Retired Supreme Court judge calls for repeal of second amendment

30 March, 2018, 00:41 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • The March For Our Lives rally in Washington on March 24 called for action to end gun violence

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens weighed in on gun violence in the United States Tuesday, by calling for the end of the Second Amendment - the guaranteed right to bear arms.

The retired justice John Paul Stevens is right to highlight the Second Amendment's role in the gun debate, including the fact that it is sometimes deployed as a "propaganda weapon" against gun regulation.

Speaking with reporters in Los Angeles, Feinstein said there was momentum behind the push for tougher legislation in Congress to restrict gun sales, following a weekend of "March for Our Lives" protests against gun violence. The Second Amendment is based on the distinctive, and now anachronistic, concept of a militia as an alternative to a standing army.

Some scholars noted that Stevens' op-ed could be counterproductive to legislative efforts to regulate guns, which would have broader public support than repealing the Second Amendment. Elving wrote. He pointed out the "tremendous support" gun ownership has in large parts of the nation, especially the South, West and Midwest, "which would easily total up to more than enough states to block a gun control amendment".

Only one amendment to the Constitution has ever been repealed: in 1933, the 21st Amendment was added to the Constitution, effectively repealing the 18th Amendment, which instituted Prohibition.

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This seems to reflect the opinion of most Democrats: A survey by the Economist and YouGov, conducted in February, found that 39 percent of Democrats want to repeal the Second Amendment, while 41 percent do not.

Stevens cast a dissent, for instance, in Texas v. Johnson (1989), the landmark case in which the Court ruled that flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment.

In his op-ed, Stevens, who dissented in the 5-4 decision, wrote that the ruling gave the National Rifle Association "a propaganda weapon of huge power".

In response to the piece, Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky tweeted that Stevens made some intriguing points in his op-ed.

"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.

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Mr. Stevens filled his dissenting opinion with a strained reading of the text and history of the Second Amendment to assert that its sole objective was the preservation of state militias to protect against the excesses of a standing army or a foreign invasion.

"You may have been a Supreme Court Justice and I may just be a small voice for freedom but you sir should be ashamed of yourself", NRA television host Grant Stinchfield said.

But now gun rights advocates are saying "go ahead, make my day" to Stevens's latest call.

The U.S. House is "gerrymandered heavily in the Republican states toward the rural areas, and the Senate is constitutionally gerrymandered", Jackson said, allowing lower population states and nonurban Americans to have a disproportionate vote.

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