Kevin Sweeney: Guns, Militias, and the Second Amendment

Kevin SweeneyFebruary 5, 2013

Interview by William Sweet • Photo by Rob Mattson

The citizen soldier, ready to defend his family, property and liberty, is a powerful and cherished image, and one often invoked in debates around the Second Amendment and gun violence.

But that image just isn’t accurate. According to Kevin M. Sweeney, professor of American studies and history, the militia man isn’t who we think he is, and the Second Amendment doesn’t do what we think it does. In short, he says, the NRA and the Supreme Court need a history lesson.

The BBC recently interviewed Sweeney about guns in American culture, and he has co-authored a piece in the current Chronicle of Higher Education with Saul Cornell ’82, professor of history at Fordham University. Sweeney is at work on a book about guns in rural America.

Securing the Blessings of Liberty

By Emily Gold Boutilier

How long does it take to read the U.S. Constitution aloud? In front of Frost Library on Sept. 17, 2012, it took exactly 58 minutes and 45 seconds.   

High on Habeas


Constitution Day

The United States Government has designated Sept. 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, by delegates at the Philadelphia Convention.

Colloquium on “Constitution and the Prison: Incarceration American Style” at Amherst College May 2 and 3

Submitted by Holly R. Saltrelli

Constitution of La Causa

Submitted by LeShonne W. Segura
Purpose The purpose and goals of La Causa, the official Latino student group of Amherst College, shall be… …Encourage a support network and comfortable environment within the Amherst College community for our members and to instill a cultural unity and a cultural exchange between students of different Latino backgrounds without the exclusion of non-Latino students.

Colloquium on the Constitution and the Imagining of America

On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, The Colloquium on the Constitution and the Imagining of America presented a series of events. Hear audio from selected talks by clicking on the links below.Friday, October 26

Colloquium on “Imagining a New Constitution” at Amherst College Sept. 15 and 16