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April 08, 2013 10:34 AM Should We Rewrite the Second Amendment?

By John Sides

Political scientist (and my co-author and friend) Zachary Elkins says yes in this New York Times op-ed:

This constitutional uncertainty should suggest to both sides the possibility of agreeing on a formal clarification of the constitutional text. Zealots will scoff, but many reasonable people would find reassurance in a revised Second Amendment that was properly balanced. Those who propose responsible limits, like background checks, would welcome constitutional support for common-sense safeguards. Those who worry about the slippery slope of encroachments on gun rights would find comfort in an explicit reassertion and reinforcement of the general right to bear arms.

Here is another op-ed from Elkins and colleagues on how few countries guarantee the right to bear arms.  Here is the Comparative Constitutions Project, the source of these data on constitutions.  I previously mentioned this project here.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

John Sides is an associate professor of political science at George Washington University.