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Dr. Paul Finkelman and the origins of the Second Amendment

Dr. Finkelman is the current president of Gratz College. He has produced works that include American Jewish history, legal history, constitutional law, and legal issues surrounding baseball. (Ohio Northern University/image)

Dr. Finkelman is the current president of Gratz College. He has produced works that include American Jewish history, legal history, constitutional law, and legal issues surrounding baseball. (Ohio Northern University/image)

Dr. Paul Finkelman is the President of Gratz College in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. Finkelman received his B.A. in American Studies from Syracuse in 1971. He earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago in 1976. He has produced works based on American Jewish history, legal history, constitutional law, and legal issues surrounding baseball.

Finkelman came to ONU to present his research on the origins of the second amendment. He shows evidence of how the amendment was meant for a different purpose but allows Americans to own firearms.

The research shows that the initial purpose of the amendment was to maintain a “well-regulated militia.” This militia would be the soldiers that supported the American Revolution. The initial purpose of this amendment is still held as we have our modernized militia, the National Guard.

This causes some difficulties when it comes to repealing the amendment. Removing this amendment would essentially mean disbanding the National Guard.

Despite the amendments true purpose, Finkelman still believes that citizens have the right to hunt. This is mainly based on Finkelman’s conclusion that hunters do not need AR-15’s or other assault rifles to take on wild animals.

His true goal with the presentation was to stimulate thinking on the Second Amendment for college-level minds.

We have two options with the second amendment. The first is doing some thinking on how to maintain gun control. The second and most undesirable option in prohibition.”

He believes that stronger national background checks will be an effective method of maintaining gun control. He also believes that serious penalties need to be made for those who disobey gun laws.

Another method Finkelman believes can help with gun control is proper teaching citizens how to safely handle their firearms. According to Finkelman, a significant number of people die by their own guns. This can be avoided with proper training on how to store and handle firearms.

The Second Amendment will continue to be debated as long as the right to bear arms is abused. People die every day due to misuse or ill-intentioned use of firearms. Dr. Paul Finkelman’s presentation is an attempt to show students that the Second Amendment was initially meant for another purpose but has become a catalyst for the undesirable circumstance.