BENITEZ | Justifying the Second Amendment

In my first-ever article for The Sun two years ago, I wrote that “U.S. legislators have failed to account for the thousands of victims of gun violence and have written off their deaths as an acceptable cost for the preservation of a 200-year-old constitutional amendment.”

I grew up in a Western nation often cited by advocates of gun control as a possible model for the United States. However, while I came to Cornell naïvely believing that defenders of the Second Amendment are of the irrational type who cling to their Bibles as tightly as they do to their weapons, living in this country has since moderated my liberal haughtiness. I now think that the typical theist is perhaps more justified in their religious beliefs than the most militant atheist and I also now think that there are some compelling justifications for the Second Amendment. The foremost case for the Second Amendment’s existence is that it insures against the possibility of government tyranny. While the principles of self-defense and tradition are also invoked to rationalize the Amendment, they are neither what the founders intended nor persuasive.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Repeal the Second Amendment

To the Editor:

We the people made our Constitution and have the right to amend it. The Second Amendment, ratified in 1791, says: “A well regulated militia being necessary to a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Article V of the Constitution says in part: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, . . . which, .