“You’re crazy,” they said. “Nobody wants to take away your guns.
“So,” they continued, “hand over your guns.”
On Tuesday, The New York Times once again revealed the ultimate agenda of gun control proponents in the United States: a full-scale gun grab. The charge was led on the op-ed page by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who thankfully no longer wields power in the judiciary. His piece is a mishmash of Leftist sloganeering and bad legalese.
He begins by praising the marches and rallies that have taken place since the Parkland 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.
This is silly, frankly. Rallies and marches take place all the time, and they rarely lead to concerted action on the legislative front. In 2000, 750,000 demonstrators showed up to the Million Mom March to push gun control and scaremonger about the NRA; no legislation was forthcoming. Less than one-third that number showed up on Saturday in DC, but we’re supposed to believe that some sort of game changer has taken place in American public opinion?
But according to Stevens, the marches are a sign that it’s time to seriously curb weapons ownership in the United States:
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.
So, it’s not enough to pass a law that would effectively bar the ownership of all semi-automatic weapons – nearly all weapons in the US, which would obviously violate the Second Amendment under both its text and DC v. Heller (2008). Stevens wants the Second Amendment gone.
Well, thanks for his honesty, I suppose.
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.
Yes, clearly Americans have nothing to worry about when a massive centralized government sweeps in to confiscate all privately-owned weapons in the United States. That’s never been followed by anything bad. And obviously the government will be able to protect us from the predation of criminals, just as they protected the children of Parkland, where the FBI ignored two credible warnings, the local law enforcement authorities ignored over 40 calls to the home, and the school ignored the behavior of the shooter.
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. In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated militia.”
Actually, that’s not even a proper reading of the case. The case cited is United States v. Miller (1939), and as Justice Antonin Scalia patiently explained to Stevens in his Heller opinion:
Miller did not hold that and cannot possibly be read to have held that. The judgment in the case upheld against a Second Amendment challenge two men’s federal convictions for transporting an unregistered short-barreled shotgun in interstate commerce, in violation of the National Firearms Act, 48 Stat. 1236. It is entirely clear that the Court’s basis for saying that the Second Amendment did not apply was not that the defendants were “bear[ing] arms” not “for … military purposes” but for “nonmilitary use,” post, at 2. Rather, it was that the type of weapon at issue was not eligible for Second Amendment protection…This holding is not only consistent with, but positively suggests, that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms (though only arms that “have some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”). Had the Court believed that the Second Amendment protects only those serving in the militia, it would have been odd to examine the character of the weapon rather than simply note that the two crooks were not militiamen.
Furthermore, it has been clearly understood since the founding that there is an individual right to keep and bear arms – it was one of the chief reasons that the evil Dred Scott decision relied on the argument that black people could not be treated as citizens because to do so would confer upon them the right to keep and bear arms:
It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.
But Stevens isn’t done yet. He then quotes former Chief Justice Warren Burger, the man responsible for such Constitutional abominations as Roe v. Wade and one of the most widely disrespected Chief Justices in modern judicial history:
During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment. When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger publicly characterized the N.R.A. as perpetrating “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.” 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.
Correct, because he was dead wrong and ignorant on the issue.
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. 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. It would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008 and honor the memories of the many, indeed far too many, victims of recent gun violence.
Okay, go for it. Seriously, Leftists. Go for it. Let’s see you try to get two-thirds of each house of Congress as well as three-quarters of states to repeal the Second Amendment. Make the case to 100 million gunowners that their ownership of weapons isn’t protected by the Second Amendment — and that they shouldn’t feel threatened by the government.
Good luck storming the castle!
Stevens was a disaster on the court. And he just proved why. Again.