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Professor David S. Cohen Argues for Repeal of Second Amendment 

David S. Cohen with students

June 21, 2016

Professor David S. Cohen advocated for the repeal of the Second Amendment, in a June 13 essay in Rolling Stone that sparked a wave of controversy and media coverage.

In the essay, Cohen described the Constitution as a flawed document and the Second Amendment as “a threat to liberty,” noting “the weapons of today that are easily accessible are vastly different than anything that existed in 1791.”

Mass shootings like the one that occurred in an Orlando night club that caters to the LGBT community underscores the issue, Cohen said, adding that the freedom gun-rights advocates seek should also extend to those wishing to enjoy a night out with friends in a club that provides a refuge from hate and fear.  

Cohen, a constitutional scholar, observed that the nation’s founders “got it wrong often,” as evidenced by the slavery enshrined in the constitution as well as its calculation that slaves represent 3/5 of a person.  Had it not been for another revision of the constitution, Cohen noted, Mitt Romney would be vice president, since the original document called for presidential runner-ups to be declared second-in-command.

Repealing the Second Amendment would not strip gun owners of their arms, Cohen said, but it would allow the democratic process to guide gun ownership policies.  

In a follow-up essay published by Rolling Stone on June 16, Cohen contrasted the malicious response to his first article by many gun-rights advocates with the desire shared by many Americans for greater regulation of guns.  Cohen said the toxic environment that surrounds public debate, exemplified by the bullying critiques he received, silences many who would otherwise speak out on their concerns.

CNN and Fox News Radio interviewed Cohen regarding his essay and the controversy it stirred.