Last week, on a day off from school, I decided to visit the National Constitution Center. That morning while eating breakfast, I saw in the paper that the NCC was hosting a discussion about the history of the Second Amendment. So I rode the train down to Market East to check it out, and it was a pretty enlightening experience. Participating in the discussion were Michael Waldman and Alan Gura, both of whom are really important figures on the issue of gun control. Waldman is President of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, and Gura is a lawyer who has argued multiple times in front of the Supreme Court. Both participants were able to break down highbrow legal terms into sentences that I could understand, and I ended up learning quite a lot. They discussed the main debate over the Second Amendment: when the Amendment was ratified, whether it was meant to state that we as citizens have an individual right to keep and bear arms, or that we have an obligation to keep and bear arms because of our respective state militias. Of course we don’t have state militias anymore, but it’s an important debate because if our forefathers did not intended for us to have an individual right to keep and bear arms, then it would make enforcing gun control laws a whole lot easier. Anyways, I’ll spare you the details, but the debate was very informative. If any of you are policy wonks like me and are really interested in that kind of stuff, you should check out the NCC. They have “Town Halls,” like the one that I went to, all the time about issues ranging from healthcare to education to campaign finance reform. You’ll get to see the best experts in the country for free or for a little money (the one I went to was seven dollars). So come see a Town Hall, or come to the NCC’s main exhibit! You’ll definitely learn something new every time.
E.d. Note: Oliver is one of our new Year 2 Teen Council Members. You can look forward to reading more of his posts throughout the year!