(National Sentinel) Bill of No Rights: A former long-serving Supreme Court justice is calling for repealing the Second Amendment in the wake of several mass shootings.
John Paul Stevens, one of the high court’s liberal voices who served from 1975 to 2010, writing in The New York Times, argued that the Second Amendment is a “relic” of the 18th century, when our founders were concerned that individual states would be overrun by invading foreign forces.
“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,” he wrote.
He noted further that for decades following a 1939 ruling by the Supreme Court that Congress could ban the sale of sawed-off shotguns, federal courts understood that there could be some limits to the right.
However, he noted that changed in 2008 when SCOTUS ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment conveyed an individual, not a collective, right to bear arms and that he was one of 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,” Stevens wrote.
“That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform. It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States — unlike every other market in the world,” he said, in a nod to last weekend’s march in DC and several cities around the country for more gun control.
Stevens has become the first former Supreme Court justice to call for the repeal of a basic freedom contained in the Bill of Rights, but his call will likely be repeated by others on the Left.
However, any effort to repeal the Second Amendment is doomed to fail, at least in the current political environment in Congress and in the states.
Any proposed amendment must pass by two-thirds in both chambers of Congress, then be ratified by three-fourths of the states. The other way to approve new amendments is for two-thirds of states to petition Congress for an Article V Convention of States, in which new amendments would be proposed.
Even so, three-quarters of states would still have to ratify any amendments coming out of that process.
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