Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. In an opinion piece published in The New York Times this morning, the former justice says that it’s a “relic of the 18th century.”
From The New York Times:
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.
He also says:
In 2008, the Supreme Court overturned Chief Justice Burger’s and others’ long-settled understanding of the Second Amendment’s limited reach by ruling, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that there was an individual right to bear arms. I was among the four dissenters.
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.
Using that line of thinking, if the Second Amendment is a relic of the past, then so are the other ten amendments in the Bill of Rights.
And if it’s civic engagement that’s driving his opinion, why not also overturn Roe vs. Wade? The March for Life, which takes place in Washington D.C. every January, drew crowds of over 600,000 in 2013. Numbers since then have fluctuated but it still draws well over 100,000 on average. By comparison, the March for Our Lives drew just over 200,000 in Washington D.C., despite the media’s initial claim of 800,000.
John Paul Stevens retired from the Supreme Court in 2010, after serving thirty four years on the court. He was appointed by President Ford.