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Constitutional Law

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Undergraduate Honors Theses

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Examining The Role Of Cultural Paradigm Shift On Originalist Interpretation: Implications On The Second Amendment, Arvin Alaigh Apr 2015

Examining The Role Of Cultural Paradigm Shift On Originalist Interpretation: Implications On The Second Amendment, Arvin Alaigh

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The Second Amendment is traditionally understood within the bounds of originalism, a method of Constitutional interpretation that calls on founding-era history as a means of ascertaining original meanings of the Constitution. Both proponents and opponents of gun regulation appeal to this history as a means of justifying their respective viewpoints – the former assumes an ‘individual right’ reading of the Amendment, while the latter maintains a ‘collective right’ interpretation. In this project, I describe the origins of the Second Amendment and its original context, affirming Saul Cornell’s ‘civic right’ interpretation, against both the individual and collective rights interpretations. I illustrate ...