The 2nd Amendment Explained

Lawrence Cappello at Berg'n

Wed, Mar 6 at 7:30 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Join constitutional scholar, Lawrence Cappello as we have a real discussion about the whole of the gun control issue. No political agenda -- just all of the facts and a chance to ask our most basic questions.

Parkland. Las Vegas. Sandy Hook. Despite all the speeches, all the marches, and all the tweets from fist-clenched celebrities proclaiming “never again” -- the legal reality is that gun rights in the United States are presently expanding, not contracting. And in the wake of these tragedies, the facts and nuances surrounding the gun control issue are being lost. Both Left and Right are firmly dug in. Constructive debate has fallen by the wayside.

The 2nd Amendment of our Constitution says the people have a “right to bear arms.” But it also says that right is meant to serve the interests of a “well-regulated militia.” So wait, does that mean if you’re not in a militia you don’t get a gun? And how is it even legal that a guy in Texas can bring a gun to a playground but I can’t carry a knife on the E train? And even though the amendment says the government can’t take away “arms,” grenade launchers are still illegal everywhere, right? Where are the lines drawn, exactly?

This Olio explores the legal evolution of the 2nd Amendment over the last hundred years. A frank discussion with a Constitutional scholar about the whole of the gun control issue. No political agenda -- just all of the facts and then a mature examination of the leading interpretations of those facts from the confiscate-them-all position of the far Left to the from-my-cold-dead-hands position of the far Right and everything in between. Those who attend will likely not leave with an entirely new stance on gun rights, but they will certainly be able to speak more intelligently about the finer points of this issue.

Teacher: Lawrence Cappello

Lawrence Cappello is a Professor of Constitutional History at the University of Alabama and the author of None of Your Damn Business: Privacy in the United States from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age. His essays have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Nation. He was recently profiled by The Economist.


Venue: Berg'n

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


Other Upcoming Olios


Apocalypse Now

Location: at Online

Teacher: Joydeep Bagchee

May 30, 2020, 2 p.m.

Heart in Hand: From Playboy to Poetry

Location: at Online

Teacher: Charlee Huffman

May 31, 2020, 6 p.m.

New Toys and New Tyrants: Capitalism and the Rise of Platform Economics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Rob Larson

June 4, 2020, 8 p.m.

A Dialogue: Buddhism and the Stoics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Bhante Kusala & Michael Prettyman

June 5, 2020, 8 p.m.

Internet Omnipresence & Critical Thinking

Location: at Online

Teacher: Jeanne Proust

June 8, 2020, 8 p.m.

Escape From The City

Location: at Online

Teacher: Ted Barrow

June 10, 2020, 8 p.m.

Progressives, Radicals & Well-Meaning Liberals

Location: at Online

Teacher: Angie Beeman

June 11, 2020, 8 p.m.

Plato Goes East: The Republic and The Bhagavad Gita

Location: at Online

Teacher: Vishwa Adluri

June 14, 2020, noon

Socialism, A Day in the Life

Location: at Online

Teacher: Danny Katch

June 15, 2020, 8 p.m.


Stay in Touch


Instagram Mailing List Contact

Get Involved


Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.