What did the Founding Fathers really intend when they crafted the Second Amendment? Two leading experts with opposing views, Alan Gura and Michael Waldman, debate the question.
Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, joined attorney Gura and the National Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen for a rigorous discussion on the history and purpose of the Second Amendment in a live event on June 4, 2014 at the museum.
Crossing the full course of American history from the time of the Founding Fathers to present day, the conversation drew chiefly upon Waldman’s new book, The Second Amendment: A Biography.
“This is a superb book,” said Rosen to an excited audience. “What Michael has done so compellingly is to give a narratively accessible account of the history of the Second Amendment—what the various drafts of it meant, from the Revolutionary-era state constitutions through the ratification process of the Bill of Rights and the Reconstruction era.”
“He also gives us a sense of the genesis and meaning of the recent Supreme Court decisions recognizing the Second Amendment as an individual right and their current effects,” Rosen continued, “and the surprising lesson that lower courts have interpreted these decision to allow many gun-control regulations rather than strike them down.”
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