun controllers is that they want to ban the wrong things, and encumber legitimate applications.

    Also, I always figured the self-defense angle was an open and shut 9th amendment case.

    • #1
  2. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Guruforhire:

    I always figured the 2nd amendment was only ever about the violent overthrow of the US government as the final backstop of liberty.

    This.

    • #2
  3. Whiskey Sam Member
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    Richard ignores any context of what influenced the writing of the 2nd amendment, its philosophical underpinnings, and the arguments made during ratification of the Constitution in the Federalist Papers and other debates of the time.  The idea that it is limited to forming a militia doesn’t hold up when taking all of this into consideration nor when considering the English Bill of Rights of 1689 which was a major influence on the Founders and goes far beyond a simple right for forming a militia.  

    The problem of mass killings is not a problem of gun rights; it is a matter of how we fail to deal with people suffering from mental illness.  We allow people to self-medicate who then decide they feel fine and don’t need their medication who then lose their grip on reality and turn violent.  We focus on a symptom when we obsess over gun availability and ignore the mental illness underlying the violent outburst in the first place.

    • #3
  4. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    Whiskey Sam:

    Richard ignores any context of what influenced the writing of the 2nd amendment, its philosophical underpinnings, and the arguments made during ratification of the Constitution in the Federalist Papers and other debates of the time. The idea that it is limited to forming a militia doesn’t hold up when taking all of this into consideration nor when considering the English Bill of Rights of 1689 which was a major influence on the Founders and goes far beyond a simple right for forming a militia.

    Agreed.  This is one of the few areas where I think Richard is just flat out wrong.

    • #4
  5. Stu In Tokyo Member
    Stu In Tokyo
    @StuInTokyo

    Frank Soto:

    Whiskey Sam:

    Richard ignores any context of what influenced the writing of the 2nd amendment, its philosophical underpinnings, and the arguments made during ratification of the Constitution in the Federalist Papers and other debates of the time. The idea that it is limited to forming a militia doesn’t hold up when taking all of this into consideration nor when considering the English Bill of Rights of 1689 which was a major influence on the Founders and goes far beyond a simple right for forming a militia.

    Agreed. This is one of the few areas where I think Richard is just flat out wrong.

     Same here, I don’t understand how Professor Epstein ignores the context.

    • #5
  6. user_1131938 Thatcher
    user_1131938
    @BarryJones

    I would also like for Richard to show me where else in the Bill of Rights that the phrase “the people” refers to the State…I am just a history major, but I don’t see it.

    • #6

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