‘Repeal the Second Amendment,’ Says Former Supreme Court Justice

Justice Stevens wants to “get rid of” the 2A. (Photo: 2A)

Finally, after years of lip service to the Second Amendment and assurances that gun confiscation isn’t on the table, anti-gunners are being honest about their intentions.

Emboldened by last week’s “March for Our Lives” demonstrations, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has called for a full repeal of the Second Amendment.

The demonstrations provide “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,” Stevens wrote in his New York Times op-ed. “But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”

Stevens argues that the founders drafted the Second Amendment not to ensure the individual right to keep and bear arms. But because they didn’t want to maintain a standing army. Gun rights, Stevens holds, were only necessary to arm the state militias. That need is now “a relic of the 18th century,” and so, therefore, is the Second Amendment.

Stevens cites a 1939 Supreme Court decision, United States v. Miller, that unanimously upheld Congress’ prohibition of sawed-off shotguns. Stevens argues that the Court made this decision because a sawed-off shotgun “had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a ‘well regulated militia.’”

SEE ALSO: Former Supreme Court Justice: 14th Amendment Covers Gay Marriage, Not Second Amendment

In fact, this is a misreading of that decision, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia explained in United States v. Heller. In that ruling, Scalia points out that the decision does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those “in common use for lawful purposes.”

“Had the Court believed that the Second Amendment protects only those serving in the militia,” Scalia wrote, “it would have been odd to examine the character of the weapon rather than simply note that the two crooks were not militiamen.”

In other words, if the court wanted to protect gun rights for only militia members, it would have been enough to say that the two criminals were not members of a militia. Instead, they determined that the weapon in question could not be used for military purposes, and thus was not protected under the Second Amendment. Individuals still retain the right to keep and bear arms. But only those arms that could reasonably be used in a militia.

Stevens, of course, disagreed with Scalia’s interpretation. And, he cast one of four dissenting votes in the Heller ruling.

Fortunately for gun owners, repealing the Second Amendment is all-but-impossible in the current political climate. Constitutional amendments require the approval of 75 percent of the state legislatures, and Democrats, who generally support gun control, only control 14.

Justice Stevens was appointed by President Gerald Ford and served on the high court from 1975 to 2010.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

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  • John August 21, 2020, 4:56 pm

    Old justice Stevens is a true myopic relic himself who typically possesses no knowledge of firearms history. The sawed-off shotgun has always been considered by military and civilian shooters to be one of the most effective arms for eradicating the enemy. That short-barreled arm has been used through all wars, foreign or domestic, from revolutionary times until today. Ask any soldier how they think about it not being a useful tool.

    Where exactly in the 2A does it specify what type of arm is best for a “well-regulated militia” or that it is one preferred or allowed by the government? I’ve never seen a basis in law specifically stating any such firearm must only be used by a civilian militia or regular army. Why do those who know less about firearms think they are qualified to foster such absurd notions as additional burdens on law-abiding Americans? Do they view all people with guns to be potential criminals and need to be regulated or constricted? What do they imply when they want to “take guns off the street,” because mine are for stopping tyranny, not only shooting deer. The Founding Fathers would never take a knee.

    • Jimmy Hamilton October 6, 2020, 2:56 am

      I agree with you, just like the Gov. and a certain dumocrat in Virginia, they are contemplating activating the National Guard to enforce gun control and even confiscate weapons from legal citizens, they about to open a can of worms that will definitely send a message to all of us and it will not be a pretty picture, I too will not stand for a tyrant government and we will all have to ban together to stop this

  • Hondo April 17, 2018, 3:43 pm

    Looks like this old douche has dementia , time to put this loon in a old folks home before he hurts himself.

  • Charles Schumer NOT April 3, 2018, 11:47 am

    Senile old bastard should retire . His dementia is showing .

  • Sgt. Roberts April 1, 2018, 11:30 am

    We are beginning to hear voices of those who are opposed to the private ownership of firearms propose that the Second Amendment be repealed, imagining the Federal Government to then be free to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. This is a misguided notion uttered by those who either do not understand the intent of both the Founders and the written Constitution, or those whose intent it is to deceive the populace. In the case of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, I suspect it is the later.
    Were the Second Amendment repealed, or even if it never existed, the Federal Government would still be restricted from the purview of gun control. Well, that was the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution, and “original intent” is supposed to be the guideline when the Supreme Court (and it’s lower courts) makes an “interpretation”.
    James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” was initially opposed to the idea of a “Bill of Rights” being amended to the Constitution. Not that he was opposed to the provisions of the ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights. Madison’s view was that if a power was not specifically enumerated in the Constitution, then it was not within the purview of the new central government he and the other Founders were creating. Madison considered the addition of a bill of rights would be redundant. Madison stated, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined…”
    Still, knowing a government’s tendency to usurp powers not specifically denied it, the faction demanding that a bill of rights be amended to the Constitution (The Anti-Federalists) stood their ground, and The Bill of Rights was amended to the Constitution.
    Today, the majority of citizens do not understand the true purpose of The Bill of Rights, and this shortcoming can be laid directly at the feet of the public education system that promotes the leftist notion of rights being dispensations from the government. Take for example, how often do you hear someone say, “The First Amendment gives me the right to say….” or “The Second Amendment gives me the right to have…”? No, neither Amendment gives you the right. According to the Founder’s vision of America, you already have the right. The Amendments are actually restrictions on the new central government the Founders were creating, prohibiting it from infringing on your right to speak your mind or to keep and bear arms. In fact, the Bill of Rights could more appropriately be called “The Bill of Restrictions”. Outside of protections in the realm of jurisprudence, where a citizen may find himself contested with the government, the Bill of Rights confers no rights. Instead, each of the Amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights is restriction put upon the government, binding and limiting it’s power to those enumerated within the Constitution, and the Tenth Amendment sums it up by telling the government, “And if there is anything we have failed to mention, you are restricted from that as well.”
    The Bill of Rights was an additional safeguard added to the Constitution, designed to protect the inalienable rights citizens of the United States are presumed to have. It’s what makes America unique. A repeal of any Amendment would not change that. Those who are calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment, with the notion that the Federal Government would then be free to regulate the right to keep and bear arms, are the ones the Anti-Federalists were wary of. And they obviously were right. – DARoberts

  • bbbs53 March 31, 2018, 1:10 pm

    Demented old fool! Retired because of it and now gets press over babbling incoherently. Bottom line is, a lot of libtards agree with this doddering old moron. Trump’s court choices are very important and so are the upcoming midterms. It has become us or them and there is no middle ground, now ask yourself, just where are you going to put your money? It has to start local and go clear to the federal level. This is a make or break year for 2A rights, time to teach the marching kiddies who is in charge.

  • OldGuy March 30, 2018, 6:07 pm

    It looks to me like we need a government agency who keeps track of psychoactive drug prescription history and who is trying to own firearms including who actually owns firearms and who is taking those mind blocking psychoactive drugs.

    The burden of proof is on our Federal Government who gave us our Constitution of the United States of America about 229 years ago along with our first amendment and second amendment rights. But as long as the Supreme Court of the United States continues to give rights to major corporations including Big Pharma which infringe on the rights of individual citizens then we as a society are screwed.

    We also need to get rid of the Military Industrial Complex’s loophole of “due to reasons of National Security” and demand more transparency from our government which we fund from our already taxed dollars. Remember the phrase, “taxation without representation”?

    As long as our Country keeps getting “we the people” into unjust wars then it has special powers. We need to demand that our country give us peace and maintain that peace so we can take our country back.

    And we need lots of gallons of yellow paint for which to paint treasonous retired Supreme Court justices and other politicians.

    In our history of days gone by they kept the fire going under the tar-pot so that treasonous politicians could be tarred-and-feathered. Who let the fire go out?

  • FWiedner March 30, 2018, 5:56 pm

    Stevens was a liberal kook when he was a Supreme Court Justice, and he is a liberal kook now.

  • Derwurst March 30, 2018, 5:19 pm

    For the record this person John Paul Stevens was only an “Associate” of the Supreme court of the US and not an actual Justice. I am guessing that his duties were in the order of probably like an Walmart associates duties “Where to stand and look busy” “How long is it until coffee break” and “who am I and why am I here ? “

  • Nick M March 30, 2018, 3:00 pm

    The need for a citizen army is to fight against the government. It is necessary for the security of a free state. And the rights of the people to keep and bear arms, which is military weapons, shall not be infringed. Americans have the rights to buy a M240B machine gun. Our government is wildly corrupt.

  • Richard Schnedorf March 30, 2018, 2:59 pm

    This former Justice retired because he could no longer think straight. Now, it appears that he suffers from senile dementia, too.

  • MJ March 30, 2018, 11:31 am

    Since politicians rarely do what the say, it’s not surprising that a judge would be any different.

    But do these people actually read and understand our Constitution? They certainly don’t teach it with any value in schools.

    “We the People” cannot hold anyone in government accountable for anything, it’s simply too big.

    I had a friend who was in his eighties who once said to me “I’m glad that I won’t be around to see this country fail, but I fear for my children”.

    I’m beginning to think that too. But I won’t go quietly.

  • Tripwire March 30, 2018, 11:06 am

    IMHO it should be pointed out that Stevens retired during the time of the worst far left anti-American president in history paving the way for Obama to appoint a far left justice in his place. The whole battle over Trumps win over Billery is over SCOTUS appointments. In truth the side that holds the court controls the nation. Hate trump or not just remember he appointed a strong 2A Justice first thing and has been appointing conservative judges to the Federal court system.

    And now for a bit of my paranoia. I believe U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered to open a very conservative SC seat so Obama could stick another leftist on the court. No investigation into his death? really? One of the highest government officials dies in a strange way and no autopsy? No investigation by the FBI? Anybody wanna buy a bridge?

  • Mr. Sparkles March 30, 2018, 10:31 am

    Congratulations on your retirement John Paul Stevens! Now that you are no longer a member of the Supreme Court, you can rest assured that your opinion no longer holds sway with the people who did NOT elect you and never supported you to begin with.

  • BIGKIELBASSA March 30, 2018, 10:15 am

    Repeal his skanky old ass . Better idea : REPEAL THE HUGHES AMENDMENT!

  • Thomas Nessman March 30, 2018, 10:00 am

    Repeal the 2nd Amendment if you wish. However, the founding fathers included that amendment for a reason. Regardless, citizens will still possess firearms. Legal firearms sellers may go out of business, the employees of gun manufacturers, will or would lose their employment, and unemployment will increase. State and local government will of course compensate by issuing more welfare and unemployment checks. Sounds only reasonable. And lastly, if guns and the ammunition are outlawed by the repeal, only outlaws will have guns.

  • Richard A Harding March 30, 2018, 9:48 am

    “Justice” Stevens is a prime example of why no democrat should ever be appointed to the Supreme Court. The democrats of today are Marxists who desire one world governance with a hierarchy of the privileged, under an atheistic platform, eliminating any dissenting beliefs. The only way to achieve this is to disarm the populace, already a done deal in most of the world. They will win in the end for a short time, but we, in the US, can forestall it for a while, but only if we wake up and stop following the politics of division and destroy those who promote it. They should be removed from office and never allowed near office again. The same applies to media who promote the lies of the left. However, if the general populace remains ignorant of the enemy within, nothing will change and our great experiment will disappear from the face of the earth.

  • Wigwam March 30, 2018, 9:32 am

    Repealing the 2nd amendment doesn’t go far enough. Lets repeal all the BILL of RIGHTS and let our overpaid benefit sucking senators, conngresspersons and Governments control us to become product consuming thoughtless automatomns!

  • Sepp W March 29, 2018, 9:12 pm

    There is a problem with that assertion, USSC Associate Justice or not, when people think the Bill of Rights are the only rights endowed to the citizenry. First, we “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. . . .” The BoR was written because the founding fathers knew to set forth specific guarantees and liberties. In fact the 9th Amendment acknowledges that American citizens have rights that are not even specified in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Therefore, the BoR prevents the implication of powers not granted to the government by the Constitution or the people.

    Second, the government does not grant rights, it protects them. Even if the 2nd Amendment was abolished, it doesn’t mean firearms are abolished with it, although the liberals, progressive democrats, anti-gun groups , and the incapable and unproductive like to tell it to everyone.

    This is how tyrants and tyrannies control people. Disarm them and then slowly abolish all rights and begin granting rights that suit the ruling class purpose.

    Never addressing the shooter, but going after the tool and be damned the law-abiding firearm owner.

    It’s clear the Parkland FL shooting was a colossal failure of governments, but instead of addressing the issues of the failures it easier to blame firearms, accessibility of firearms, the inordinate infatuation with the NRA, and the liberal-controlled media’s propensity to perpetuate half-truths, made-up facts, and misinformation

  • Blue Dog March 29, 2018, 12:22 pm

    Repealing the second amendment is a step too far! Although we probably do need some clarification since the rather specific phrase “well-regulated militia” seems a bit too ambiguous to some. The constitution, as a living document, needs some clarity and revision from time to time as technology advances and now is a good time to codify some restrictions into the second amendment but scrapping it all together is extreme and unnecessary.

    • Jim March 30, 2018, 2:22 pm

      Blue Dog, no clarification is needed…a grade school education is all that is needed to understand the text “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.” The militia is just the reason that the right of the people shall not be infringed. Would you say that the 1st Amendment reference to the press applies only to newspapers and needs clarification?

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