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The Right to Bear Arms
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to bear arms. Yet the limits of that right continues to be argued. Recent efforts by members of the LGBT community to form gun clubs to learn the use of handguns to protect themselves from physical abuse point to a lesson of history. Those regimes or those segments of society that desired to impose their will on other citizens have included confiscation of guns or their prohibition as one of the first steps toward that end. In the U.S., the Jim Crow laws kept freed slaves from protecting themselves. In the last decade, similar efforts in Venezuela have made it much easier to remove all opposition to the ruling regime. Through town hall meetings throughout the nation, we hope to introduce the concept of “armed equality” as an important aspect of Second Amendment rights.
The Framers added the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights so that citizens could safeguard their burgeoning country. And in 2008, the Supreme Court upheld an individual’s right to keep and bear arms in the landmark case Heller v. D.C. and expanded the right to include state and local governments in McDonald v. City of Chicago. Yet today, there is still much debate surrounding the Second Amendment.
Below, Robert A. Levy, chairman of the board of directors at the Cato Institute, Chris Cheng, a Top Shot Champion, and Nadine Strossen, Professor at New York Law School, offer their thoughts on the Second Amendment and what it means to them.
We invite you to continue this discussion in your community by either hosting or attending an event. Hosting an event is as simple as finding a location (your local town library might be a great start), downloading the agenda template, and using the videos from this webpage to start the conversation. If you would like more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pink Pistols, an LGBT group, formed to teach members of their community how firearms can be used for personal safety. Learn more about their group and the Second Amendment.
Nadine Strossen, Professor at New York Law School and former President of the ACLU, discusses “reasonable regulations” regarding an individual’s right to bear arms. Watch as she examines this issue as it is written in the 2008 Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller.
Robert (Bob) Levy, CATO Institute Chairman, examines the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller case from the perspective of co-counsel. Levy discusses how this decision paved the way for McDonald v. City of Chicago expanding the individual’s right to bear arms to state and local governments as well.
Chris Cheng, Top Shot Season 4 Champion, talks about being a gay person in the firearms community and his decision to join the Top Shot competition as a self-taught shooter. He examines his apprehension about not only the contest but also how the firearms community would accept him. Watch him discuss his journey from Silicon Valley employee to a professional shooter.