Three days after the publication of Michael Waldman’s new book, “The Second Amendment: A Biography,” Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a killing spree, stabbing three people and then shooting another eight, killing four of them, including himself. This was only the latest mass shooting in recent memory, going back to Columbine.
In his rigorous, scholarly, but accessible book, Waldman notes such horrific events but doesn’t dwell on them. He is after something else. He wants to understand how it came to be that the Second Amendment, long assumed to mean one thing, has come to mean something else entirely. To put it another way: Why are we, as a society, willing to put up with mass shootings as the price we must pay for the right to carry a gun?
It really shouldn’t matter what the framers meant. We live in the here and now and unless one has clinically-significant rigidity issues, we need to live by today’s mores and needs.
Logically-speaking, what is the known side-effect of a population saturated with legal and illegal weapons? How stable can a nation that is armed to the teeth be?
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Curated from www.nytimes.com