How to Understand Controversial Topics – A Practical Guide

Much of the debate over gun control revolves around interpretations of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It reads:

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Gun rights advocates tend to focus on the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Gun control advocates tend to focus on “a well-regulated militia.” Visit a few of the many websites on each side of this issue to find interpretations of the Second Amendment that both support and oppose gun control. Based on what you learn, do you believe that the Second Amendment allows for gun control laws? Defend your opinion. Use the following hints:

  • Read (or listen) Carefully
  • Look for Hidden Assumptions
  • Identify the Real Issue
  • Understand All the Options
  • Watch for Fine Print and Missing Information
  • Are Other Conclusions Possible?
  • Don’t Miss the Big Picture

Grading on this assignment will be based on the following rubric:

Listing the websites you visited (5 points). Stating your informed opinion on gun control (5 points). The defense of your opinion using each of hints shown in the above-mentioned bulleted list (20 points).

An additional assignment will be added based on your respectful replies to two other’s comments. ( 25 points).

This will be due by the end of our following class period.

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