TMCC Constitution Day Forum – 2019
Articles,  Blog

TMCC Constitution Day Forum – 2019

Good afternoon everyone thank you for
attending the annual TMCC Constitution Day forum this is the three hundred
three hundred thirty second anniversary of the US Constitution we are here today
to discuss the Second Amendment my name is Jacob
I’m a student here at TMCC as well as an officer in the political and history
science club what else are just like they give a
quick thank you to Andrew for greeting you guys at the door and being our
second moderator per say keeping time track the panel will take roughly 35 to
40 minutes to answer six questions possibly eight of time needs be during
the panel we ask students to write in questions which will be collected by
Professor Locke and who’s sitting over there in the red shirt after the panel
has answered each question will then move on to the student questions and
answers all right if the panel could introduce themselves from this
audience’s left to right so believe John and die for thank you very much hi
everybody I’m John Reed I’m a professor in the history department here at TMCC
hi everyone I’m Brian Fletcher I’m a professor in political science
good afternoon my name is Patrick McGinnis I’m an attorney here in Reno
Nevada I am currently a contract attorney
through the Municipal Court I have worked as a prosecutor and as a chief
deputy public defender here in Washoe County thank you everyone
now if I may direct the first question the professor of history dr. John Reed
thank you why they have this empty question why have the founders included
the second amendment the Bill of Rights thank you very much I just say thank you
welcome to everybody thank you for coming thanks to my fellow panel members
and thanks Fred Lakhan for really putting this whole thing together
I know you want to get to the contemporary issues but I just want to
just do some foundational talk about this very issue I’m why are we even
talking about it how did this seemingly unimportant issue at the time really get
into one of the top ten of the Bill of Rights so it’s a complicated story but
I’ll try to boil it down and if you want more detail please send questions and
I’ll be happy to expand later on to this but the key to understanding
why the framers or the first Congress actually included the second amendment
in the Bill of Rights is really the political philosophy of republicanism
now this doesn’t have anything to do with the current Republican Party that’s
that they presumably took their name from from this philosophy but this is a
philosophy that have those roots and antiquity but really flowered in the
1600s and 1700s in Europe and was particularly important in Great Britain
and here’s another thing we often forget in the 1600s the the colonists were
British we think that we think we teach American history we think they’re
American right okay they are part that their Britain but they’re separated by a
sea so during the 1600s Great Britain was really embroiled in a very
tumultuous century with two revolutions one in which the king was literally
beheaded and they did not have a monarch they had a republic for over a decade
little-known in in America for some reason also they had a bloodless
revolution in 1688 so during this time the 1600s and 1700s opposition to
monarchy developed in Great Britain and also in other places in Europe and they
and one of the philosophies that came out of this was a philosophy called
republicanism and it has some basic elements some of which are obvious today
one is that Authority is the ultimate authority is the people we the people
that’s where that comes from sovereignty is the people and the
purpose of government is the common welfare of the people okay those are
obvious we still live with those we think of those as part of the American
story but it also had other elements that are no longer really relevant
they’re archaic one of them is that the Republican
philosophers and thinkers believed that for a republic to work the people had to
have civic virtue meaning that they had to believe in the public welfare more
than their own individual welfare right they quickly learned that’s a fantasy
but that was they genuinely believed that because well if the people rule
then they have to be concerned with the general wealth
they because of that they also became very interested in the concept of
corruption and they are almost obsessed with it they they said well if the
people have to be virtuous in a republic they’re always going to be the
unvirtuous who try to take away freedom so you have to be vigilant about
challenges to freedom and liberty right so they’re always obsessed with these
these conspiracies against Liberty and that leads me to the their their concern
with the issue of standing armies so here we get to the Second Amendment so
the Second Amendment cannot be understood without the Republican fear
of standing armies in the Republican concept the Republican theory a standing
army which means an army in the time of peace is one of the biggest threats to
Liberty you can have so the Republican theory said you cannot have a standing
army or in peacetime so the alternative of that is the militia the citizen
militia and that is what the Republicans would say the Republican Theory says is
the appropriate defense the citizen soldier trained ready to fight but it’s
the soil but not the the regular because the standing army they argued is going
to be the tool of the oppressor they’re going to come and take your Liberty away
so john Trenchard famous republican theorist said in 1697 if any man doubts
whether a standing army is slavery popery muhammed ism meaning islam
paganism Athan atheism or any of these things please read and he goes on for
several pages to give several examples that he thinks are standing armies
taking away people’s Liberty so when the colonists in in what North America when
their interests began to diverge from Great Britain around 1750 and especially
after 1763 they looked around for some renew something was wrong but said what
how can we justify they felt like there might be a break coming up they were
looking for some kind of philosophy and republicanism fit perfect
right it gave them a body of ideas that seemed to fit their circumstances who
comes and enforces unpopular British policies the Redcoats
the regulars right so what what what in 1768 what did the British come to do in
Boston they said they wanted they came and they want to disarm the the the
citizens right they wanted to disarm them because you know well for obvious
reasons the first security reasons so these this this is the foundation of
that kind of thinking in the colonies now after the Revolution the states
wrote their constitutions first so you might be wondering well did the states
and their constitutions put a right to bear arms actually the majority did not
some did Pennsylvania did and Massachusetts did but both of them
phrased it in a very clear way its right to bear arms for defense of themselves
and the state meaning the cause it’s for defense of the common group not the
individual but most did not contain that that section now one that did and this
is you’re going to see this is Virginia’s Declaration of Rights this is
the one that that Madison virtually well he caught he edited this one to make the
Second Amendment and I’m gonna read it to you because I think in Mason’s
original you can see the meaning of it is clear so in the Virginia Declaration
of Rights it says quote that a well-regulated militia regulated meaning
trained composed of the body of the people trained to arms is the proper
natural and safe defense of a free State semicolon that standing armies in time
of peace should be avoided as dangerous to Liberty and that in all cases the
military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the
civil power so what Madison did is he basically just trimmed that up and he
got rid of the standing army for a reason I’ll tell you tell you later but
you can see that the the clear intents of that is that the standing army and
the bear arms are intertwined so the militia it’s it’s the militia is the
alternative to a standing army now why did why did
medicine not include standing army in there well the revolutionary experience
was clear the citizen militia didn’t work so Hamilton in Federalist 25 this
goes into detail on this but they learned that assist militia is not up to
fighting a trained army so the Nationalists knew that a standing army
was going to be necessary for the United States so that that’s that’s so they
remove that aspect from the amendment but left the militia and the right to
bear arms in in it so now why did why did so why is it one of the amendments
well wrapping up here my my first set of comments where’s my timekeeper here
where did he go how much time do I have I ran out he says all right I already
have gone over my I’ve already violated the rules I apologize here’s just my
Latin my last comma though here’s them here’s the meat of it when that the that
the framers were trying to get the states to ratify the Constitution they
ran into significant objections and one of the main objections they ran into was
it did not forbid a standing army and it did not include a right to bear arms for
the militia and the fear was of the anti-federalists there’s the record is
clear on this their fear was the federal government disarming the militia so
that’s that’s why they insisted on on that so it was one of the amendments
that was proposed as a compromise to try to get them to sign on it wasn’t the one
that was requested most though several others the 10th amendment was requested
most most of the states requested that and I think a jury trial civil was
second most more states requested that and and third I think was right to bear
arms but but it was one of those that was requested and it was it was passed
in that format you can see containing that militia phrase but that phrase
makes no sense unless you understand this context the standing army the
militia being the Republican theory way to have Liberty and defense without
having that regularly trained army to take away your
Liberty that’s the context in which it appears thank you thank you for your
answer dr. Reid this questions to the panel how have
interpretations of the Second Amendment changed over the years and has always
been viewed as protecting the individual right to bear arms I’ll take this one
and thank you professor Reid for the great introduction of the Second
Amendment it was a very volatile time when we were looking at the bill of
rights as we all know the Constitution was ratified before the Bill of Rights
Bill of Rights came around I think maybe three years later and there was actually
12 amendment that they were looking at but they only ended up passing 10 of
those and the Second Amendment was the one to bear arms my understanding is
that the reason why this was placed into the amendments and to the bill of rights
was that the anti-federalists were afraid that their guns were going to be
taken away or they were going to be attacked by the military so this is an
interesting topic when you look at the reason why we have the Second Amendment
it’s a personal right it’s a personal right but when they ratified it they
added for the militia purpose as well so we look at the Second Amendment and you
look at how it’s been interpreted over the years
so from Supreme Court has only had pretty much two decisions three total
but two really important decisions and one of them came in 1934 and it was the
Miller decision and this decision only came after the st. Valentine massacre in
1929 when the people were gunned down by tommy guns the Irish mob from Capone’s a
group of individuals were gunned down by tommy guns seven people were killed this
is when they had no legislation and no laws in place on how to track machine
guns and no laws on how to prohibit individuals from owning guns so the
Miller case came after that 1929 massacre which was in 1934 and that’s
the first time Supreme Court actually interpreted what the Second Amendment
meant and they also added basically what Professor Reed stated that right to bear
arms for militia purposes and so they use the
Commerce Clause and a variety of other different clauses to make a
determination of what the Constitution meant so basically they preserve not
only an individual’s rights to bear in arm but also the right to bear arms to
protect yourself from the government as well so that was in 1934
come along 70 years later in 2008 Supreme Court said oh you know what we
should probably look at this issue again I think Clarence Thomas is quoted as
saying that the Second Amendment is the orphan of the Supreme Court meaning that
they have not looked at it closely enough and that’s wrong which is where
we’re probably in the situation we are in right now
but in 2008 they took up a case from the District of Columbia in District
Columbia they had a law that says you cannot own a handgun in your house that
had been in place since 1975 they also had a law that says if you had a rifle
or a shotgun they had to be underneath locking key that the the trigger itself
and so those laws were in place for a very very long time which probably
violated the Second Amendment right so basically they litigated and went up to
the Supreme Court the Supreme Court Supreme Court made the most unique
decision that they have made when it comes to the Second Amendment no longer
is there an attachment to the Second Amendment that you have to be involved
in the militia it is now an individual right to own a gun an individual right
to own a gun to defend yourself and that’s how they determine the Second
Amendment now so anybody who looks at the Second Amendment who now attaches
the militia and no longer exists anymore right now it’s an individual’s right to
defend themselves so those are the major changes that we have right now is that
the Second Amendment has been modified to a point to where now we are looking
at an individual rights and not a state right and not a federal right but an
individual right to bear arms so I I’ll just add a little bit more from a
political science perspective it’s important from a political science
perspective for students to understand that interpretations of the Constitution
can evolve and often they evolve in response
two political changes and so the two decisions he was talking about Miller
and Heller sort of illustrate that evolution with respect to the issue of
the Second Amendment I think there are a couple of important political changes
that have occurred one is that the federal government got a lot more
involved in gun control so many of my students were going through the issue of
federalism right now and you know that for most of the 1800s the federal
government just wasn’t that involved in a whole range of policy issues but in
the 1930s in response to gangland murders the federal government got more
involved that continued in the 1960s and that involvement definitely made the
issue a lot more controversial you actually see this in sort of the change
that occurs with perhaps the most powerful interest group on this issue
the NRA in the 1970s the NRA started to make the argument that the Second
Amendment actually protected an individual of Liberty to bear arms
rejecting sort of a collectivist interpretation that many previous courts
had provided and so from the perspective of political science it’s important to
realize that these words aren’t just set in stone how we look at the words can
change and often those changes occur with respect to changes in the body
politic I’d be interested to hear from from both of you what you think of
Scalia’s reasoning on the Heller Heller decision because it’s well it’s true
that you might want it to be an individual right though the language is
if they’re militia is in there and to me it strikes me as a little his argument
is a little bit trying to remove that strikes me as a little bit I don’t know
I don’t want to use the word tortured that’s not that’s too harsh of the word
but he has to go a long way to working that around are you familiar enough with
that too to give your opinion on what you think of how did he how did he make
that how did he take it that wording to mean the individual right I think he
looked at the Pennsylvania’s when they passed their constitution okay and they
look at the individual rights and in dicta you can see it in there
that he was able to extrapolate based on other interpretations of the second and
then through different constitutions that were passed including the one
Pennsylvania I know that some of the dissenters were very unpleased with the
way that the opinion was written because now it opens up a new can of worms that
we didn’t have previously and polarizes the issue even more okay I think it
wasn’t the and I agree that I see that he he picked some pieces of historical
evidence there like the Pennsylvania case yeah I think some people might say
it looks like a little bit of cherry-picking but but the end the other
side does the same thing right they did they pick the evidence that seems to
support them but I think one of the it’s kind of an interesting issue too doesn’t
he say that the it’s the since the militia was the body of the people if
you take away the militia the body of the people still remains they also use
the analysis that there’s no militia in your house you were in your house right
you have the right to defend yourself you have the right to bear arms and if
in your if you’re in your house you should have that right there’s not going
to be a militia in your house protecting you right okay thank you for those of
you have not read the decision it’s the Heller vs. DC decision it’s
actually a fascinating read so I was actually rereading it in preparation for
today and John was talking about cherry-picking on both sides the the
Second Amendment itself is not a very well written phrase it says 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 and one of
the reasons why it is somewhat difficult to interpret is because as Sean was
talking but it wasn’t discussed at the convention right right no it was a small
part of ratification convention right right the Bill of Rights was actually
written in the House of Representatives and in the House of Representatives it
didn’t have a whole lot of discussion with respect to this specific amendment
right there were others they were more concerned about yes and as you pointed
out they changed the where the phrase is in the amendment
and Scalia actually does a really fascinating grammatical analysis of the
phrase he says that the fact that militias at the beginning of the
sentence doesn’t limit the purpose of the rest of the sentence and he suggests
that from a I guess really an English professors point of view that a
individual interpretation is appropriate I have to confess I wonder what Madison
would how he’d feel about it I mean I’m not sure that they were thinking that
that sort of textual analysis would occur 200 years later I often think we
give the framers a bit too much credit they chose their words purposely but I
don’t think that necessarily they thought that the works were gonna
undergo a significant grammatical analysis later on and a lot of court
cases actually have to do with the fact that laws are often poorly written and
to be frank I think this amendment was not the most well written and tortured
yeah thank you gentlemen for the answers if I may ask another one
um do other countries constitutionally protect the individual’s right to bear
arms if so why is uncommon so try and address this it’s actually relatively
rare so I haven’t actually gone through the world’s constitutions but there is a
a comparative Constitution project that actually has and what the political
scientists who have gone through all the world’s constitutions came up with is
that there have been a total of 15 constitutions in the history of the
world which have articulated and explicit a right to bear arms of those
15 constitutions just in nine countries and almost all of those countries I
think the exceptions Liberia were in Latin America and for those of you who
are political science students what basically happened in the 1800s in Latin
America was that throw off the yokes of colonialism and they tried to create
democracies and they looked at the United States as a model
and they just basically use the US Constitution as the model for their
constitution since Liberia and that’s also I think what happened with Liberia
as well and so right now in 2019 it’s my understanding that they’re just that a
handful that still do protect the right to bear arms what’s happening with most
of those Latin American constitutions is that they’ve been rewritten and the
right to bear arms has been excluded so they decided that that wasn’t part of
the American experience that they wanted to continue to hold
so apparently Mexico does protect the right to bear arms but in doing so they
actually have a qualification on it they say it’s not unlimited the same thing is
true I believe with Guatemala as well so the only country in the world that has
an on and we’ll discuss what unright regulated right to bear arms means in
just a couple seconds is the United States so depending on how you interpret
it it may or may not be unregulated but the other constitutions actually
explicitly in their constitution say you have a right to bear arms but it’s
subject to government regulation the u.s. doesn’t explicitly say that doesn’t
the Heller decision though say something like that doesn’t it say that the right
the Scalia says you have the right to bear arms for personal defence but I
believe there’s a clause in there that I’m certain there’s some closet says
this does not exclude some other some regulations yes yeah yeah so even though
in the the amendment itself it doesn’t mention regulation right my
interpretation of the Heller decision is that it allows for further regulation I
think that’s actually kind of our next question number three
so just make sure we’re all on the same page the next thing we’re going to talk
about is what sorts of regulations are allowed so I’ll just quickly ask
question then what limits on personal gun ownership does the Second Amendment
still permit you’re surprising me with that question go ahead so we’re looking
at the second minute now in 2008 with the decision that came out of the DC
hell are given an individual a right to bear arms not being associated with any
type of militia so the question is what type of limits do we still have with the
Second Amendment try and look up each individual state and look at the rights
you have in the right you don’t have every single state is different you
think that there would be a federal uniformed law stating that these are the
rights that you have to bear a firearm it is not that way it is not written
that way states are allowed to pass different types of laws that allow –
that would regulate the use of a firearm and the DC Heller decision the opinion
was written that stated yes you do have this right to own a firearm however it
can still be regulated that doesn’t expand on where that regulation comes
from our who’s going to regulate it but it should be regulated you should not
build to carry a gun anywhere including banks running of different areas daycare
centers those types of areas there are special areas that you can carry guns
but you can’t carry guns so yes regulations come from the federal comes
from the state and it comes from the city we’ve had places like Chicago where
there was mass shootings and the mayor’s tried to pass legislation saying they
know what let’s get rid of guns but the State Constitution protects those and so
they were unable to actually ratify it ratify that so we’re looking at the
regulation and your protections you have to look at each state and answer that
based on the state for example is it federally legal to own a site assault
rifle yes it’s Dedrick legal to own an assault rifle from 1994 to 2004 it was
illegal to own an assault rifle there is an act passed
by I think Clinton signed off on it where you could not own an assault rifle
now federally you can own an assault rifle it is not against the law however
if you live in California you cannot own an assault rifle and you cannot own a
salt rifle and a variety of other different states as well so when you
look at the Second Amendment how it’s being regulated it’s being regulated by
the courts whether it’s a state court or a federal court it’s being regulated by
the state legislatures federal legislatures it’s being regulated by the
cities and it’s a complete mess so every state that you go to the laws are
different hopefully now we have some bipartisanship when we’re looking at the
red flag laws and we’ll talk probably a little bit more on that but it appears
that it’s time for some bipartisanship and hopefully it happens yeah just a
build on what Patrick was talking about rights are not absolute there are limits
and even the the Second Amendment doesn’t articulate those limits in the
Heller decision Scalia says that there are a whole variety of regulations that
he thinks would still be acceptable even with an individualistic perspective on
the Second Amendment so he said that he thought that age
restrictions would be acceptable that there would be restrictions in terms of
who could purchase a gun if you were a felon and there are a variety of other
regulations that individual states have enacted and that the federal government
has enacted including assault weapons I don’t want to go through all the
regulations I would say though that sometimes I do wonder if the Heller
decision isn’t going to be quite as important as many people think it is so
it definitely articulated an individual right to bear arms it didn’t say though
that right was absolute and I think that most of the serious gun proposals that
are being considered either in Congress or by most states courts would probably
uphold and in fact I think since Heller the vast majority of gun regulations
have been upheld something like 90 to 95 percent correct that’s correct
California is kind of going in opposite direction right
now they had a law in place for a long period of time to believe ten years
where you could not have a high-capacity magazine there’s a federal judge that
recently took dad up and overturned that now there’s a new lawsuit they’re going
on trying to ban the assault rifle try to take away the banned on the assault
rifle of California but you’re right I don’t think that this decision is going
to change the game I think it’s probably going to change the players and the
direction that we’re going to go but it’s not gonna change the game thank you
gentlemen next question is addressed to the panel
what are the contemporary issues about guns and guns controls even at the large
percentage of populations routinely express support to expand background
checks and red flag laws and polling why has Congress failed to act we have a
couple of different main issues in in my opinion that are going on right now
first off we have closing the loophole for purchasing guns at gun shows that’s
a real significant contemporary issue the other issue we have is the red flag
laws and those are not familiar red flag laws I’ll give you a little bit of
history on it Connecticut was the first state in 1999 to pass the red flag law
red flag law states that I can take your gun away through a petition through the
court if I find by clear and convincing evidence that your harm to yourself or
harm to somebody else it’s not only to stop mass shootings it’s also stop
suicide there’s been a lot of studies suggesting that the law that was passed
in Connecticut in 1999 saved a lot of lives but we’re looking at red flag laws
we’re looking at both procedural and substantive due process meaning that
they just can’t go in and take your gun away you have to file petition with the
court and each state has a different process where it goes through the
petition meaning that sometimes a family member can file it sometimes law
enforcement can file it sometimes medical practitioners can file a
petition but they have to show by clear and convincing evidence that you’re a
danger to yourself or your danger to somebody else and if they can show by
clear and convincing evidence they can take away your gun there’s also ex parte
hearings meaning that sometimes the procedural due
process goes away however the red flag laws have not been implemented in very
many states there’s five states prior to the parklands shooting that had red flag
laws only five subsequent to the parklands shooting now there is I
believe 15 states including Nevada and I believe in 2020 is when it’s going to
start being implemented January 2020 so red flag laws are designed to protect
individuals and designed to protect communities is it your opinion that that
will hold up in the courts if if other states pass those I it has it has held
up in the courts I mean you’re looking at what type of tests are we looking at
a rational basis test a stretched strict scrutiny test to make a determination of
what protected interests we have as a community to protect individuals I think
as we see what has occurred over the last ten years with the mass shootings
it would be idiotic for any court to state that red flag laws don’t protect
people because the Parkland shooter have been called the police had been called
to his resident 30 times they knew about the threats that he was giving they knew
about his mental instability has had all this evidence that if they had red flag
laws this potentially could have been avoided they could have had an ex parte
hearing or had some type of petition filed and taking the guns away from this
individual so one of the things that I talk about in my classes is that the NRA
is powerful not because of money but because of the intensity of people who
support the NRA so the NRA says that has about 5 million people as members but
when we poll the American public about 15 million actually say that they
identify with the NRA and not all but some of those
individuals are single issue voters that they care a lot about preventing gun
control they turnout in elections and they’re a
vibrant and boys one thing that has fascinated me over the last couple of
years is even though there’s a lot of polling
says that background checks are wanted by about 90% of the population when you
actually put a background check on the ballot it’s not a 90/10 vote in Nevada
when background checks were put on the ballot it was I think fifty point four
percent at forty nine point six percent Maine which some people call a purple
state you know kind of a half Democrat half Republic and background checks
actually failed they didn’t get passed and so this notion that it’s something
that everybody wants I’m not sure that’s necessarily the case and the NRA is
certainly aware of that it’s especially true for Republican politicians that not
everyone wants it so if you look at the polling where even
80% of the population or 90% of the population says they want it you break
it down based on party identification there’s a significant percentage of
Republicans who do not want to have further expansion of gun control and
Republican politicians have to be nervous about that not in general
elections but in primary elections and my guess is that a lot of Republican
politicians are more worried about being primary from the right by someone who’s
got an A rating from the NRA than they are worried about a general election
when gun control is just one of many issues that the general population will
care about one of the things that prevents action on this issue is the
type of political system we have we’ve got a presidential political system and
in order for action to occur at the federal level you need Congress and you
need the President to act and if you’re following the gun control debate right
now in Washington DC Mitch McConnell is looking at president drop then saying
well tell me what you’ll support and president Trump is looking at Mitch
McConnell and saying well I’m not sure what I support what Republicans want on
the issue neither is all that excited about going
first it does appear that there’s a chance that the administration is going
to put forward a group of gun control proposals later on this week and I’ll be
fascinated to see what those are but we’ve had mass shootings many times over
the years and those efforts haven’t gone very far and that’s because it’s hard to
get 67 members of the Senate to agree on anything yeah you need that number to
overcome a filibuster 60 yeah oh yeah I’m sorry six a typology used to be
getting up there in age so yes my apologies yes three-fifths and then from
a columns perspective it’s a tough vote because you want to take votes on things
that unite your caucus and divide the Democrats this is a vote that unites the
Democrats and divides the Republicans and that makes it difficult as well and
I think that as a result of politically speaking these gun control is more
contentious than the polling often suggests that it is thank you for the
answers yes all right hopefully we can keep this last one brief because we
would like to start the student in questions last question is how does the
US compared to other countries on issues of private gun ownership regulations and
restrictions and gun-related violence –is I know two areas that I can talk
about just real quickly there was mass shootings in Australia and mass
shootings in the United Kingdom and because it’s not written into their
Constitution that they have the right to bear arms there was action taken
immediately in both those countries and both those countries what they did is
they passed wide spread gun legislation where they took away guns from
individuals they had buybacks from individuals they placed limits on who
can own guns and where you can own guns it was a very important issue and it
doesn’t compare to the United States because it’s built into our Constitution
now if it was built another Constitution might see something differently but they
have not had any mass shootings in either United Kingdom or
since the gun control act that they passed a New Zealand just had the
Christchurch shooting an a they’ve been gauging in an aggressive buyback program
as well yeah so even though the United States is somewhat unique in that it has
the right built under the Constitution most of the countries actually do allow
private ownership of guns so the u.s. is not unique in that respect but most of
the countries heavily regulate that private ownership and often those
regulations increase in response to mass shootings that’s something that you see
in other countries I try to outline in response to the last question why that
hasn’t happened in the United States that we have little different political
dynamics in the United States and so in New Zealand you don’t have to doesn’t
deal with the filibuster right right yeah you don’t have to deal with the NRA
you those are issues that are unique to the United States and make passing gun
control legislation more difficult yeah thank you
now student questions answers the first question would be when and why was the
NRA established oh that’s a good question
yeah it’s I don’t sure I have the exact I have it in my notes somewhere but it’s
a fairly well-known story NRA was originally a training kind of a marksman
training gun kind of Club but the the NRA gradually began to shift into
advocacy for gun rights in response as as make sense to efforts to control guns
and I believe it’s the Sullivan case in New York City 1911 I believe the mayor
was I believe a shot crit you can look it up and correct me on the details here
and so in New York City engaged in in starting to regulate some going on under
ownership in the state and this is this is often seen as when a turning point
for the NRA when they begin to advocate more the Miller decision as a second one
but it’s the 1960 gun control act that really galvanized
the NRA and turned them into the the gun the gun rights advocacy group that we we
know now so it’s existed for hundreds of years but I would say really just in the
20th century it’s the NRA we NRA we know now an advocacy group and not just a
shooting club unless you live in San Francisco and they’re considered a
domestic terrorist group has recently passed ordinances clarin and the NRA is
now suing San Francisco because they don’t believe that they’re a domestic
terrorist group I think they might win that suit thank you gentlemen next question would
be how might the second minute be interpreted over the next 100 years oh
wow yeah I was gonna say if I could foresee the future I’d start betting on
the financial markets and yeah wouldn’t be here as I mentioned earlier
interpretations of the Constitution can change one thing that Patrick was
talking a little bit about is how we view gun regulations can change as well
so there are levels of what’s called scrutiny and he was talking about a
rational basis test for interpreting whether a gun control legislation is
allowed and he could talk more about what that actually means I believe that
the NRA would actually like to increase the level of scrutiny all the way to
strict scrutiny right they would like it’s that pieces of gun control
legislation it would be more difficult for them to justify and the courts would
and you can talk about what that would actually involve but it would mean that
perhaps more gun control would be invalidated as I talked about earlier I
think that those changes interpretations would be driven by politics so for
example you have more judges on the bench that believe in that
interpretation those judges are a reflection of a Republican Senate and a
Republican president putting those judges on the bench the changes in the
NRA that John was talking a little about changes in our political system as
the parties are realigning and Republicans are increasingly reliant on
rural voters where guns are more of an issue and Democrats are more reliant on
urban voters what gun control is more popular all of those things I think
could lead it so that you could see a more a change in how the Second
Amendment is interpreted do you want to talk a little bit about the scrutiny
levels maybe certainly when you look at making a determination on whether a law
it stands especially when you’re looking at a right especially in the bill right
Second Amendment the courts make interpretations based on a certain
different test one of them is strict scrutiny test there’s one that’s an
intermediate test and there’s one that’s rational basis so in order for a state
to pass a law that takes away portions of the federal right there has to be a
rational basis and they generally use the Tenth Amendment and they basically
protect their police powers it’s basically what it follows underneath
welfare safety a variety of different other types of rational basis so when an
ordinance is passed for example let’s take Chicago when the decision came out
where they were going to ban the handguns and then they figured DC banned
the handguns and then they decided not to what what happens the city passed an
ordinance saying hey you know what maybe handguns are legal now you can own in
your house however you can’t only won’t anymore that you can load from the
bottom anymore so they look at that and they do a test whether that’s rationally
related to a safety issue that potentially is in existence which
obviously is guns kill people we know that one final question before we run
out of time here with the current acts of the violence that the Haziq recently
occurred within the United States do you believe that more people to apply and
obtain a concealed carry license well more people apply for and apply and
obtain a concealed carry like steal when you look at who is entitled to even
carry a concealed weapon you have to look at both federal and state law there
is a list of individuals who are not able to own firearms you cannot be an
illegal alien you cannot be found to be incompetent or mentally ill you cannot
be somebody who has been removed from the military dishonorable discharge you
can’t have a felony conviction you can’t have a domestic battery conviction the
problem is when you look at somebody who is going to apply for a carrying
concealed weapon we don’t have a uniform system where all states agree on exactly
who can carry who can’t carry so will more people apply I talked to a
detective before I came here today and he’s responded to two mass shooting to
the two shootings that we’ve had here in the City of Reno the one that I’ve
renowned and the one that was at the sparks middle school and police officers
are trained that the only way you stop at mass shooters killing them right so
if we have that mentality as a whole how does the mass shooter are going to be
stopped the only way you’re going to stop them is either by putting them down
so if you carry carry having a concealed weapon that’s one way to put them down
have we increased the numbers I don’t know if the numbers increased for CCW or
not I don’t I don’t know the answer to that so we spent a lot of time talking
about federal gun control and you’ve talked a little bit about state gun
control one of the more interesting papers at our annual Association a
political scientist this year had to do with how state legislators have
responded to mass shootings and you might assume that the way that state
legislatures would respond would be to have more gun control the interesting
thing about this paper is it actually said the opposite happened
that when you had mass shootings that legislators often would loosen gun
control laws and it’s certainly something that has happened in Texas
right counter event exactly and now part of
that has to do with the fact that most of the legislators in the United States
right now are are controlled by Republicans and Iowa so we’ve talked a
little bit about that this is an issue that is important to Republicans
there are obviously exceptions after the Parkland shooting Florida implemented a
variety of stricter gun regulations that so Nevada has obviously done so as well
it wasn’t necessarily directly in response to the Las Vegas shooting but
that certainly helped but the sort of the premise of the question that people
will react to mass shootings in different ways I think is accurate you
know not everyone advocates gun control after a mass shooting some people’s
reaction is I need to protect myself and some state legislators think that they
need to help those individuals protect them I’d like to say thank you to the
forum we have run out of time right now and thank you for all for attending we
highly appreciate it one quick shout out to the political science and history
Club we are looking for multiple attendees there’s multiple offer
positions open so our next meeting is October 8th anyone that’s walked in and
received the Flyers more informations there

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