A Supreme Court justice’s solution to gun violence: Repeal Second Amendment

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  vic-eldred  •  one month ago  •  31 comments

By:   Washington Post

A Supreme Court justice’s solution to gun violence: Repeal Second Amendment
Stevens said the amendment was adopted out of concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the states. “Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century,” he wrote.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Four years ago, when — as now — the nation was reeling from the horror of a mass school shooting, a retired Supreme Court justice suggested a radical solution: getting rid of the Second Amendment.

John Paul Stevens issued the call after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February 2018. The attack prompted hundreds of thousands to demand action the next month to end gun violence at the  March for Our Lives .

In a March 27, 2018,  New York Times op-ed , Stevens praised the protesters and their call for stricter gun control laws. “But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform,” he wrote, about a year before his  death at 99 . “They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”

Stevens said the amendment was adopted out of concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the states. “Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century,” he wrote.

He called repeal a “simple but dramatic action [that] would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform” and would make schoolchildren safer.

But Stevens didn’t acknowledge the herculean challenge that his proposal entailed, as there was (and remains) zero chance that gun control advocates would get anywhere close to the two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the states needed for repeal.

Stevens’s proposal didn’t generate a lot of momentum, but it did get pushback from some fellow liberals.

“I admire Justice Stevens but his supposedly ‘simple but dramatic’ step of repealing the 2d Am is AWFUL advice,”  tweeted Laurence Tribe , a Harvard law professor. “The obstacle to strong gun laws is political, not legal. Urging a politically impossible effort just strengthens opponents of achievable reform.”

Tribe expanded on his argument in a Washington Post op-ed, headlined “ The Second Amendment isn’t the problem .” “The NRA’s strongest rallying cry has been: ‘They’re coming for our beloved Second Amendment,’” he wrote. “Enter Stevens, stage left, boldly calling for the amendment’s demise, thereby giving aid and comfort to the gun lobby’s favorite argument.”

In his op-ed, Stevens wrote that repeal was necessary to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2008  District of Columbia v. Heller  ruling that Americans had an individual right to bear arms. He was one of four dissenters in that case.

“For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation,” Stevens wrote in the op-ed.

Republican President Gerald Ford nominated Stevens to the court in 1975, at a time when Supreme Court nominations were not as politicized as they are today. Stevens eventually became one of its most liberal members. Although his 2018 proposal didn’t go anywhere, calls for repeal continue today.

“Who will say on this network or any other network in the next few days, ‘It’s time to repeal the Second Amendment?’” liberal filmmaker  Michael Moore challenged  during a feisty appearance on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” this week.

“Look, I support all gun control legislation,” Moore said. “Not sensible gun control. We don’t need the sensible stuff. We need the hardcore stuff that’s going to protect ourselves and our children.”

Writing in the New Republic  on Thursday, Walter Shapiro, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and a lecturer in political science at Yale University, said that “the hard truth is that the core problem is the Second Amendment itself. And America is going to reel from one mass murder to another unless the Second Amendment is repealed or the Supreme Court drastically reduces its scope.”

“As a starting point,” he added, “Democrats should drop the mealy-mouthed formulation, ‘Nobody supports the Second Amendment more than I do, but still. … ’ Claiming fidelity to the Second Amendment has never convinced a single NRA supporter of a candidate’s sincerity, but it has stopped bold thinking about lasting solutions to America’s gun crisis.”

But repeal hasn’t been a mainstream cause. Just last month,  President Biden declared , “I support the Second Amendment,” although he said that didn’t mean people could get any gun they wanted. In the wake of this week’s Texas elementary school massacre that  killed 19 children and two teachers , the president  said  the Second Amendment is not absolute, and that common-sense gun control would not “negatively affect” it.

Stevens’s op-ed came just a few years after he issued a proposal to amend the Second Amendment, in his book  “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,”  which was excerpted in a 2014  Washington Post opinion piece . Stevens suggested adding five words (in italics below) to the amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms  when serving in the Militia  shall not be infringed.”


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

It only requires adding 5 words to do it right.

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
2  squiggy    one month ago

What's a Militia?

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.1  Ronin2  replied to  squiggy @2    one month ago

According to leftist DA's your locally armed gang- by the way they prosecute gun laws.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.2  JBB  replied to  squiggy @2    one month ago

Antigovernment lesbians are the Militia Etheridge 

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
2.3  squiggy  replied to  squiggy @2    one month ago

"When President Ronald Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981, chaos ensued behind the scenes at the White House. With no real protocol in place for such a situation, everyone involved had to improvise and hope that everything would turn out right. In an attempt to keep everyone calm, Al Haig, Reagan’s Secretary of State, committed a PR faux pas — and showed a glaring lapse in basic knowledge of the Constitution — by telling the press that he was in control while the President was in surgery."

We, the people, ain't gonna hear that shit again.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Senior Quiet
2.3.1  Jack_TX  replied to  squiggy @2.3    one month ago
In an attempt to keep everyone calm, Al Haig, Reagan’s Secretary of State, committed a PR faux pas — and showed a glaring lapse in basic knowledge of the Constitution — by telling the press that he was in control while the President was in surgery." We, the people, ain't gonna hear that shit again.

What he actually said was "I'm in control here"... meaning he was holding down the fort as the senior-ranking official physically present in the WH at the time, because Bush was on a plane.

But because Americans are generally stupid and panicky, people lost their shit over it.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  squiggy @2    one month ago

A nation’s able-bodied men.

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
2.4.1  squiggy  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.4    one month ago

Not here, just wait.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
2.5  bccrane  replied to  squiggy @2    one month ago

Who would be in charge of determining what a militia is, who would be allowed as militia members, and when not serving or the militia is inactive where will the weapons be stored?

Those five words could be used to end the freedoms of the individual and therefore the end of the "free state".

The most overlooked word in the second amendment is "therefore" it's hidden in the second comma ",".  The first parts of the second amendment as what is needed to insure a free state, therefore the people have the right to keep and bear arms and explicitly the state cannot interfere with that right.  

If it is left to the state as to who can and cannot bear arms and the state controls those weapons, like in an armory, then the first thing that would happen if the state decided to end the individual's freedoms is to take control of the armories and the people are now defenseless against the state.

The second amendment is fine the way it is.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.6  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  squiggy @2    one month ago
What's a Militia?

We all know the definition:

mi·li·tia

    (mə-lĭsh′ə)

n.
1.   An   army   composed   of   ordinary   citizens   rather   than   professional   soldiers.
2.   A   military   force   that   is   not   part   of   a   regular   army   and   is   subject   to   call   for   service   in   an   emergency.
3.   The   whole   body   of   physically   fit   civilians   eligible   by   law   for   military   service.




The framers of the Constitution feared a dictatorship. I believe the 2nd Amendment was written explicitly for that reason: as a way ordinary citizens might take their government back. In the seeded op-ed John Paul Stevens says “Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.”   In fact the rewording he submitted would turn the 2nd Amendment on it's head by way of changing the nature of a militia to one controlled by the government, most likely to put down a revolt.

How many think the way the current administration ignores it's duties equals a dictatorship?  It's easy to see why there is politics baked into this.


 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
2.6.1  charger 383  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.6    one month ago

Since the USA was founded, how many other countries have had dictators take over?    

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.6.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  charger 383 @2.6.1    one month ago

A significant number.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.6.3  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  charger 383 @2.6.1    one month ago

Many, including all of our current enemies.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
3  charger 383    one month ago

Nobody will keep the Citizens free except the Citizens themselves.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
4  Tacos!    one month ago

I’d like to see our country ask “how would we write this if we were starting the country from scratch today?”

The Founders gave us a Constitution that can be changed. So, if we’re going to change it, we need to write the law so that it makes sense for our country in this time. Talking about well regulated militias doesn’t make a lot of sense anymore, and it’s also not why most people even want a gun.

There are two fundamental, primary reasons most people want a gun (those who want one at all). 1) Self-defense/defense of others (about 60%) and 2) Hunting (about 40%). All other reasons are about 10% or less.

There are some people who are only into target practice, and there are very few some people who are concerned with defending themselves against an aggressive federal government, but self defense (Especially now that we see cops will sit on their hands and hang yellow tape while a murderer kills children in a school) and hunting are the main reasons people want guns.

There must be a way we can protect this right for these purposes while still keeping guns out of the hands of murderers.

Once we have a good amendment that protects rightful use of firearms, we can set about cleaning up wrongful ownership, possession, and use without disingenuous arguments about violating the constitution.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
PhD Guide
4.1  Drakkonis  replied to  Tacos! @4    4 weeks ago

None of that matters as long as postmodernism is being pushed by the left. There is no truth except what you make for yourself, therefore, there's no one standard our country strives to abide by but, rather, "diversity" is praised as a good thing. That's like ten people living in the same small house and every one of them is living by their own rules. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
4.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Drakkonis @4.1    4 weeks ago
there's no one standard our country strives to abide by

It was not designed to have one standard. That’s why states have sovereignty to chart their own courses on a variety of issues. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for many issues. People - as people - have rights, for example, that transcend state boundaries. Gun violence easily crosses state lines. In those cases, yes, we can benefit from a single standard - at least some minimum single standard.

"diversity" is praised as a good thing

It is a good thing. What do you want? A nation of WASPs?

I have to say, I don’t understand why an American would stand in opposition to diversity. We have a long history of immigration from all parts of the world, in addition to the native peoples. We have all races, ethnicities, religions, languages, and traditions. I was raised to celebrate this. America used to celebrate this. When I hire people or form teams, I look for diversity - partly because I have seen its benefits and partly because I value reaching out to “the stranger.”

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
4.1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.1    4 weeks ago
"When I hire people or form teams, I look for diversity - partly because I have seen its benefits and partly because I value reaching out to “the stranger.”

Do you look for the best qualified, or do you use a diversity checklist

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
4.1.3  Tacos!  replied to  Greg Jones @4.1.2    4 weeks ago

What makes you think I can't do both? I think many people - like you seem to be - who have an emotional revulsion to seeking diversity - proceed from a mythological assumption that there is some kind of absolute pure measurement for who is "best qualified" for a position. Almost any position has more than one qualification, and in my experience, it is quite common to find that some people are stronger in certain areas, but weaker in others.

You also assume that diversity has zero merit. Diversity is a very legitimate qualification. In my experience, it has consistently enhanced the productivity of the team, so I value it.

But you have to be willing to open your mind to the possibility that diversity has value. When you ask "best qualified or diversity checklist" you're already telling me your mind is closed to that possibility.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
4.1.4  Greg Jones  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.3    4 weeks ago

I can get along with and treat people equally, and have no problem with diversity....and of course it can add value, but I don't go about "celebrating" it for diversity's sake like you seem to be doing. In my world the content of a person's character is way more important skin color. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
4.1.5  Tacos!  replied to  Greg Jones @4.1.4    4 weeks ago
I don't go about "celebrating" it for diversity's sake like you seem to be doing

If that's what you think, it's not what I wrote. I don't even know what "diversity's sake" would mean. I have said there is value in it. I haven't defined those values, but they exist.

In my world the content of a person's character is way more important skin color. 

You seem to be assuming that I would select a person of low character just because they check a demographic box. I don't know why anyone would do that.

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
4.1.6  Split Personality  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.5    4 weeks ago
If that's what you think, it's not what I wrote

The bane of social media...

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
4.1.7  Tacos!  replied to  Split Personality @4.1.6    4 weeks ago

True, but it’s not only that. We have these discussions and because some aspect of it makes someone uncomfortable - be it for personal, social, or political reasons - they are unwilling to characterize the topic in any terms other than the most extreme possibilities, and everything is a zero sum game.

For example, supporting a right to abortion means you want abortion all the time under any circumstances. If you advocate for women’s rights, it means you want to take jobs away from men. If you support gay marriage, it means you want to destroy “traditional” marriage. If you want to regulate gun ownership, it means you want to take 100% of guns away from all people. If you care about the environment, you want to destroy all industry and economy.

So if I value diversity, it must mean I hate merit.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
5  Sean Treacy    one month ago

A Constitutional Amendment is the way forward for those who would like to drastically reimagine gun rights in this country.  It does amuse me though that the same people who are triggered into histrionics by expressions for sympathy for crime victims seem to think shouting "we need to do something" without actually doing anything is somehow the appropriate response. Like the manager of the Giants hiding in the clubhouse during the national anthem. That will solve everything!

Widely available guns are not a new development in American history. Fun hundreds of years, America existed without chronic school shootings. Something changed in the 1990s.   Until we figure out the cultural changes that made school shootings normal I doubt changing laws is going to have much effect, particularly when our most populated areas don't want to put armed criminals in jail in the name of racial "equity."  Laws are just a band aid, and a particularly ineffective one if law enforcement refuses to punish transgressors.  

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
5.1  charger 383  replied to  Sean Treacy @5    one month ago

Overpopulation, overcrowding and parents not raising their children properly are the changes

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
5.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  charger 383 @5.1    one month ago
Overpopulation, overcrowding

You think that Uvalde is overcrowded, overpopulated?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
5.1.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  charger 383 @5.1    one month ago

I don't think population really as much of anything to do with it.  The US is not in any sense of the word overpopulated right now.  Obesity, not starvation, is our major health problem.  Problems of resource deprivation are probbaly less than they ever have been in the country's history.  And going forward population decline and the havoc that will play on our economy is a much more pressing problem than too many people. If Americans don't have more kids, we will have no choice but to increase immigration to make up the difference.  

Parenting's probably some of the problem in some cases, but really shitty parents have always existed.  As birthrates continue to decline, kids receive more attention and resources than they ever have in the past.  Blaming parents is always a convenient excuse and this shooter in particular seems to have come from a particularly broken home, but more often it seems to me the "bad parenting" seems to consist of keeping guns in a house with unhappy/unstable teenagers. 

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
5.1.3  charger 383  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.1    one month ago

Without looking it up, yes.  Almost everywhere is overpopulated

Quality is better than quantity 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
5.1.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  charger 383 @5.1.3    one month ago
Without looking it up, yes.

The population density of NYC is almost 28,000 people per square mile, La is  about 8,300 people per square mile,  Uvalde is 2,220 per square mile.

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
6  squiggy    one month ago

I don't know that people understand that nine states can arbitrarily decide to issue a permit, or not, to carry a concealed weapon no matter what the applicants qualifications are. Nobody's willing to trade anything for that kind of favoritism.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
6.1  Tacos!  replied to  squiggy @6    one month ago

This is one of the big concerns about any changes to gun regulation - the worry that government regulators will disingenuously refuse to allow possession or carrying of a firearm based on arbitrary reasoning. 

 
 

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