Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens made headlines across the country on Tuesday, calling for a full repeal of the Second Amendment amid the ongoing gun control debate.
The statement was particularly shocking as he was recently tasked with upholding the principles outlined in the United States Constitution.
Writing for the New York Times, Stevens claimed gun control advocates aren’t going far enough in the aftermath of the Parkland high school shooting:
Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.
That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.
Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.
To be clear, Stevens is arguing that the Second Amendment is no longer needed to protect the citizens from a tyrannical government and therefore should be repealed entirely.
Here’s Stevens with former President Barack Obama:
The former Supreme Court justice went on to claim that a previous SCOTUS decision to declare Americans have individual Second Amendment rights was wrong:
“That decision — which I remain convinced was wrong and certainly was debatable — has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power. Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.”
All gun owners are now thanking their lucky stars that Stevens is no longer sitting on the bench and deciding the fate of the Second Amendment.
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