Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens claims that the concerns which underlie the 2nd amendment are a “relic of the 18th century” and that it should be repealed in its entirety. READ IT ALL
In 2008, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was on the losing side of District of. Columbia v. Heller, the landmark Supreme Court case that clearly recognized the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms independent of service in an organized militia. Stevens wrote a lengthy dissent, insisting that the framers of the amendment showed not “the slightest interest in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms.” Years later, Stevens wrote a book which argued in favor of amending the Second Amendment to reverse the Heller decision and give his side the win. Recently, however, Stevens dropped the pretense of believing the Second Amendment has any value at all, arguing in a New York Times editorial that the concerns which underlie the amendment are a “relic of the 18th century” and that it should be repealed in its entirety.
Stevens insisted that the “civic engagement” of “schoolchildren” participating in recent antigun demonstrations “demand[s] our respect.” Yet his “respect” for the protestors ironically does not extend to trusting their ability to exercise their own fundamental rights, as he immediately turned to endorsing several ambitious gun control proposals, including increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years. He also signaled his support for “prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons” and “establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms.” Stevens should perhaps be credited with being more intellectually honest and transparent than he has been in the past when he merely advocated for a narrow reading of the Second Amendment. Now he’s willing to admit he simply wants the amendment — and the right to individual and corporate defense that it serves — to go away altogether.
Stevens, however, had some further advice for the young protestors, encouraging them to “seek more effective and more lasting reform” by demanding “a repeal of the Second Amendment.” It would, he noted, “move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform.”
What’s particularly notable about Stevens’s argument is how dismissive he remains about the Second Amendment’s existing individual right, viewing it as no bar to banning all modern firearms and as allowing for broad classes of Americans to be categorically banned from acquiring any firearm at all.
But even that state of affairs is intolerable to him, because it still allows for the thought crime of believing the right to keep and bear arms has enduring value or any sort of instrumental role in limiting government authority. Worse still, the current status of the Second Amendment empowers the NRA in its advocacy and messaging efforts.
What Steven wants, in other words, is to completely shut down — not just the substance of the right to keep and bear arms — but the very legitimacy of defending it as an American value
As is often the case when gun control advocates feel emboldened, one of their more oblivious and politically inept standard bearers has embarrassed the whole movement by being too forthcoming about an “objective” still roundly rejected by a large majority of Americans. After the Stevens editorial appeared, the Washington Post quickly reported on a February poll in which 60% of Americans opposed repealing the Second Amendment, a rate three times higher than for support of a repeal. Such a move is hardly the “simple” solution that Stevens portrays it to be. As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox said in response to Stevens’s comments: “The men and women of the National Rifle Association, along with the majority of the American people and the Supreme Court, believe in the Second Amendment right to self-protection and we will unapologetically continue to fight to protect this fundamental freedom.”
Indeed, within hours of the New York Times publishing the Stevens editorial, an article appeared in the Washington Post characterizing Stevens’s comments as “supremely unhelpfull” and proving that the Post’s writers aren’t wrong about everything. “In one fell swoop,” the article laments, Stevens has lent credence to the talking point that the left really just wants to get rid of gun ownership and reasserted the need for gun-rights supporters to prevent his ilk from ever being appointed again (with the most obvious answer being: Vote Republican).”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Stories abound about some of the more overreaching and extreme views that were expressed during the antigun March in Washington. Yet while youthful calls for a “gun free world” can be chalked up to innocent idealism, no one can claim that a man who sat on the U.S. Supreme Court during the heyday of the handgun ban era and personally participated in the Heller case did not speak knowingly and deliberately. He was, in fact, simply expressing the prevailing opinion of the law’s liberal elite, however unartfully.
Stevens should perhaps be credited with being more intellectually honest and transparent than he has been in the past when he merely advocated for a narrow reading of the Second Amendment. Now he’s willing to admit he simply wants the amendment — and the right to individual and corporate defense that it serves — to go away altogether.
He’s also right that this, ultimately, is the “objective” behind the long-standing movement that is lately receiving a boost from some well-meaning and earnest young activists.
And whether gun owners hear it from a 17-year-old high school student or a 97-year-old retired Supreme Court Justice, they’d do well to listen carefully. Today’s antigun advocacy merely foreshadows tomorrow’s abolition of your rights.
That’s why the NRA will not yield real rights for symbolic measures that offer no public safety benefits. As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox said in response to Stevens’s comments: “The men and women of the National Rifle Association, along with the majority of the American people and the Supreme Court, believe in the Second Amendment right to self-protection and we will unapologetically continue to fight to protect this fundamental freedom.”
11 thoughts on “Dissenting Justice in the Heller Case Now Argues for Repeal of the Second Amendment”
thank the Lord that is says “FORMER” chief justice. !
The Second Amendment IS NOT a “relic of the 18th century”. If this were the case, evil would have been eradicated long ago too. Former Justice Stevens has poor advice to ask children to demand fora repeal of the 2nd amendment. Why not encourage them to demand that the drinking age be lowered to 16 years of age.
There is a process to all this. Unfortunately these children are pawns and sacrifices in this. I’ve yet to see democrats who want to ban firearms seek resolution thru tighter security for school systems. It seems they sit back and wait for a slaughter. Then it’s on to which democrat will make history repealing the 2nd Amendment.
The next most disturbing thing is I see is Nicholas Cruz has not been the subject of this debate. Nor the family (that you can’t tell me didn’t know the state of his mind, thinking, and social media posts) seem so shocked after they sold him a weapon. My opinion is this needs to be investigated further and has been grossly overlooked and dismissed.
Lastly for now, the only solution is to punish those who abuse their rights. To the utmost our laws evil people should be prosecuted.
Capital punishment is not a bad thing. But bludgeoning to death the rights of law abiding people is wrong across this Great Land.
Does any one every think why Japan never finished the attack, they knew Americans had guns in there homes and knew how to use them. If you would use a shoot gun with double 00 buck you would make a lot of holes and more damage, every on thinks it has to be an semi-auto to do a lot of damage. My concerns I am a Police officer and guns don’t just stupid people with guns.
Anyone, ANYONE who would try to disarm any free man or woman is no better than Bin Laden himself. Obama made ammo so expensive that the cost of practice is outrageous. I am sure that was the idea.
Besides the GOD given right and mandate of self preservation there is something else to think of. The man who planed Pearl Harbor was asked why he did not try to invade the U.S.—his answer “there would be a gun behind EVERY BLADE OF GRASS “! Anyone who would deprive you of the right to bear arms IS THE ENEMY. The LORD HIMSELF said in LUKE 22 36 that if a man has no sword ( the assault weapon of that day) he should go and sell his clothes and get one. There just is not any higher authority. Disarming the public has always been the prerequisite for enslaving that public. Hitler banned all firearms “for a kinder, gentler nation” Guess what happened next. Stalin did the same. Mao did the same. Pol Pot did the same. Idi Amine did the same. Need I say more?
If ammo is too expensive for you better get to reloading!
if this man wants to see a relic he need only look in the mirror
He has turned against the people and are laws of the people he should have his Supreme Court Justice name removed from him!!!
Stevens is a respected judge and a fair and studious administrator of the law. His opinions and newspaper editorials are just personal opinions. This article is only a slanted smear on Judge Stevens. Just because a man or woman expresses his or her opinion, we shouldn’t be so quick to demonize them for it. Furthermore – Don’t believe everything you read!
A tree is judged by it’s fruits. Men are judged based on what they say or don’t say and what they do or don’t do. If he actually wrote those words or someone quoted him as saying those words…. that is sedition and immoral and against what this nation is founded upon. His words and those like them are and have been many times over the centuries the beginnings of enslavement.. I hope for his sake that he was misquoted. It is a real let down when you find out that the people in authority look at you as subjects and not citizens and incapable of handling our own lives. As history repeats itself to those who don’t remember it, you have to wonder if America is not about to repeat defying a tyrannical government.
Doesn’t the writer of this article know that Chris Cox and the nra are also for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment? The only difference between them and “no justice” Stevens is that Stevens is honest about his motives and has no problem telling everyone that he wants an outright ban. The nra, on the other hand, wants to do away with the 2nd Amendment and American gun rights piece meal; just a little bit at a time. Like supporting, (if not mostly authoring), the 1934 National Firearms Act, or supporting the Lautenberg Amendment that lets a misdemeanor bar fight or an argument with your wife bar you from firearms ownership forever, or their active participation in authoring large parts of the 1968 Gun Control Act, or active support for the 1986 Machine Gun Ban, or saddling us with the Brady Bill NICS background check fiasco, or their duplicitous support for the bump stock ban. No, the nra doesn’t want to ban the 2nd Amendment outright, if they did that they couldn’t continue to sucker millions of gun owners into supporting them by paying their bloated salaries for all these years.
Anyone that thinks the nra is for gun rights and the 2nd Amendment are A number one SAPS. If you want to put your money where it will do the most good, then send it to GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA! You can rest assured that they will never compromise your rights away like the turncoats at the nra. WAKE UP PEOPLE! The nra is milking you like a cow with one hand and giving your gun rights away with the other.