Out of Range: Why the Constitution Can't End the Battle over by Mark V. Tushnet

By Mark V. Tushnet

Few constitutional disputes keep as strong a grip at the public brain because the conflict over the second one modification. The nationwide Rifle organization and gun-control teams fight unceasingly over a bit of the political panorama that no candidate for the presidency--and few for Congress--can come up with the money for to disregard. yet who is correct? Will it ever be attainable to settle the argument? In Out of Range, one of many nation's top criminal students takes a peaceful, aim examine this sour debate. Mark V. Tushnet brings to this publication a deep services within the structure, the perfect courtroom, and the function of the legislation in American existence. He breaks down the several positions at the moment modification, displaying that it's a mistake to stereotype them. Tushnet's exploration is sincere and nuanced; he unearths the constitutional arguments finely balanced, that's one cause the controversy has raged for therefore lengthy. alongside the best way, he examines a variety of experiments in public coverage, from each side, and unearths little transparent facts for the sensible effectiveness of any method of gun defense and prosecution. after all, he notes, so much advocates of the correct to maintain and undergo fingers agree that it may be topic to moderate rules. eventually, Tushnet argues, our view of the second one modification displays our feel of ourselves as a humans. the reply to the talk are usually not present in any holy writ, yet in our values and our imaginative and prescient of the country. This compact, incisive exam bargains a good and considerate consultant to either side of the argument, pointing find out how to strategies which may calm, if no longer settle, this sour dispute.

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Extra resources for Out of Range: Why the Constitution Can't End the Battle over Guns

Sample text

Washington believed that the new nation could not succeed without a significant armed force. The Constitution’s drafters agreed, but they also understood that lots of people continued to fear an overly strong national government. ’’ Armies were good for meeting threats from abroad, but they might be a problem if turned inward. The Constitution’s drafters [ 13 ] o ut o f r a n g e tried to keep the armed forces focused outward by providing a different means for dealing with domestic disorder or insurgency.

The government has armored personnel carriers and nuclear weapons. Handguns and rifles can’t possibly be enough to resist the armed forces of today’s governments. Gun-rights proponents divide over the implications of technological change. Some rely on the British background of the Second Amendment and accept that ‘‘dangerous or unusual arms’’ can be prohibited. One prominent gun-rights advocate concludes that governments can ban private ownership of flamethrowers, armor-piercing bullets, and even high-powered rifles that can go through walls and injure innocent by-standers.

They defended him against [ 27 ] o ut o f r a n g e marauders—which, as Bumppo knew, sometimes included government and its agents. That is the image on which the individual-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment draws. Now we can return to our ‘‘gun license test’’ proposal. If the Second Amendment protects an individual right, it would seem obvious that you can’t be required to pass a test before you acquire a gun. The government can make you pass a test before you drive a car, because nothing in the Constitution gives you a right to drive.

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