In the aftermath of Friday's tragic Newtown, Conn. school shooting, on Tuesday evening "Piers Morgan Tonight" invited a pair of brilliant legal minds to share their perspective on the role of the historical doctrine within the gun debate:
"For a hundred years, the Constitution was interpreted to mean that state militias, essentially state police had a right to bear arms, because that's what the first half of the Second Amendment says," explained CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. "But as of 2008, as a result of years of lobbying and years of Republican appointees to the court, in 2008, the Supreme Court said individuals have a right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. So the law of the land now is that the government is really very limited in how much gun control it could pass, even if it had the political will to do so. It's not clear that it does. But the victories of the Republican party mean that gun control is harder to do in Congress and it's harder to do in the court."
Once a professor of the aforementioned, Alan Dershowitz presented an alternate theory:
"Now, where I disagree with my friend and former student Jeffrey Toobin is I think although the Supreme Court rendered a decision on the Second Amendment, it left open a tremendous amount of room for reasonable regulation," stated the lawyer and political commentator. "I think if Congress has the will to do something today, I believe the courts, with some exceptions, will uphold any reasonable regulation."
As their segment continued, Toobin and Dershowitz referenced potential political ramifications of modifying gun legislation:
"It is political poison in this country to say you're for gun control in about 40 states. I mean, try running for office in Texas and saying you're for gun control. You won't get nominated for dog catcher," noted Toobin.
Pushing for safety, Dershowitz suggested there are better ways in which to protect Americans other than simply arming more individuals:
"I recently was in Congress and in the White House. And to get into any of those buildings, you have to go through one door first. It locks behind you. Then you have to go through another door. And you get tested for metal and everything else."
Responding to his former teacher's argument, Toobin could only mutter: "Good lord, Alan."
Watch the clips, and listen to the interview, as the the former pupil and professor attempt to school one another on the issue of gun control.
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