The Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights
One thought that follows from my talk the other day at the National Archives is the role that the Second Amendment plays in our understanding of the Bill of Rights.
Until the last few decades, my research shows that people did not talk much about the Second Amendment when they discussed the Bill of Rights. This is not true now, of course. I wonder to what extent support for the right to bear arms protects the Bill of Rights from the erosion of support that we see in other American ideals. Granted, even without the Second Amendment the Bill of Rights would have a lot to offer for those who own or enjoy guns, but perhaps that would not be enough for some.
More broadly, I’ve been thinking lately about how support for one part of the Bill of Rights shapes other parts. The answer is some, but how much?