Constitution Day will bring attorney, Second Amendment advocate to Tennessee Tech

David KopelAn attorney representing 55 of Colorado's elected sheriffs in a lawsuit against that state’s anti-gun laws will speak about the right to bear arms Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Tennessee Tech University.

David Kopel, adjunct professor in advanced constitutional law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, will deliver the Nolan Fowler Constitution Day address at 6 p.m. in TTU’s Derryberry Auditorium.

“How exciting that Tennessee Tech can bring David Kopel, who has been referenced by U.S. Supreme Court justices, to campus as a result of the generous legacy of the Nolan Fowler endowment,” said Lori Maxwell, professor of political science at TTU.

“We feel strongly that Constitution Day affords both our students and members of the community, who are encouraged to attend, a unique opportunity to reflect upon the legal heritage that has helped preserve our nation from the time of the Founding Fathers,” said Maxwell. “We know the topic of gun control is an important one to the political culture of the region.”

Kopel has written more than a dozen books on constitutional law and published more than 85 scholarly articles in journals such as the Michigan Law Review and the Brown Journal on World Affairs. His research has been cited by eight state supreme courts, three federal circuit courts of appeals and more than 500 law review articles.

“To the Americans in the 13 colonies, self defense was both a right and a duty,” said Kopel.

All colonies, except Pennsylvania, required gun ownership of militiamen, and many colonies required the head of a household to own a gun.

Kopel will talk about the original intent of the Second Amendment and its meaning in the 21st century.

“The original public meaning of the Second Amendment was safeguarding the natural right to own and carry arms for all legitimate purposes,” said Kopel. “The difference between self defense against a criminal invader in the home or against a criminal tyrant with a standing army was only one of scale.”

Kopel published “The Truth About Gun Control” in March, and he is scheduled to publish “A Conspiracy Against Obamacare” in November.

In 2012 Kopel co-wrote “Firearms Regulation, Rights and Policy,” the first law school text on the Second Amendment. He co-wrote “Gun Control and Gun Rights: A Reader and Guide” in 2002, the first university textbook on firearms law and policy.

Kopel earned his doctorate of jurisprudence at the University of Michigan and is an alumnus of Brown University. He is research director of the Independence Institute, a public policy research organization in Denver, Colo., and is an associate policy analyst with the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.