The Second Amendment, Colt, and Tracing Guns

The Second Amendment is just 27 words long, but it has caused more debate than just about anything else in the Constitution. "It’s confusing and self-contradictory and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what its clauses and commas mean," said Michael Waldman, author of the new book The Second Amendment: A Biography. We talk to him about the history and odd syntax of this Amendment and the debate over it that was renewed by the tragedy in Newtown.

After Connecticut enacted post-Newtown gun legislation, several manufacturers left the state. Connecticut’s most famous manufacturer Colt has been in trouble for many years though - and it’s not because of government regulation. "They forgot about innovation and they allowed quality to slip," said Paul Barrett, who reported on the company for Bloomberg Businessweek.

We also check in with ProPublica, who just released a report on where the guns recovered in Connecticut originally came from.


  • Michael Waldman - President of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law and author of The Second Amendment: A Biography
  • Paul Barrett - Assistant managing editor and senior writer at Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Eric Sagara - News Applications Fellow at ProPublica