Expanding the 2nd Ammendment

The New York Times today posted a story discussing how some states (Tennessee, Arizona, Virginia, Georgia) are allowing patrons to bring loaded firearms into bars.  I can’t help but think that this goes beyond the intent of the second ammendment, but it does so in a way that would be extremely clear to students.

The Second Ammendment: “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.” 

It’s beyond me that personal safety covers the “security of a free state.”  I think this article is useful for a government class regarding the discussion of individual rights and the common good.  This is a case that helps illustrate this point in clear terms.  Having guns in an alcohol serving establishment seems like a clear violation of the common good as peoples’ judgment is impaired while under the influence and the potential danger posed to the general population is extremely high.  This article could be well used in a class as a counter to an article that discusses the importance of maintaining the common good at the expense of individual rights.  (A pro-gun control article would be the logical choice.)

To take the next steps one could work with these laws from the abovementioned states and contrast them to some of the stricter gun control laws in the country as a way to work on a true solution.  Students would be then able to use real evidence to support a structured way of handling the issue of gun control.  This would line up nicely to a Structured Academic Controversy, or a mock congress, or both.

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