Stevens’ Call to Repeal Second Amendment Caps a Career of Judicial Subversion

Left intentionally unsaid is that, per a prior Supreme Court, the militia is “expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time [and] “the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear … ordinary military equipment … that … could contribute to the common defense.”
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Repeal the Second Amendment,” retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens declared in a Tuesday “op-ed” in The New York Times.  It’s actually the third time “the newspaper of record” has hosted such sentiments in recent months, and they’re hardly alone.

But no one’s talking about taking your guns, the gun-grabbers scoff.  Honest.

Citing the “dark money”-funded #MarxForOurLives media events we’re told were “organized” by children, Stevens cites ginned-up “demand” as justification for gun bans and for the eradication of a right the Founders deemed “necessary to the security of a free State.”

Recognizing the dangers of “pure democracy” mob rule, our Bill of Rights defined some of the areas where the individual would be immune to the will of the collective. Stevens knows that. His ignoring it is a motivated choice.

What this means is, no matter how many of us disagree with you, we cannot lawfully use force to shut you up, to suppress your political views, or to make you worship in the way we see fit. We cannot break into your house and search your property without probable cause and a legal warrant. We can’t torture you into confessing to a crime. Barring behaviors on your part to disqualify yourself from incarceration after being afforded full due process protections, we cannot strip you of your right to keep and bear arms.

The safeguard against tyranny provided by an armed populace from which a citizen militia can be formed is “a relic of the past,” Stevens counters, providing no additional corroboration beyond his say-so.

Now there’s a neat trick—because the government has ignored its duty it can now declare it obsolete.  Try that with your employer. Stevens is offering a personal opinion here, not a legal one. And note he doesn’t say what about human nature has changed.

In the previous century that saw two world wars, continual violent political upheaval, genocide and systemic, brutal tyranny and repression, and noting the continuation into this century, has humanity truly demonstrated a benevolence and maturity that distinguishes our era from those that preceded us? In a culture that breeds gang warfare, rampant violence, city-crippling riots and a national murder rate measured in the tens of thousands, how can anyone credibly claim that the need for individual and collective defense is a relic of the past? And ultimately, what is this “outdated” Second Amendment really about, if not the preservation of a free people when all other options to defend life and liberty have been exhausted? Against all enemies, individual and aggregated, foreign and domestic…?

Don't look for Stevens to address that.

While it’s true Congress has been allowed to abandon its Constitutional duty “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia,” former diplomat Alan Keyes correctly notes that’s something a free people ought to revive. The question now becomes how to convey that to lawmakers as an expectation with credible consequences should they continue to shirk an enumerated job requirement.

“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,” Stevens claims.

“Any limit”? What a liar.

And that would come as a surprise to William Rawle, whose ”View of the Constitution” was the standard Constitutional law text at leading universities in the early 19th Century. Here’s what he had to say:

“No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give the Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under a general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any pursuit of an inordinate power either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.”

“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,” Stevens follows up, deliberately obscuring the most crucial point.

The Miller court specifically acknowledged “the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense … [who] were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time [and] “the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear … ordinary military equipment … that … could contribute to the common defense.”

The “well regulated” part began after they reported for duty.

“Chief Justice [Warren] 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,’” Stevens continues, conveniently not mentioning that the opinion was not issued in any legal case, but rather in Parade Magazine of all places.

Attorney Dave Kopel pointed out Burger’s many errors and false assumptions. As an aside, Burger was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by Richard Nixon, a president who wanted to ban handguns.

“I was among the four dissenters,” Stevens says of the Heller decision, meaning if he had the power, he would order that you do not have a right to keep and bear arms and that the government should destroy you if you defied him.

“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 declares.

First of all, a Constitutional amendment is anything but simple. The Founders that Stevens disregards so cavalierly purposely designed things that way. And this also shows Stevens hasn’t let either reality or existing precedent influence his biases, as the Heller majority noted when citing an earlier decision:

“The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed.’ As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, ‘[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed…’”

If a tyrannical government does repeal the Second Amendment it will not take away our right to keep and bear arms. Only we can give that up.

Calling for repeal is a Hail Mary of sorts on Steven’s part. A few years back he wanted to amend things to read:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms — when serving in the militia — shall not be infringed.”

It’s tempting to dismiss this latest attack as the ramblings of a subversive dotard and conclude there’s no fool like an old fool. But Stevens has been doing this for years and is voicing the very real goals of those intent on establishing that old standby of totalitarian regimes everywhere, a monopoly of violence.

The only appropriate response to that (despite the impulse of some who fancy themselves our “gun rights leaders” to offer “compromise”) is one word:

No.

It’s three words if you add “Your move.”


About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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    trumped
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    trumped

    I am thrilled that we finally receieved some honesty from the gun control crowd about their true motivation and goals.

    JVJ
    Guest
    JVJ

    It is always difficult to amend the U.S. Constitution. First, a proposed amendment must pass 2/3 of both Congressional chambers or by a constitutional convention called by 2/3 of the states.

    Then the amendment must be passed by 3/4 of the states.

    Trying to repeal a long-standing constitutional amendment with another constitutional amendment is nearly impossible.

    James
    Guest
    James

    Repealing the Second Amendment with another constitutional amendment is theoretically possible, but highly unlikely.

    TheHolyCrow
    Guest
    TheHolyCrow

    Watch out for these snake people. They will use electronic voting and flip the results. Either that or they will bring out all the honey trap dirt they have on those voting and blackmail them into voting their way.

    Timothy Votaw
    Guest
    Timothy Votaw

    Folks, there are some very wise and articulate comments written here. This site’s blogs demonstrate the intellectual strength of patriots, and deserves wider distribution. Having written that, I must encourage those who comment to really pay attention, as best you are capable, to what you write. Not in terms of substance, at all, but in light of the counter-arguments we express. Make it cogent, try to spell well, so we can show the mindless opposition we are NOT the drooling, ridge-running hillbillies they try to depict us as. Turns out I am a ruralist, so I can be considered a… Read more »

    Garryowen
    Guest
    Garryowen

    @Tim,
    I’m getting in here late, but must post a reply to you extremely valid comment, especially the part about “Go forth, write, and saturate these websites [AND OTHERS] with the truth and wisdom. WE ARE NOT GOING DOWN QUIETLY….”

    I just sent a request for Ammolnad to post a related missive of my own entitled “To Conquer a Nation” and hopefully it will be up tomorrow. Key word, “hopefully”….;)

    Again Tim, as stated in my article, ‘..we must fight as if our lives depended on it.’ Because it does…

    Onward & Upward,

    Garryowen

    Hudson H Luce
    Guest
    Hudson H Luce

    It’s pretty clear that the original intent of the Second Amendment was that there would be neither a permanent standing army, nor what was known then as “select militias” – which would be today’s militarized law enforcement agencies, armed government agents, and the National Guard. The intent was that the people would be armed with military weapons, superior in force to anything the government could put in the field: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the… Read more »

    Timothy Votaw
    Guest
    Timothy Votaw

    This is SUPERB commentary, what I wrote of in one of my posts, urging us to step up and demonstrate our strong grasp of how this nation functions, and our even stronger committment to seeing it prevail in this time of radical and confused excesses by forces seemingly dedicated to the ruination of our Constitutional foundation. Long sentence, but I am sure y’all get the point. Kudos.

    PersonalRecog103
    Guest
    PersonalRecog103

    The “living” nature of the Constitution provides the Second Amendment with an implied parity to the armed citizen. Since the weapons of tyranny are not static therefore the well armed militia as comprised of able bodied citizens are by definition provided weapons to defend against tyranny. Suggesting a Brown Bess or Charleville musket with a 3 round per minute rate of fire provides for a well armed militia ignores the Constitutional requirement of a well armed militia or able bodied citizen.

    Will
    Guest
    Will

    I am a lot older than most of you so I remember (fondly) the best movie ever made. “Gone With The Wind” I the beginning of that movie, Ashlie Wilkes, as captain of the George Militia, says when asked about the possibility of war with the North: “IF GEORGE FIGHTS I GO WITH HER, BUT LIKE MY FATHER, I HOPE THE NORTH WILL LET LEAVE IN PEACE”. To modify Ashlie’s words, “If they abolish the 2nd amendment I’m with you, but I hope they will leave it as it is. i’m old, so I probably won’t see this fight to… Read more »

    Garryowen
    Guest
    Garryowen

    @Will,

    HoooooooRAH to old people, Will….

    White Rose
    Guest
    White Rose

    thank you David, their move…..

    Marc Disabled Vet
    Guest
    Marc Disabled Vet

    Like Ben Hur said !
    FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS !

    Henry
    Guest
    Henry

    It’s crucial to remember that John Paul Stevens was a registered Republican, appointed to the Supreme Court by a Republican president (Nixon).

    If you tally the views of the Justices, both current and recent, with their nominators, you will find that Democratic nominees have a 100% record of being anti-gun, while Republican nominees have a 50% record of being anti-gun.

    There’s a name for that kind of game. Suffice to say that government eventually wins it. Voting Republican will not save us.

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    So what WILL save us? Voting for the Dumbocrats? THINK before you post, Henry.

    Timothy Votaw
    Guest
    Timothy Votaw

    Let us prepare for what seems inevitable. Sadly, no Thomas Jefferson has appeared among us (yet) to articulate and encourage the Constitutional faithful and our message wide and far enough to shut these fools down. With subversive scum like George Soros, the morons in the entertainment industry and the willing idiots in the media pushing this insanity, our resistance to this plague of lies, distortion, and hostage-taking of ignorant youth has to be strengthened and elevated nation-wide. Look – I am an example of a full-on American patriot, a Marine wounded-warrior and now retired federal officer, which means I’ve sworn… Read more »

    JoeUSooner
    Guest
    JoeUSooner

    Well said, Timothy. Thank you. Like all veterans, I swore an oath to defend the Constitution (which defines this country, and its Constitutional Republic government) against ALL enemies, both foreign and domestic. That oath carries no “sunset clause,” no time limit. I intend to uphold that oath until my dying breath, Those [including any politician – in the formal capacity as a government leader – who disagrees with the Enumerated Rights ideology] who attempt to change this Constitutional Republic into a Socialist Regime… makes them – by any rational definition or interpretation – a domestic enemy of this country. Conviction… Read more »

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    ‘NOT a member of the NRA’? With friends like you, who needs enemies? Thanks for nothing.

    Timothy Votaw
    Guest
    Timothy Votaw

    Clark Kent, if your remark is directed at me and my comment, it answers any question I might have had about your grasp of the real world. I’ve watched one of your snide remarks after another here in this thread, and on other topics on Ammoland as well. The myopia those remarks demonstrate tell me you have limited experience in life. Otherwise, you’d be able to read and comprehend the entirety of someone else’s post, rather than pick on one singular phrase, word, or peculiarly, spelling of another’s comment. In my case, your concern about my not being an NRA… Read more »

    Mart3
    Guest
    Mart3

    The NYT is really stooping for this article. Granted a former member of an elite group such as the Supreme Court might offer an opinion that would be retold, but really, the NYT says that the 2nd Amendment was written BECAUSE of the arms of the day. Everyone who paid attention in Civics class knows it was written into the most important document of all time because of what WE fought for, personal liberty, freedom from government dictation, etc.
    What the heck happened to WE THE PEOPLE???

    Timothy Votaw
    Guest
    Timothy Votaw

    Well, WE the People are beginning to feel quite “abridged” by the fantasy and folly accompanying the misdirected panic we see from the ignorant and uninformed among us. The use of children as pawns in this blame-fixing propaganda is a clear indicator how vile the opposition has become. WE the People need to take the gloves off, and embark on an intelligent but severe campaign to fend off liars like this lifelong Leftist relic, Stevens. He’s gone senile, on top of it, but he is still aware enough to use the mantle of SCOTUS to perpetrate the lies. In no… Read more »

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    He is 97 years old, someone said. We should feel proud that we have helped him live this long with the best health care available and provided many stipends that most of us do not get. He and Granny Ginsburg are two peas in a pod as she says the Constitution is an outdated document. We just need to keep these two in the life style they have become accustomed to, ON OUR DOLLAR.

    justtryit
    Guest
    justtryit

    “The beauty of the 2nd Amendment, is that it’s not really needed; until THEY try to take it away!” So quoted, Mr. Thomas Jefferson!!

    Bob
    Guest
    Bob

    Honestly, I thought this guy was dead…. He has been an opponent of the 2nd Amendment for a long time. He even wanted it to be amended at one time to include five additional words, “when serving in the Militia “. So in his past view the 2A would read, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed”. The communist, marxist, totalitarian, progressives (and you can’t forget islam) are in our midst and they want control.… Read more »

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    How, exactly, has the voting booth been taken (not taking) away from us? You DO realize most citizens can’t even bother to REGISTER to vote, much less cast a ballot, correct?

    Bob
    Guest
    Bob

    Clark, you are nothing more than an antagonist, so I will only respond to you once. Period. If you haven’t figured out by now that you only vote for the candidates that you are given by the R & D’s, then you need to open your eyes. Maybe you voted for Ron Paul or the Conservative Party candidate. Big whoop! They have had no chance because politics has been usurped. Over the last several decades people have been voted into office who claim to be “conservative”, only to stab us in the back. So we vote for the next CINO… Read more »

    Col. BWA
    Guest
    Col. BWA

    Yep! that old Brown Bess is one hell of a rifle, fellas… shows just how ignorant and ignorant these media types are !

    HankB
    Guest
    HankB

    Like it or not, the Second Amendment is a part of the Bill of Rights, arguably the most important part of the Constitution in securing liberty for We The People. Consider this – if the Second Amendment were to be repealed it would establish a precedent that ANY OTHER part of the Bill of Rights could be repealed, paving the way – without hyperbole – to true tyranny. And . . . think of the mindset of ANYONE who actually proposes explicitly curtailing the rights of Americans as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Such people are a pretty unsavory… Read more »

    MB
    Guest
    MB

    Stevens always was and always will be a POS, but right now he is far less influential than those Flordia (Cuban) high school punk Constitutional geniuses. This is every gun grabbers, leftist loon, and Marxists wet dream, to take guns, not incrementally like in the past, but the majority of guns , semi-auto’s in one fell swoop. Stock up, because you might not be able to buy ammo before they actually try to take the guns. It will be a bloodbath, but we have to stick together and support each other if we are to survive as a nation.

    Johnny B
    Guest
    Johnny B

    Former, as in no longer active, retired – opinion has no relevant nature. Another opinion from another communistic skin tag to show his true colors. It is opinions like this that will start the next civil war. So much for unbiased opinion, justice tolerance of all beliefs.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Johnny B. You are spot on. Citizen, only, John Paul Stevens has no more business telling me what is good for me or what I need, than a common troll found here daily. JPS has erred, however. JPS has admitted that the Second Amendment can not be ignored.
    If our employees the S.Ct., Congress, President (and his bureaucrats) acted honestly, all gun control would go away overnight.

    Rock
    Guest
    Rock

    The musket shown was the MOST advanced arm of the time as is the AR of today, it is NOT an “assault rifle”, the media and assholes like this judge use the term for fear mongering of the lib/Dem masses, and the idiot mouthpieces doing the demonstrations. They have NO F**KING CLUE what they are doing, saying or pushing. They are the paid, organized mouthpieces of the left and snowflake parents. They need to talk to Holocaust survivors, their so called “gun control” has caused the deaths of MILLIONS in Germany, Russia, Iraq, Iran, Rwanda and MANY other places. Most… Read more »

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    I believe the Girandoni air rifle was a more advanced weapon of that era. It had a 20-round tube magazine that fired .46 lead balls. It was also used on the Lewis and Clark expedition and used by the Austrian military for about 35 years.

    Bill
    Guest
    Bill

    What the sheep & the NYT do not apparently understand (and sadly someone who made it as far in life as Mr John Paul Stevens wants to change because of his “feelings” at the ripe old age of 97) is that at the time that the 2nd was written the rifle on the top of the picture was the best weapon available and was exactly what anyone in our military would have used as well. If they put on a pair of glasses they showed the the world using logic they would see that the true intent when writing the… Read more »

    James Slemons
    Guest
    James Slemons

    STEVENS IS SENILE…….NEEDS TO BE PUT AWAY !!!

    Sam W.
    Guest
    Sam W.

    At least he had the honesty to retire. Much of the supreme court is senile and needs to retire.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Sam W, The justices on the S.Ct, hardly do anything. They mostly just pick the clerks. It is their clerks that decide which cases will be reviewed and write the opinions. Hard working justices tell the clerks what the particular justice wants said, but the clerks do the heavy lifting. The S.Ct. does none of what they are charged with doing by the Constitution. The S.Ct turns its entire attentions to judging “Constitutionality or Unconstitutionality” a power that the Constitution does not give to the S.Ct. It is just a judicial fiction. If the S. Ct. did what they are… Read more »

    Mike
    Guest
    Mike

    Lets do away with the 1st, then we won’t have to listen to this garbage. Remember without the 2nd you have no 1st .

    MB
    Guest
    MB

    That’s their plan. Venezuela has devolved to a 3 world nation in a decade. We would take a little longer, but it’s already happening. When people have no rights, it’s easy to take everything away from them, food, medicine, guns, gasoline, toilet paper.

    Bill M
    Guest
    Bill M

    This old lberial has been needs to shut up and should have never been on the bench to begin with
    It’s views like this that will start the next civil war because they the crooked establishment is not taking any the second admendment with out a hell of a fight
    So join your local malitia and the NRA these clowns are exposing there agenda more and more every day and when they come up for a vote by all means vote them out

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    ‘Malitia’? Is that a militia filled with ill citizens?

    Mick
    Guest
    Mick

    Foxtrot Yankee !

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Mick, Music to my ears.

    RM Molon Labe
    Guest
    RM Molon Labe

    2 words… Molon Labe!

    Darkman
    Guest
    Darkman

    Every should applaud justice Stevens. He has given 2A supporters the very thing we have needed to win this fight. Now every politician and person running for office will have to answer a to whether they support his opinion. Thus exposing their true stance on the Bill of Rights and the 2nd Amendment. Considering what it would take to repeal any Amendment much less the 2nd Amendment the entire idea is a moot point. It does however show the true nature of where politicians and government bureaucrats stand on the issue. All who support the Bill of Rights must now… Read more »

    martin
    Guest
    martin

    “If they mean to have a war, let it begin here!” Capt Parker, Lexington Green 04191776
    I did not serve the United States for 30 years to watch a “relic of the 18th Century” spew garbage about a document which he pretended to revere.
    Had Stevens been around in 1776, he’d have been a Tory, supporting the British Crown while turning in friends who supported the Revolution.
    John Paul Stevens has retired and should remain that way!

    MarkPA
    Guest
    MarkPA

    Absolutely agree! The most fruitful thing that might come out of Stevens’ proposal is a vigorous debate among We the People about what the Constitution means to each of us. At the moment, it means little-to-nothing to the majority of voters and young people who will become eligible to vote in a few years. This situation is unsustainable. I would very much like to see the 20% of our population who advocate for a repeal of the 2A to coalesce around one or a few proposals to repeal or restate the 2A “right” to “arms”. What EXACTLY do you propose?… Read more »