LEXINGTON – Why does America have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Exactly what does that mean? Can we reconcile the individual right to own and use guns with the right of Americans to live in safety from gun violence? Are 30,000 deaths by gunfire every year the necessary price of the Second Amendment? Is keeping guns out of the hands of as many Americans as possible really the best way to keep them from criminals? Can gun-rights and gun-control advocates find common ground?
Few people have delved as much into these questions, and come up with as many answers, as Craig R. Whitney, author of “Living with Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment,” recently published by Public Affairs Books. As a former foreign correspondent and assistant managing editor for standards and ethics at The New York Times, and a Navy veteran of Vietnam who was born in a small town, Whitney brings a broad perspective to one of the most divisive issues in America today.
He believes those on the left must accept that a gun-free America is not possible and that they should not demonize those who want to exercise their constitutional right to carry guns; and those on the right must recognize that not every gun-control measure is an effort to repeal the Second Amendment and that gun ownership must be exercised with an eye to public safety.
Whitney will discuss his ideas and his book, and discuss them with the public, in a free lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28 at the Taylor Building of the University of Kentucky College of Education. The Taylor Building is directly across the merger/split of Limestone and Upper streets from the UK Main Building, and pay parking is available in the structure between Limestone and Upper streets.
Whitney’s lecture is sponsored by UK’s College of Communication and Information, its Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and the Bluegrass Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
“We’re proud to bring in a journalist of Craig Whitney’s stature to discuss such an important issue with people from the campus community, Lexington and elsewhere in Kentucky,” said Al Cross, director of the rural-journalism institute, part of UK’s School of Journalism and Telecommunications.
“This is an opportunity to attract supporters from opposite sides of an important, but contentious issue,” said Dan O’Hair, dean of the College of Communication and Information. “Open and constructive dialogue about any of our Bill of Rights is what college campuses should be promoting.”