Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

University of Utah Holds Debate on Second Amendment Limits

University of Utah Holds Debate on Second Amendment Limits

“This is a very difficult issue. I think we can all agree that there are no easy answers”

The main question was whether Second Amendment rights extend beyond the home.

Deseret News reports:

University of Utah debate tackles long-disputed questions of Second Amendment rights

Is the Second Amendment right to own and bear firearms only limited to the home?

That was the question posed at the 36th Annual Jefferson B. Fordham Debate recently at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.

“This is a very difficult issue. I think we can all agree that there are no easy answers,” said debate moderator and U. law professor RonNell Andersen Jones.

She said a committee chooses the debate’s topic each year from issues that impact people’s lives.

“We always try to choose a topic that is interesting legally and interesting to the broader population,” she said. “Gun rights hits the sweet spot on both of those things.”

Across the nation, and especially in a state like Utah, she said there’s a deep cultural divide about gun rights.

“This issue is not just legal. It’s cultural and personal and individual, and so people are very vested in it,” she said.

At the debate, Duke University law professor Darrell Miller — who argued that Second Amendment rights should be limited to someone’s home or property — and University of Wyoming College of Law professor George Mocsary — who argued the right to bear arms goes beyond where someone lives — sparred about the long-contested issue.

Miller said the 2008 Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller guaranteed law-abiding citizens the right to have an operable handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


“should be limited” does not pass the “shall not be infringed” part of the 2nd amendment.

The concept of “shall not be infringed” is difficult for so many to understand.

Seems like a productive conversation that wasn’t riddled with gotchas and political brownie points.

I think the Duke professor is making a big leap on Heller (like so many others), but that’s why we have states.

As a native speaker of English, I don’t see anything in the 2nd which is terribly hard to understand.

Should any particular individual “keep & bear” isn’t too hard either. Many don’t want the responsibility of keeping weapons in a safe and legal matter, and that’s a perfectly legitimate choice.

So what’s the problem?

“Is the Second Amendment right to own and bear firearms only limited to the home?”

The clear and obvious answer is, “No.” Inalienable rights don’t stop at arbitrary boundaries. Hard to see how that’s debatable.

And, what other rights stop at the threshold of your doorstep?

The right to not be searched? I mean, what’s wrong? Do you have something to hide? What about safety?

The right to speak freely? I mean, if it offends and provokes me, shouldn’t you have to be ‘mindful’ of your speech outside your home?

If you want to petition and assemble, nothing prevents you from writing a letter in your home and mailing it, or holding a meeting in your home. There is not need to have a mob roaming about disturbing others and doing what could be construed as threatening “my truths” and “my lived experiences” – do it in your home.

Yea – not very good arguments.

The problem is I’ve heard zero people so far come up with even one actual proposal (other than enforcing any or all of the existing laws) that would stop even one gun crime, much less the massacres. Data doesn’t get into databases. A crazy murderous insane teen isn’t put on any list because the county in Florida is trying to look good on the school-to-prison pipeline prevention and the officer assigned to the school runs away from the gunfire.

Well there are proposals like arming teachers so they can shoot back instead of hoping they can barricade the doors. Wider carry so you have more people who might shoot back (we don’t hear about the creep killed before he got a shot off). But the Left doesn’t want those.

Note even on red flag laws there was an amendment that would say if there was probable cause to be put on a gang list that there would be an automatic red flag action and the Democrats voted it down – oh, don’t take away our violent voters’ guns, we just want to disarm Deplorables.

    drednicolson in reply to tz. | September 17, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    The law-abiding have principles. Criminals can be bought. And any enterprising tyrant needs hired muscle.

I don’t really see a point to argue about. If you have studied civics and read the founders it is clear what they mean.

Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 28 that “if the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense,” a right which he declared to be “paramount.”

And then there is clause “shall not be infringed.” There is no exception to this contained anywhere in the amendment.

    drednicolson in reply to kyrrat. | September 17, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    A right with qualifiers devolves into a privilege, that can be given or taken by editing the qualifiers.

    A license is a formal, documented privilege.

    A true and proper right can only be justly limited by the true and proper rights of others.

    Resistance to unjust limits on our rights, armed and violent if necessary, is morally justified. That’s the core point of the Declaration.

“I think we can all agree that there are no easy answers”

No, I don’t think we can.

Antifundamentalist | September 18, 2019 at 4:37 pm

“keep and bear” – translates to own and carry. Every single restrictive gun law on the books is unconstitutional.