By: Joseph Rodriguez
Shippensburg- “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 second amendment is one of the most controversial topics at the moment. Recent tragic events like the Las Vegas and the Stoneman Douglas high school shootings fueled public debate about gun rights.
So, what exactly does the second amendment say about gun rights?
We asked Associate Professor Steven Litchman from the political science department to explain what the second amendment means according to the law.
“The second amendment means what the supreme court will tell us it means,” said Litchman.
The latest decision that the Supreme Court made about gun rights was in the 2010 case D.C. v. Heller. Litchman explains that the case’s conclusion stated that the second amendment “is an individual right, everybody has the right to a weapon in their own home for the purposes of self defense.”
He added that the supreme court decision also said that “if you are going to own a gun in your home, it has to be either disassembled or it needs to be trigger locked.”
When it comes to the public’s knowledge of the second amendment, Litchman says that some beliefs are creating confusion about owning guns. “There is this mistaken belief that the second amendment means I have a right to any kind of gun wherever I go. The court did not say that at all,” he said.
For Litchman, one way that the public can educate themselves about the second amendment is to read and to avoid interest groups with misleading information.
“It’s tough, there are a lot of political activists on both sides of the issue out there who are deliberately offering information about the gun issue and it is very difficult for everyday people to sift through what is reliable and what is downright fiction.”
If you are interested in this topic, make sure to tune into SUTV’s special edition broadcast about gun control on Tuesday, April 3rd.