AK47s for America--Missing the point.
crossf at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Wed Jan 3 01:42:11 PST 2001
I can't say that I've focused much on the Second Amendment, but the debate
over its meaning seems terribly mushy. No one seems to think it's an
absolute right, allowing possession of nukes. Why is that? Is it because
the right is tempered by some social welfare condition. If so, what would
be the limits on that condition? More centrally . . .
What is the interest we are protecting here? Is it the right to own guns
qua guns, much like speech is valued for its own sake? Is it the claimed
consequentialist protection from tyranny? Is it some other individual
consequentialist end, like self defense? People seem to invoke the
amendment rather cavalierly. As a matter of constitutional analysis, I
can't see how one can address the legality of prohibiting AK-47s,
licensing, etc. without confronting and explaining what it is the amendment
protects. Maybe these issues have been resolved in the literature that I
haven't read; if so, how about importing those thoughts into the board
discussion for general edification.
Herbert D. Kelleher Centennial Professor of Business Law
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
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