The Supreme Court Considers the Right to Bear Arms

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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?

Credits

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

Host:
Lawrence O'Donnell

Producers:
Sonya Geis, Dan Konecky