That was the proposition being debated on the Intelligence Squared squared podcast.
Moderated by ABC News’ John Donvan, the debate featured Harvard LawProfessorAlan Dershowitz and University of Texas Law and Governmet Professor Sanford Levinson, who argued for the motion; and UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh and David Kopel– Research Director, Independence Institute & Associate Policy Analyst, Cato Institute, who argued against the motion.
Here is description of the debate:
“A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” –2nd Amendment
Recent mass shooting tragedies have renewed the national debate over the 2nd Amendment. Gun ownership and homicide rates are higher in the U.S. than in any other developed nation, but gun violence has decreased over the last two decades even as gun ownership may be increasing. Over 200 years have passed since James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, the country has changed, and so have its guns. Is the right to bear arms now at odds with the common good, or is it as necessary today as it was in 1789?
NPR’s Planet Money recently discussed how there has been an increased demand for ammunition, yet prices have not correspondingly increased. Here is the introduction to the story:
Sales of guns and ammunition rose after President Obama took office in 2008, and they went through the roof starting late last year, when a school shooting led to a push for new gun control measures. That’s led to a prolonged ammunition shortage, even with manufacturers running at full capacity.
A gun owner in Florida told me he has had a hard time finding .380 ammo for a small handgun for the past six months. Customers at Bob’s Little Sport Shop in southern New Jersey told me it’s hard to find ammo for some rifles and for the popular 9 mm. Even .22 rounds, the small ones, have been hard to come by.
An economics textbook would say this shouldn’t happen. It would say that Bob Viden, who has run the shop for almost 50 years, should respond to the increase in demand by raising prices. And some stores and online sellers have done just that. But, Viden told me, “We don’t want to do that. We want to be fair.”
Daily Show correspondent John Oliver discusses “political suicide” and “impossibility” of gun control. Oliver’s two part segment compares gun control in Australia versus gun control in the United States. Part I can be found here. Part II is here.
In the wake of terrorism in Boston, Jon Stewart chronicles Congressional Second Amendment hypocrisy. Legislators who were unwilling to curtail the Second Amendment in order to combat the scourge of violence in our inner cities (which has caused nearly a million American deaths since 1970) were more than willing to sacrifice other Constitutional liberties in order to combat terrorism (which has caused approximately 3,400 deaths since 1980).