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He had previously called for changing the Second Amendment to permit gun control. In his essay published Tuesday, Stevens talks about the “March for Our Lives” events on Saturday which drew crowds in cities across the country.Stevens says the decision in that case, District of Columbia v. Stevens said the demonstrations “reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.”He said the 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 Stevens called on demonstrators to “seek more effective and more lasting reform.”“They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment,” he wrote.Repealing the amendment would be extremely difficult.
The 97-year-old Stevens says in an essay on The New York Times website that repeal would weaken the National Rifle Association's ability to "block constructive gun control legislation." (AP Photo)WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment to allow for significant gun control legislation.
The 97-year-old Stevens says in an essay on The New York Times website that repeal would weaken the National Rifle Association’s ability to “block constructive gun control legislation.”Stevens was on the losing end of a 2008 ruling in which the high court held that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own a gun for self-defense. with a propaganda weapon of immense power.” Stevens retired from the court in 2010, after more than 35 years.
But in the interest of pragmatism, that’s about as far as the gun-control movement will go.
Congress hasn’t passed a significant gun-control measure since the Brady Bill nearly a quarter-century ago, and a major element of that law—a ban on so-called assault weapons—lapsed in 2004.
In 1991, the conservative former chief justice, Warren Burger, launched a broadside against the document that for 30 years on the Supreme Court, it was his job to interpret.“If I were writing the Bill of Rights now,” he said in an interview on the Mac Neil/Lehrer News Hour, “there wouldn’t be any such thing as the Second Amendment.” Burger went on to say that the 27-word amendment referencing “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” had been the subject of “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.”Gun-control advocacy groups occasionally bring up Burger’s words to buttress their campaign against the special-interest group to which he was undoubtedly referring, the National Rifle Association.
But in the decades since, as the push for tighter limits on guns has surged and stalled, again and again, none of them have taken up the suggestion implicit in the justice’s critique: There has never been a serious effort to rewrite or repeal the Second Amendment.“It’s really not part of the discussion,” said Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the nation’s oldest gun-control group named after the former press secretary to Ronald Reagan who was wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on the president.
It is not simply protect the Second Amendment or your guns get taken away," Schumer said.
"There's a middle ground, which is what America pleads for."In fact, for the measures the March for Our Lives students support—universal background checks and assault weapons bans—the biggest obstacle is partisan politics, not the Second Amendment, at least for now."If President Trump can replace Justice Ginsburg, they may actually shift the Second Amendment jurisprudence to the right and perhaps other laws may actually be struck down," Blackman said.
That was the latest volley from the 97-year-old Stevens who 10 years ago dissented from the landmark ruling that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense."It protects the preexisting right to use guns by members of a militia," Stevens said at the time.
Then in 2014, he wrote a book proposing a new amendment to reverse that landmark ruling.