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January 18, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

The Right to Bear Arms
A Surprising Split Among Liberals
Last Featured: 6/18/2007

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

A recent federal appeals court ruling that invalidated a Washington, D.C. ban on gun ownership raises important issues over the meaning of the Second Amendment. Throughout history, legal theorists have split on whether the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals to own guns or only the right to establish armed militias. But now some liberals are unexpectedly supporting the view that individuals have a constitutional right to own and use guns, and that gun control laws may be unconstitutional. This week on Justice Talking: Is the left giving new ammunition to the NRA?

Against the D.C. Gun Ban
In March, a federal appeals court overturned a decades-old Washington, D.C. law banning handguns. It was the first time a federal appeals court struck down a gun law on the grounds that it violated the Second Amendment. Host Margot Adler talks with Shelly Parker, a Washington, D.C. resident and one of the plaintiffs in the case.

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Guns in America
Host Margot Adler speaks with Robert Spitzer about gun ownership in America and the impact of the Virginia Tech shootings on the gun control debate.

Robert Spitzer is distinguished service professor of political science at the State University of New York (SUNY), College at Cortland. His books include The Politics of Gun Control and "The Right to Bear Arms: Rights And Liberties Under The Law." In 2003 he received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

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Debate: The Second Amendment
The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, but is it an individual right or a collective one? Texas Law School’s Sanford Levinson and Carl Bogus of Roger Williams University debate the meaning of the Second Amendment.

Sanford Levinson teaches at the University of Texas Law School and is a member of the Government Department at the University of Texas. His most recent book is Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It).

Carl Bogus is a law professor at Roger Williams University. He has written several articles on the Second Amendment, including "What Does the Second Amendment Restrict? A Collective Rights Analysis and The Hidden History of the Second Amendment."

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The Politics of Guns
Gun control has long been considered one of the nastiest political wedge issues between Republicans and Democrats. However, it’s no longer as partisan as it once was. Adam Allington has this report.

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Greenleaf, Idaho – A Pro Gun Law
Last year, the city of Greenleaf, Idaho, adopted an ordinance that encourages its citizens to keep a gun at home in case of emergency. It received national attention, including comic barbs from Jay Leno and the Daily Show. Host Margot Adler talks with Steven Jett, the Greenleaf city councilman who wrote the ordinance.

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For the D.C. Gun Ban
Host Margot Adler gets a different perspective on the Washington, D.C. gun ban. She talks with Shanda Smith of Mothers on the Move Spiritually, a group aimed at strengthening families. In 1993, Smith's son and daughter were shot and killed while riding in a car.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
U.S. Constitution: Second Amendment
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Opinion - Parker, Shelly vs. District of Columbia (Acrobat PDF file)
NRA - Firearms Laws for District of Columbia (Acrobat PDF file)
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence - The Second Amendment
National Rifle Association - Second Amendment Center
Violence Policy Center - The Second Amendment: No Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Second Amendment Foundation
Second Amendment Research Center
A People Armed and Free: The Truth About the Second Amendment
by Jack Reynolds
A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America
by Saul Cornell
The Seven Myths of Gun Control: Reclaiming the Truth About Guns, Crime, and the Second Amendment
by Richard Poe
Justice Talking Tackling Tough Issues
Justice Talking Through the Years
The Power of One: Are Singles Getting a Fair Shake?