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In "The Second Amendment: What is it? What is it not?" Emerson College Explores Varying Interpretations

March 21, 2013

BOSTON, MA—On Tuesday, April 2, Emerson College will host the third panel discussion in its four-part series with media partner WGBH. Titled “The Second Amendment: What is it? What is it not?” the panel will explore the Second Amendment and different interpretations of it. The panel will take place at the Bill Bordy Theater, 216 Tremont Street, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public and is first come, first served. For more information, visit www.emerson.edu.

Moderated by executive editor for WGBH News Ted Canova, an Emerson alumnus, the panel will include director and president of Comm2A (a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and expanding the rights of firearms owners in the commonwealth) Brent Carlton; consulting attorney for gun-rights advocacy organizations Karen MacNutt; professor and Law Fund Research Scholar at Boston College Law School Kent Greenfield; and professor at Harvard Law School Mark Tushnet.

Emerson College President Lee Pelton, who announced the creation of the College Presidents’ Gun Violence Resource Center and the panel series in January, remarked on the importance of keeping a spotlight on gun violence. “Gun violence is a health crisis for our nation—one that is having a devastating effect on the lives of our young people in particular,” he said. “I hope these initiatives, aimed at engaging the academic community in thoughtful debates and discussions, will help bring about positive action on this critical social issue.”

One additional panel will be held on campus next month. On April 25, panelists will discuss “The Cultural, Social, and Economic Underpinnings of American Violence.” Emerson will also present Frank Higgins’ Gunplay, a performance directed by Performing Arts faculty member Benny Ambush, which will include a cast of professional actors and Emerson Performing Arts students.

Biographies of panel participants:

Brent Carlton, director and president of Comm2A (a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment), is a Commonwealth Second Amendment co-founder and serves as the organization’s president. He has worked for several software and technology companies in a services management role and is currently a partner in a CRM technology consulting firm. Mr. Carlton holds a BA from Boston University and an MBA from Babson College. He is an active USPSA competitor and Range Officer. Brent is a Massachusetts certified Basic Firearm Safety Instructor.

Kent Greenfield, professor and Law Fund Research Scholar at Boston College Law School, teaches and writes in the areas of business law, constitutional law, decision-making theory, legal theory, and economic analysis of law. He is the past chair of the Section on Business Associations of the American Association of Law Schools. In addition, he is the author of the book The Myth of Choice, published in 2011 from Yale University Press, Prunsoop Publishing (in Korean), and BiteBack Publishing (UK). He is the founder and president of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), an association of three dozen law schools and other academic institutions organized to fight for academic freedom and against discrimination.

Karen MacNutt, attorney and contributing editor to Women & Guns magazine, is an active firearms competitor, who has gained a national reputation as a staunch supporter of the rights of gun owners. She believes that firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens is a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment and that gun control laws often infringe upon this right. In her Boston law practice, she has defended individuals charged with violating the Barley-Fox Act, a Massachusetts law that mandates a jail term for anyone caught carrying a handgun without a license. MacNutt is a consulting attorney for several gun-rights advocacy organizations, including the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), the National Rifle Association, and the Gun Owners' Action League of Massachusetts.

Mark Tushnet, professor at Harvard Law School, graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School and served as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall. He specializes in constitutional law and theory, including comparative constitutional law. His research includes studies examining (skeptically) the practice of judicial review in the United States and around the world. He also writes in the area of legal and particularly constitutional history, with works on the development of civil rights law in the United States and (currently) a long-term project on the history of the Supreme Court in the 1930s. This fall he is organizing a conference on American constitutional development and another that features a conversation among several current and former judges on the world's constitutional courts.

Ted Canova, executive editor for news, WGBH-FM, has built a distinguished career leading newsrooms and elevating investigative, long-form, and computer-assisted reporting. His passion, curiosity, and creativity have helped colleagues produce "agenda-setting" journalism that, in turn, has created stronger community connections. As a reporter, Canova covered major New England stories from the New Hampshire primary to the Challenger explosion. His vision as a news manager began in the early '90s when he embraced the Internet's role in journalism. As a community leader, he led the communications outreach for the Red Cross after a Minnesota bridge collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people. His community commitment is further seen in the Internet radio program he created and hosted, JobTalkAmerica, to help people find jobs. Canova has been a public speaker in the community and at national conferences. He's taught aspiring journalists in his role as adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota.

More information about Emerson’s pledge to America on gun violence: In a message to more than 1,700 college presidents, Emerson President Lee Pelton announced the establishment of the College Presidents’ Gun Violence Resource Center and to date, nearly 300 presidents have joined him to make a pledge to President Obama to lead discussions about America’s culture of gun violence.

About Emerson College                                                                                                                    
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson is the only four-year private college in the United States devoted to teaching communication and the arts in a liberal arts context. The College has 3,453 undergraduates and 837 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 60 student organizations and performance groups, 14 NCAA teams, student publications, honor societies, television stations including the Emerson Channel, and WERS-FM, the nation’s highest rated student-run radio station. Emerson is internationally known for its study and internship programs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., the Netherlands, China, and the Czech Republic. For more information, visit www.emerson.edu.

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Communication Studies Professor Phillip Glenn

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