by Ariana Pekary, producer
Adam Winkler is a professor of law at University of California, Los Angeles where he focuses on constitutional law. In Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, he describes this country’s history with gun control. The Second Amendment may have been passed more than 200 years ago (December 1791 to be exact), but there has been disagreement ever since over the meaning of the following words: “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.”
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence states, “In one year, more than 31,000 people die from gun violence – and close to 79,000 more are shot but survive gun injuries.” That could be due to the fact that there are 280 million guns in the U.S., and are in 35-percent home homes. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association states: “Coinciding with a surge in gun purchases that began shortly before the 2008 elections, violent crime decreased six percent between 2008 and 2009, including an eight percent decrease in murder and a nine percent decrease in robbery.” Oddly enough, as Winkler points out, the NRA was founded by a former New York Times reporter and the organization actually supported gun laws at its start. (It wasn’t until 1977 that the organization changed its mission from being a “hunter’s rights” organization to a “self-defense” rights organization.)
There’s so much more to learn about our gun control laws. Start by listening to Bob’s interview, then go get the book.
On Tuesdays, Winkler hosts a weekly “tweminar” on his twitter feed, in which he poses a topical question related to the law and coaches followers through their responses. Follow (@adamwinkler) if you can!