New Center Event Video: Policing the Second Amendment

  • Date:
  • February 12, 2021

I'm very happy that the video is now available from our terrific discussion last fall with Jennifer Carlson on her compelling new book, Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement, and the Politics of Race. Drawing on local and national newspapers, interviews with close to eighty police chiefs, and a rare look at gun licensing processes, Carlson explores the ways police talk about guns, and how firearms are regulated in different parts of the country. Examining how organizations such as the National Rifle Association have influence police perspectives, she describes a troubling paradox of guns today - while color-blind laws grant civilians unprecedented rights to own, carry, and use guns, people of color face an all-too-visible system of gun criminalization. This radicalized framework -- undergirding who is "a good guy with a gun" versus "a bad guy with a gun" -- informs and justifies how police understand and pursue public safety. The moderated discussion is followed by a Q&A.