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FROM THIS EPISODE

Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of a Washington, DC security guard that could re-define America's relationship to guns. Guest host Lawrence O'Donnell explores whether the Second Amendment grants each of us an absolute individual right to bear arms and how likely it is that the court will find all gun control laws unconstitutional and return the country to an unfettered free market in guns. Also, Barack Obama speaks out on sermons by his former pastor, and the crisis in Tibet, the Olympics in China, and the Dalai Lama in India.


Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

To Keep and Bear Arms

Joyce Malcolm

Producers:
Gary Scott
Sonya Geis
Dan Konecky

Making News Obama Speaks on Race and His Pastor 5 MIN, 55 SEC

Today in Philadelphia, Senator Barack Obama repeated his objections to the controversial sermons delivered by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor of his Chicago church. In a campaign speech, Obama said it was time for America to "move beyond some of our old racial wounds." New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny was at the speech.

Guests:
Jeff Zeleny, New York Times (@jeffzeleny)

Reporter's Notebook Dalai Lama to Step Down if Tibet Gets 'Out of Control' 8 MIN, 49 SEC

It was 50 years ago last week that the Dalai Lama fled Tibet, an anniversary that has been marked by deadly protests inside the country. Although details are scarce, since the Chinese government has banned foreign journalists from entering Tibet, cell phone images and clandestine phone calls from Lhasa have provided some specifics from the clashes, which may have left as many as 80 dead. Somini Sengupta, New Delhi Bureau Chief for the New York Times, is in Dharamsala, India, where the Dalai Lama lives in exile.

Guests:
Somini Sengupta, New York Times (@SominiSengupta)

Main Topic The Supreme Court Considers the Right to Bear Arms 33 MIN, 52 SEC

bill_of_rights.jpgToday the US Supreme Court heard arguments that have been percolating for more than 200 years on the meaning of these 27 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 case was brought by a private security guard who guarded a federal office building and wanted the right to take his revolver home at the end of his shift. "They give me a gun to protect them," Dick Heller says of the government, "but I'm a second-class citizen when I finish work." Attorneys seek to overturn the ban on registering handguns in the capital, the ban on having a concealed weapon at home and the requirement that any licensed riffles or shotguns stored at home be unloaded and locked. Does the Second Amendment grant each of us an uninfringeable right to bear arms or was it intended to provide arms only for a well-regulated militia?

Guests:
Emma Schwartz, Reporter, US News and World Report
Robert Levy, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
Paul Helmke, President, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Joyce Malcolm, Professor of Law, George Mason University
Jack Rakove, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

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