The Second Amendment and gun control: Freedom, fear, and the American Constitution

Kevin Yuill*, Joe Street

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The Second Amendment, by far the most controversial amendment to the US Constitution, will soon celebrate its 225th anniversary. Yet, despite the amount of ink spilled over this controversy, the debate continues on into the 21st century. Initially written with a view towards protecting the nascent nation from more powerful enemies and preventing the tyranny experienced during the final years of British rule, the Second Amendment has since become central to discussions about the balance between security and freedom. It features in election contests and informs cultural discussions about race and gender. This book seeks to broaden the discussion. It situates discussion about gun controls within contemporary debates about citizenship, culture, philosophy and foreign policy as well as in the more familiar terrain of politics and history. It features experts on the Constitution as well as chapters discussing the symbolic importance of Annie Oakley, the role of firearms in race, and filmic representations of armed Hispanic girl gangs. It asks about the morality of gun controls and of not imposing them. The collection presents a balanced view between those who favour more gun controls and those who would prefer fewer of them. It is infused with the belief that through honest and open debate the often bitter cultural divide on the Second Amendment can be overcome and real progress made. It contains a diverse range of perspectives including, uniquely, a European perspective on this most American of issues.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages159
ISBN (Electronic)9781315201887
ISBN (Print)9781138706286
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2017

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