Americans have made clear that they value their Second Amendment rights, especially during uncertain times. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and then widespread civil unrest, Americans have bought firearms in record numbers. Now a trio of law professors from the George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law have released articles that highlight the importance of the right to armed self-defense during tumultuous periods and explain how the history of the Second Amendment makes clear that it was intended to preserve this right under the present conditions.
Professor and Executive Director of Scalia Law’s Liberty & Law Center David E. Bernstein wrote an article titled “The Right to Self-Defense in the Light of Law Enforcement Abdication.” As the name suggests, Bernstein Examines the critical role Second Amendment rights play when, as has been seen throughout the country, local authorities are unable or unwilling to uphold the law and maintain order. Bernstein presents a direct challenge to those who have argued that modern policing has made the Second Amendment obsolete. Some of the many examples of this argument that Bernstein cites are laughable in light of what occurred this summer. For instance, the professor points out that an amicus brief filed on behalf of ten major cities in the U.S. Supreme Court case McDonald v. Chicago contended, “In more urban areas that have the benefit of a concentrated and highly trained police force …, the need for individuals to arm themselves for self-defense is less compelling.” [full article]