If you’ve been paying attention to much of the news in the United States over the past few weeks, a good deal of the talk has been about the Constitution. Or rather, its amendments. Well, more specifically, the Second Amendment and the “right to bear arms.” In the wake of the horrific Newtown massacre, gun control and/or gun rights are the name of the game.
Understandably, feelings run high.
Considering its current importance, I’d like to talk about the Second Amendment a little. But I’d also like to consider all the others, one at a time. Turns out there are a full 27 of them. Yet rather than a full month of nothing but the Constitution, I’m thinking more here of an occasional series that offers continuing comment on the uniquely American decisions we have made to alter our nation’s founding document.
Though I am trained as an historian, my approach here will neither strictly historical nor legal in nature. While there will be elements of both, most of my energy will be directed towards thinking about what these amendments mean in our everyday lives and what they have to say about our country. Though some, for instance, are widely considered to be universal human rights, others are so uniquely American that they ought not to pass without note.
In the end, I hope it will be a worthwhile discussion…and a respite of sorts from all our talk about one amendment only (though believe me…we’ll get to that one).
For now, I’m curious: which of the amendments is your favorite? Feel free to comment.