The Second Amendment in the Twenty-First Century: What Hath Heller Wrought?
43 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2014 Last revised: 15 May 2015
Date Written: December 1, 2014
This article explores the impact District of Columbia v. Heller has had on the public discourse. It is a discourse that will be broken down into two categories: (1) the right’s impact on politics and lawmaking or what may otherwise be described as the political discourse, and (2) the right’s impact on the opinions of society at large or what may otherwise be described as the public discourse. In many respects the two categories are intertwined. For instance, political rhetoric and debate often influence society’s view of what is and is not lawful. At the same time, whatever the judiciary identifies as constitutionally protected impacts society’s perception of historic custom and tradition, regardless of whether it is built on historical fact or historical myth. Still, despite the substantial overlap between Supreme Court opinions and the political and public discourse, it worth exploring the two categories separately. It is only then one can truly assess the impact Heller has had on American society as a whole.
Keywords: Second Amendment, public discourse, public opinion, District of Columbia v. Heller
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