Op-Ed: Why former slave states became the foundation for American gun culture
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation on the American gun culture entitled “The Second Amendment and the Gun Culture” at the University of Dayton Law School. The presentation was led by Dr. Stephen Weitz, an Assistant Professor at the University of Dayton School of Law, who wrote the book, The Second Amendment and the Gun Culture, a book that addresses gun culture as it developed in America through the lens of the Second Amendment.
Weitz and Professor John R. Lott
Dr. Stephen Weitz is a noted firearms scholar, and author of a number of books, including The Second Amendment, The Second Amendment Debate, The Second Amendment and the Gun Culture, Armed In America, Guns, Crime, and the Politics of the Second Amendment, and The Second Amendment: The Essential Reading. He has been a visiting Faculty member at the Cornell Law School, the University of Southern California Law School, and the University of Dayton School of Law.
I have been a long-time fan of Dr. Weitz’s books, and was excited about the opportunity to present my own perspective on gun culture. One of my previous columns on gun culture has a quote from Dr. Weitz about guns providing the United States with “much of its culture.” His comment resonated on several levels with the present discussion, and I hope my contribution to the discussion is worthy of the attention he deserves.
The Second Amendment, and the Gun Culture
Before presenting my perspective on gun culture, I would like to touch on the origins of the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, in part, that:
“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.”
So, first, can you explain to me why the word “Militia” is in that passage? It’s not in the first few lines as you would expect, but it doesn’t follow you for a long time. It