Home | About | Donate

To Defeat NRA and End Gun Violence, Former Supreme Court Justice Says 'Repeal the 2nd Amendment'


#1

To Defeat NRA and End Gun Violence, Former Supreme Court Justice Says 'Repeal the 2nd Amendment'

Julia Conley, staff writer

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens took to the New York Times op-ed pages on Tuesday to call for a full repeal of the Second Amendment, calling it a "relic of the 18th century" wielded by the gun lobby as a "propaganda weapon of immense power."


#2

Confirming how fascist Murka has become since he was appointed by Republican POTUS Gerald Ford in 1975, when Stevens retired from the bench in 2010 he was universally considered the most progressive SCOTUS justice at the time, more progressive than Democrat Bill Clinton’s two appointees and Democrat Obama’s first appointee, and more progressive than justice Kagan who Obama appointed to replace Stevens (note that Democrat Carter predates the 1985 rightward shift of the Party, AND was the only POTUS who served at least one full term but had no opportunity to appoint any SCOTUS justices).

Note also that until the 1970s the NRA promoted gun control and gun safety. During the past quarter century the NRA has successfully forced the repeal of many regulations that they were instrumental in putting in place.


#3

Oh sure, that ought to solve all our problems. Don’t you think the founders had a reason for including the second amendment in the Constitution? Do you really, honestly believe that if only the cops, the military and the non law-abiding criminals had guns, all these problems with violence would go away? Tighten up the lax gun laws, do better background checks, and start behaving like a responsible society; but if you start destroying the Bill of Rights don’t expect good results. This is exactly what opponents of improving the situation want to hear; a reactionary attack on fundamental rights in the guise of “ending gun violence.”

Hey, let’s pass a law making war illegal; let’s pass a law making corporate campaign contributions illegal. Let’s pass a law making greed illegal. Maybe even a law making naivete illegal. That ought to solve the problem.


#4

Agreed that the US should make pre-emptive war and corporations’ bribes illegal, but cut the revisionist history (euphemism for fake news), Wildraven.

Throughout the Revolution and subsequent period when the US Constitution and Bill of Rights were instituted the US was financially strapped. Had the French miltary not been heavily involved in the Revolution the Brits would have won. When the Revolution ended, France was on the verge of their own revolution and broke from financing our revolution, so we could not hit them up for more dough. France was so broke they would soon give Jefferson the best real estate deal ever…the Louisiana Purchase.

So, yes, "the founders had a reason for including the second amendment ". The second amendment was written so there would be lots of armed citizens waiting to be mustered into the military since the US had little money to pay soldiers or buy arms, ammo, and food for the soldiers.


#5

In Loaded, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz explains that the 2nd amendment was adopted specifically to allow for slave patrols and “manifest destiny” genocide. Superficially, you might think it’s not needed anymore, now that slavery is officially banned and the whole continent stolen. But the 2nd isn’t some minor afterthought; it betrays the truth about US American exceptionalism: that ours is an exceptionally bloodthirsty culture.

I doubt it’s possible to repeal the 2nd without acknowledging its toxic legacy. You can’t confront the depredations of US imperialism while plopping yellow-ribbon magnets on the tailgate of your SUV.


#6

The Stevens editorial is more confirmation that the Parkland students have created the critical mass needed to say what nobody has been saying and do what nobody has been doing to reverse the fascist trajectory the US has been on since the Powell memo of the 70s.

Hopefully the critical mass that the Parkland students created will enable the US to “acknowledge its toxic legacy” to the extent that the second amendment is confined to the dustbin of history.

There are many nations that allow citizens to own firearms without having a second amendment that currently exists only to enable arms manufacturers to own the gubmit. Ending the second amendment will not result in no firearms.


#7

If we ended the practice of legalized bribery otherwise known as “campaign financing,” running for elective office would no longer entail doing the bidding of well-heeled special interests such as the NRA.


#8

It would take years, more likely decades, to amend or repeal the second amendment. In the meantime…what?

If we are unable to proceed as reasonable people to confront honestly the blood of our children and our neighbors’ children on our classroom floors now, when?

I don’t know which is more shameful, blaming the Constitution or hiding behind it.


#9

Repealing amendments seems to be a slippery slope but frankly the U.S. is already doing that in a way. The fourth amendment essentially doesn’t exist anymore due to companies and the government easily obtaining the information of everyone via the internet.


#10

Nobody is “blaming the constitution”. The constitution was intended to be a living document, not cast in concrete, but subject to amendment, and defacto change as MCH points out.

Liberals, and even a few progressives’ greatest failure has been serially demanding an inch, thereby getting nothing or less than nothing. If you don’t demand a mile you won’t even get an inch. Demanding the second amendment be repealed may not result in its repeal, it is, however, an example of demanding a mile to get an inch, and WILL reverse the trend to fascism of the past half century and result in more progressive regulations.


#11

Revisionist history? Fake news? Frankly, I find it unbelievable that people would be so naïve as to suggest getting rid of the Second Amendment. This is what the world has become today, black and white. Hey, why not just repeal the First Amendment? It isn’t used like it used to be, and the Founders never intended it to be a vehicle for attacking the government. And let’s repeal the 4th amendment; since the advent of the “war on drugs,” it has been ignored anyway. Well, hey, let’s just repeal the entire Constitution, the government pays it no attention anyway.

Your belief that taking away citizens’ right to bear arms will make anyone safer is ludicrous. I’m no defender of the NRA, but the slogan “if guns are criminalized, only criminals will have guns” is valid; also if you think that the police and military are to be trusted with the only right to bear arms, there are a whole lot of other countries in the world that would laugh their asses off at such naivete.

Hey, I’ve got another great idea. Let’s make drugs illegal! That way there won’t be anymore problems with drugs! Yeah, speaking of “fake” news and “revisionist” theories.


#12

I really dont see this as necesary we can do all of the common sense gun legislation (atleast what I want and consider common sense) without repealing the second amendment. The supreme court said in that case that the right to bear arms is not without restraint. That is perfectly reasonable and I applaud that ruling. There doesnt need to be a constitutional amendment to pass universal background checks or even have a red flag law in line with Indianas. I truelly beleive that all law abiding capable adults should be able to buy the gun of there choice after having been able to prove they are such.


#13

I agree. There is a good middle ground to go to. Saying rhetoric in the other extreme like this just paints the people who are actually advocating for reasonable gun laws as “unAmerican” and other insults and devalues their argument.


#14

It is the epitome of hypocrisy to call for abolishing a constitutional amendment while waving the flag and supporting endless war. The United States spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year making weapons intended to kill people, an extremely profitable enterprise. Yeah, let’s get rid of all those guns in America, but keep on making tanks, fighter jets, nuclear bombs, cruise missiles (an extremely profitable entrerprise) and then let’s go after those damn Russians! THEY are the problem. Kill them all and make America great again.

Killing on TV, killing in the movies, killing in video games. Killing in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. Let’s go kill all our enemies. And repeal the Second Amendment. And let’s give more military style weapons to our local police.

I feel safer already.


#15

The murders of innocent school kids and others must be stopped - but how to achieve that end? Millions own guns but never commit crimes much less kill people. The balance between the safety of innocent people and killers and responsible gun owners must be secured or there will never be an answer or an end. The issue often descends to babel - people talking two separate languages talking past each other while the madness continues and accelerates.
We live in a violent world with many people that would kill without compunction. the ability to protect ones family ad loved ones must be part of the dialogue.

I maintain that the issue is violence and its causes, not “guns” alone - of course guns make killing more people easier if that is ones intent. The outright banning of “guns” is not realistic and will not stop the insane murders of innocents. Those millions that might accept and support rational regulations will not join efforts to end violence using guns that obviously make violent intent easier and more deadly.

Definitions of “guns” are a problem; military, antique, collector, hunting, protection, all are “guns” and all can kill, but somehow we must come together. Violence by people toward others is the issue as I see it, not only “guns” per se; when a person becomes mad or desperate or enraged for whatever reason those reasons should be addressed to perhaps stop violence - racism, bigotry, religious and ethnic hatreds, lack of education, jobs, healthcare, homelessness, nothing to live for - jealousy, extreme nationalism, national wars - the list of triggers and causes is long and until

The reality is that humans are often irrational and can be violent beings. When one wants to harm or kill others they will find a way and society should begin a conversation on why people commit violence against others and the many causes - violence is also taught by some societies both “legal” and illegal.

The problem will likely persist until morality triumphs over evil…


#16

With or without the Second Amendment, the NRA would still yield tremendous influence in Congress, via it’s buying of legislators. The Second only gives the NRA some useful talking points and, even at that, the NRA distorts and try to sell it’s own version of a Second Amendment that does not exist for the sake of more gun sales.

Yes, the Second does allow for the possession of guns in the home, via the last court decision, but also via that last decision, it does NOT guarantee anyone the right to carry anywhere they want, or whatever gun they want, out side of the home. It is entirely constitutional for the government, right now, to restrict and/or ban any gun or practice it deems dangerous. Despite what NRA bought politicians claim, it is entirely constitutional for the government to ban military style weapons, high capacity magazines as well as institute all of the current proposed restrictions.

The source the NRA’s power is not the Second Amendment, it is money. Getting money out of our political system would do more to neuter the NRA than repealing the Second.


#17

You have to love the NRA bumper sticker that says: " WHEN GUNS ARE OUTLAWED; ONLY OUTLAWS WILL HAVE GUNS.

What is so ignorant about the NRA supporters who believe this statement is that only outlaws have guns now! That is the fascist, American, military!


#18

Can you say ROGUE NATION ?

As several posters have pointed out, politicians owned by corporations are the root of serial pre-emptive war and the ever increasing wealth and influence of the miltary industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC), of which the arms industry is a major component.

Repealing the second amendment alone won’t solve these problems…it will, however, provide an additional front to attack MIMIC.


#19

What the founders intended isn’t really a gold standard. If they were really infallible, they wouldn’t have included a means to amend the constitution. And the 13th Amendment was certainly something the founders never intended. Do you think it therefore should never have been ratified?


#20

Repeal of the Second Amendment would not mean that all guns are criminalized. The presumption in the Constitution is that no rights which are not specifically enumerated are not disparaged, so gun rights would still be enshrined in legislation. It’s just that the legislation would become the final arbiter. But even that is assuming the Second were to be repealed without replacement. If the Second weren’t already part of the Constitution, it would probably have been long ago ruled unconstitutional for being excessively vague. It doesn’t speak of guns, it speaks of “arms”. Gatling guns, bazookas, missiles, bombs, and nuclear warheads are all armaments which could conceivably be carried (if you want to get literal about what it means to “bear”), and there is nothing that explicitly excludes them from Second Amendment protections. We’ve just been relying on collective common sense and not the letter of the law when it comes to infringing on the right to bear arms. A more useful amendment would be more specific about what sorts of weapons the people should have a right to own, carry, and use, and under what circumstances.

But if we are going to update the Constitution, I don’t think the Second Amendment is where we should start. I think an explicit right to privacy is long overdue, it should be made clear that corporations are not people, and there should be an overhaul of the entire electoral system with some general finance reform principles aimed at outlawing the legal bribery system which currently prevails. Without cleaning up politics first, any other changes to the Constitution are going to hew to the preferences and dictates of the moneyed interests, and we probably aren’t going to want those installed into our core document.