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Taboo Topics: Gun Violence

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 18 Sivan 5783

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The right to life implies a right of self-defense. Where do we find limiting principles when political tensions arise between those who assert unlimited rights to keep and bear weapons capable of annihilating en masse the lives of children in schools, shoppers, theater goers, worshippers, night club gatherers, and workers in their places of employment - to name only a few. The victims are so vast we can not name them, only the places of devastation: Columbine, Aurora, Boulder, Uvalde, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Covenant School, Highland Park, Buffalo, Dayton. Is that the actual sacrifice that the abstract concept of self-defense ought to allow? If so, why; if not, then how do we construct a healthier balance?  

Rich Levine, a Constitutional Law and Philosophy professor at Colorado School of Mines, will present a framework of US Constitutional law and philosophical arguments regarding the "right to bear arms" alongside concepts such as life, liberty, public safety, and the militia from the founding of the country to present. Rabbi Arnold will co-host this discussion with Rich, lending corresponding perspective on the manner in which the legal and philosophical concepts such as self-defense find grounding and limits within the Jewish biblical tradition. The conversation will invite discussion among participants regarding specific opportunities to move beyond despair, resignation and 'thoughts and prayers' toward focused response that might at some point save lives and restore basic civic safety and decency.

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Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784