One Man’s Relic Is Another Man’s Rifle: Stevens Triggers National Debate Over Repeal Of Second Amendment

250px-John_Paul_Stevens,_SCOTUS_photo_portraitBelow is my column in USA Today on the call of former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens for the repeal of the Second Amendment.  It was a moment of honestly that young protesters should heed in fighting for real change.  So long as this is a protected individual right, there are serious limits on how much that right can be curtailed.  It is time for an honest debate in this country.   Stevens called the right a “relic of the 18th Century.” Of course, one person’s relic is another person’s rifle.

Here is the column:

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has caused a stir by calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. It was a call that young protesters should heed if they want to work for real change — and not simply be hijacked by political figures wanting to harness their energy and votes. Putting the merits of a repeal aside, Stevens, 97, was doing something that has been missing in the aftermath of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. He was being honest. These kids have been sold a bill of goods by politicians exaggerating not just the impact of proposed legislative changes but their actual ability to significantly curtail this individual right.

Most of us were moved in watching millions of young people rally around the country to demand real change. David Hogg, 17, spoke for many Parkland survivors in proclaiming during the March for Our Lives that “We need to see real action from lawmakers. They have to actually mean it, take meaningful steps to save children’s lives.” The problem is that both Democrats and Republicans have long worked in Congress to bar such steps from being taken. It is not just the power of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Around 30% of Americans own guns. There are over 357 million guns in this country — more than the population itself. Politicians (including Democrats) do not want to significantly challenge a right that three out of 10 citizens not only support but invested money to enjoy. Thus, even when massacres occurred with Democrats in control of Congress, no major changes were passed.

In response to the latest protests, politicians have promised changes that would either not have prevented the Florida massacre or reduced the carnage. One is a ban on “bump stocks” allowing for a semi-automatic weapon to fire more like an automatic weapon. Experts however have noted that a shooter can achieve roughly the same rate of fire with rapid finger pulls or low tech options like rubber bands. Likewise, limits on the size of magazines will do little more than forcing more swaps of magazines — something most shooters can easily do in seconds. Other changes like waiting periods ignore the long-planning used in most of these massacres.

More importantly, politicians are being less than forthcoming about the constitutional limits for any reforms. After the decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, the Second Amendment is now viewed as affording an individual right of gun ownership.  Such fundamental rights normally require the government to meet the highest possible burden in showing not just a compelling interest but narrowly tailored means to achieve that interest. Even limitations requiring the gun owners to show “good reason” for a concealed carry permit have been struck down by lower courts after Heller. As the Supreme Court stated in Heller, “If all that was required to overcome the right to keep and bear arms was a rational basis, the Second Amendment would be redundant with the separate constitutional prohibitions on irrational laws, and would have no effect.”

That is why I have previously stated that, absent a repeal, these students are being misled about the chances for substantial limitations on gun ownership. Neither side in this debate is eager for these young people to hear that message. For Democrats, the frustration and anger of these kids represents a promising voting block going into the midterm elections. For Republicans, any focus on a repeal drives an instant wedge between young voters and their party platform. It is much better to keep these kids focused on shiny legislative objects like bump stocks and not the constitutional realities of gun control.

Gun owners are being sold a different bill of goods. While there are good-faith reasons to oppose a repeal, it is not true that a 28th Amendment repealing the Second Amendment would leave gun owners without protection. First and foremost, citizens are still afforded due process in the exercise of privileges and enjoyments of benefits. The standard would be lower (a rational basis test) but there would still be a process of judicial review. Second, the greatest protection of gun rights has not been constitutional but political. Indeed, until 2008, there was not a recognized individual right of gun ownership but it was still extremely difficult to pass significant gun control. Finally, a 28th Amendment could include not just a repeal but positive language imposing additional protections for gun ownership.

For young protesters, Stevens’ moment of honesty comes with a sobering reality.  Forcing a bump stock ban is much easier than securing a constitutional amendment. It is currently doubtful that two-thirds of both houses would support a constitutional amendment, let alone three-fourths of the needed states to ratify. The alternative under Article V of a Constitutional Convention (circumventing Congress) imposes the same daunting prospects.

This is all by design. It is not supposed to be easy. James Madison explained in The Federalist No. 43 that the Framers did not want to make the “Constitution too mutable.”  However, he also said that they did not want to foreclose such changes “which might perpetuate its discovered faults.”  For those who view the Second Amendment as a “discovered fault,” real change will require real work.

If it is real reform that these students want, they must convince their fellow citizens, as Justice Joseph Story once said, that part of the Constitution “has become wholly unsuited to the circumstances of the nation.”

It is not impossible but it is not easy. Circumstances and politics change. However, what does not change is the process for achieving real change. Even if the Second Amendment is, as Stevens describes, a “relic of the 18th Century,” it will take more than rhetoric to remove such a relic in the 21st Century.

Jonathan Turley, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, where he teaches constitutional and tort law. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley.

178 thoughts on “One Man’s Relic Is Another Man’s Rifle: Stevens Triggers National Debate Over Repeal Of Second Amendment”

  1. John Paul Stevens is a good man with great integrity and independence, but here are some other points to consider from a different vantage point:

    It seems like the First Amendment, the failed War on Drugs, bureaucratic inertia/mission-creep, life preparation programs for young children and “Authoritarianism vs. Constitutional Rule of Law” are all part of the issue also. It’s easy to single out the Second Amendment by itself but it seems more complicated.

    Although not an NRA supporter myself, in the region that I grew up in back in the 1970’s-1980’s, probably the majority of the residents owned guns but there was virtually no gun violence and rarely was there ever a homicide. Most gun owners probably grew up in similar communities.

    Back then we were also watching violent movies like the Spaghetti Westerns, Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry”, Vincent Price and Charles Bronson’s violent films. There is a real “Slippery Slope” concern here. Many times the same people wanting to overturn the Second Amendment are strongly opposed to tampering with the First Amendment rights of Hollywood writers. Do violent movies, video games, etc. also play a role in gun violence? Once we amend or overturn the Second Amendment, the next target will likely be the First Amendment. In 2018, we show graphic violence on fictional police dramas almost nightly, violent computer games and violent post 9/11 government policies (like torture techniques adopted from the Spanish Inquisition and even assassinations).

    African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Muslim-Americans and Catholics might want to watch the true-life movies: “The Deacons of Defense” starring Forest Whittaker and “Mississippi Burning” starring Gene Hackman and William Defoe. May seem outdated but you might want to also research the recent case in Florida of an African-American gun owner, Marissa Alexander. What happens to the gun rights of minorities in “color of law” cases when even the NRA and U.S. Department of Justice won’t protect minority groups? This would have seemed far fetched in until recent events, like Charlottesville, revealed the danger that still exists even among some police agencies.

    Also in the late 1960’s we had the failed “War on Drugs”. To date we have spent over $1.2 trillion dollars in taxpayer dollars and have more drugs today than in the 1970’s. What percentage of the gun violence is due directly to drugs? There are no good solutions but today even many of our nation’s police chiefs now believe some legalization would reduce violence and save lives. Legalization, which could be regulated, would also allow some drug users to be prohibited from owning guns while addicted. Most gun owners and most Muslim-Americans have one thing in common: 99.99% of them are law abiding and non-violent. We are reacting to an extremely small group of individuals – not the majority.

    Also in the 1970’s and 1980’s, many kids actually learned public service and work ethic at a young age. Most of us mowed lawns, delivered newspapers, etc. Many of us performed public service as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Many of us went camping in the woods – socializing with other people in person – instead of being isolated to a computer social network with a distorted view of reality. On computer networks we can be totally offensive and disrespectful to other people. It’s much harder to be that way in person. Many of the school shooters apparently were suffering from this type of isolation and incivility.

    There is also the well earned distrust of Government. Government agencies have a long and documented track record of “mission-creep” and exploiting “Slippery Slopes”. The Social Security system was never designed to be a cataloging tool to invade privacy. Police practices like “Stop & Frisk” selectively used against African-Americans and poor citizens, has always been illegal under the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court of 1968 essentially amended the meaning of the Fourth Amendment WITHOUT a constitutional amendment in cases like “Terry v. Ohio”.

    It also seems self evident that many, if not most, police and government officials support “authoritarianism” instead of a “constitutional rule of law” system of government. “Authoritarianism” is essentially the Hollywood character “Boss Hog” from the television show “The Dukes of Hazard”. It’s the perception that government officials aren’t required to abide by the U.S. Constitution or constitutional laws but perceive themselves as the law themselves (outside of statute) – they can make up the law as they go along. Some large cities routinely “Stop & Frisk” African-American residents in poor neighborhoods knowing it’s illegal. Recently a local Kentucky court clerk illegally defied a U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Article VI of the U.S. Constitution) trying to impose her own personal religious interpretation onto residents of her jurisdiction.

    There are likely thousands of innocent Americans that were harmed, defamed, destroyed or suffered premature death due to warrantless post-9/11 blacklisting (many without their knowledge). Will we close the “Fusion Centers” (or blacklisting centers) located in every state? These blacklisting centers essentially use “terrorism” laws for “non-terrorism” cases which have been governed by our Bill of Rights since 1791. The U.S. Supreme Court is fully aware of what John Ashcroft and friends designed. Will we overturn that also?

    If we overturn the Second Amendment completely, what’s next? Will the government officials regulating also embrace a “constitutional rule of law” system on torture, warrantless spying, warrantless searches, warrantless cell-phone tracking, assassinations and the Freedom of Religion of unpopular groups like Muslim-Americans? Not likely.

    This issue deserved far deeper debate before tampering with the Constitution!

    1. Repeal it. Write a new one, one that reflects the gun technology of the 21st C and eliminates/fixes the dependent clause problem.

      1. You can’t, regardless of the merits.

        There’s a reason only one Constitutional Amendment has been repealed in 229 years.

        1. Previous interpretations of the Second Amendment did not divorce its introductory clause from its main clause. In the past, grammarians regarded many introductory clauses as “absolute clauses”–meaning clear statements of the express purpose for the main clause. As such, the express purpose of the Second Amendment would be to provide for the security of free states by the necessary means of well-regulated militias. BTW, one of the enumerated powers of Congress is to regulate the militias.

          However, the anti-federalist libertarians believe in their heart of hearts that since the enumerated powers of Congress are powers expressly forbidden to King George III of Great Britain, therefore Congress shall not have those powers, either. And especially not so when the constitution expressly grants those powers to Congress. If that makes no sense to you, then welcome to America.

  2. Again, the discourse over gun control couldn’t be sillier. Both common sense and recent experience tell us how to establish a modicum of civil peace: have an amply staffed police force, train them in best practices, deploy them optimally, and nurture the police force as a social organism (which means politicians don’t cut-and-run when controversies erupt and judges stay in their lane). The re-establishment of public order in the Five Boroughs of New York – which included an 82% reduction in the homicide rate – was accomplished with these means. There were no significant changes in the provisions of the New York Penal Law governing firearms. As for these mass casualty events, they’re too odd and idiosyncratic to be much of a guide to public policy. Fewer than 4% of the homicides in this country are committed with long guns and fewer than 4% are committed in the course of bloc homicides where you have 3, 4, or more dead bodies.

    Crime is a problem in this country. The discourse over gun control has nothing to do with curbing violent crime and everything to do with the impulse of gentry liberals to stick the blame for slum crime on deplorables who are gun hobbyists. They actually have no practical program for making use of gun regulations to curb crime because they’re real object is to confiscate other people’s guns.

    1. There is no shortage of evidence showing that guns from states with predominantly rural populations are funneled into the big cities in states with predominantly urban populations. The reason being that the former states have lax gun control laws in comparison to the latter states. Perhaps the sillier argument would be that rural populations require lax gun control laws for the sake of personal protection against home invaders and armed robbers who are far more prevalent amongst urban populations.

  3. Turley wrote, “As the Supreme Court stated in Heller, ‘If all that was required to overcome the right to keep and bear arms was a rational basis, the Second Amendment would be redundant with the separate constitutional prohibitions on irrational laws, and would have no effect.’”

    The statement cited above appears to be equivalent to the following statement:

    The people have a right to be irrational; Congress shall pass no laws infringing upon the freedom of irrational people.

    From which it further follows that the security of a free state is supposedly NOT a rational principle and that a well-regulated militia supposedly does NOT consist of rational people. Otherwise, the separate constitutional requirements for rational laws would be sufficient and would have an effect. Thus the constitution truly is, ever was, and may as yet ever remain a suicide pact between irrational peoples.

    1. Thus the constitution truly is, ever was, and may as yet ever remain a suicide pact between irrational peoples.

      You’re projecting Diane, and you’ve stopped taking your Aricept.

      1. In the first place, I take only Doctor Schmachter’s Blawgwort Elixir. In the second place, your long awaited return to the blawg has truly upped my daily dosage. Thank you so much for that.

        In the third place, the Heller decision effectively tossed out the rational-basis theory of jurisprudence. That will necessarily result in the paraphrases I posted above becoming the irrational law of the land for the immediately foreseeable future. For instance, “If all that was required to overcome a woman’s right to choose was a rational basis, the Fourth Amendment would be redundant with the separate constitutional prohibitions on irrational laws, and would have no effect.” Good luck squaring that circle.

        Finally, the only actual text that I can find in the constitution that even comes close to qualifying as “separate constitutional prohibitions on irrational laws” is the Necessary and Proper Clause. If you can locate another snippet of constitutional text that fits that bill, then by all means lay it on me. Meanwhile, since the Necessary and Proper Clause specifically applies to the enumerated powers of Congress, it has the effect of making those enumerated powers express rather than incidental. No doubt you will recall that one of the enumerated powers of Congress is the power to regulate the militias. And that is an express power–not an incidental one.

        As for projection, suppose that the irrational peoples in our constitutional suicide pact were The Federalists versus The Anti-Federalists. Is there nothing about the reality of our current impasse that resembles just such a foundational suicide pact?

      2. From the Wikipedia article on Rational Basis Review:

        Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., a student of Thayer’s, articulated a version of what would become rational basis review in his canonical dissent in Lochner v. New York, arguing that “the word ‘liberty,’ in the 14th Amendment, is perverted when it is held to prevent the natural outcome of a dominant opinion, unless it can be said that a rational and fair man necessarily would admit that the statute proposed would infringe fundamental principles as they have been understood by the traditions of our people and our law.”

      3. Also from the Wikipedia article of Rational Basis Review:

        In 2008, Justice John Paul Stevens reaffirmed the lenient nature of rational basis review in a concurring opinion: “[A]s I recall my esteemed former colleague, Thurgood Marshall, remarking on numerous occasions: ‘The Constitution does not prohibit legislatures from enacting stupid laws.'”

  4. The Second Amendment is not a “relic”. There is a need for it. When the Koch Brothers take over the White House and the rest of the Congress then we will need to rebel. We will need to form a militia. We will need to compete with the arms held by the army, marines, navy and even air force. We will need to arm bears. We need now a well armed people sitting on the sidelines ready to form a militia.
    That is the reason for the Second Amendment. It was not about keeping Michael Brown out of the kitchen.

    Justice Stevens is a relic. So is the topic as it is set forth here on the blog.

  5. I’ll tell you what a relic is. Politicians and political appointees holding their offices and positions for life. I know that the voters have a chance to replace elected politicians on Election Day. We’re lucky the voters change 10% of the house and senate in any election cycle.

  6. “When seconds count the police are minutes away” is the sufficient argument rebutting nuts like the thankfully out of power but fully protected by armed guards Stevens. Phony, hypocrite beta males shouldn’t make policy.

    1. Oh, I forgot to mention that if former Justice Stevens really wants to take my gun he’ll have to do it barrel first and hot to the touch. It’s the South, not Harvard Yard, we like our guns because we love our freedom.

      1. Aren’t you brave? Surprising you would need a gun against a 91 year old; it does explain your need for one.

        1. My guess is you sit around in hair curlers all day there Braveheart. Take my gun, you get the ammo first – regardless of age or mental incapacity.

          1. I see your fantasizing now, NTTAWWT. But, alas, I think SqueKKKs is more your type or PCS on the down low.

  7. I’m a pesky Redskin (resent the hell out of that snide remark) and you are a white eyes, a foreigner. I’m also a USMC Vet and a Wounded Knee II Vet, a part time gunsmith and still one hell of a shot. I like my guns and will use them, especially when threatened by right wing nut cases, comprende’ esa? The menace to what remains of America faces is the ring wing lunatics running the asylum, like many that comment on here. No thanks Justice Stevens, I’ll kept the 2nd Amendment.

    Don’t ever think that there aren’t more on the far left, i.e. not liberal, left wing radical militants like me that aren’t armed and know as much about their weapons and how to use them as do the right wing wackos.

    White side of my family fought on the Confederate side, so don’t talk to me about the war. My grandfather was born in 1865 and my mother in 1898 and unlike so many of the trumpites were not racist. And do a little research on the statues and when and how they came to be there. Nothing to do with the War Between the States.

    NOT MY PRESIDENT! NEVER MY PRESIDENT!

    1. It’s interesting that several liberal (or non-conservative) commenters are ready for a shoot-out at the OK Corral. I understand their concerns – but don’t they know that they are greatly outnumbered?

      1. We have the brave men and women of The Armed Forces of The United States of America standing between our side versus their side. Who would want to make our troops take sides?

        1. More awesomeness. He cites to “Townhall” as if that makes him anything more than a part of the joke.

          this is to “even loons can pass the bar (allegedly)” eagle

          1. Well, at least he almost, but not quite, answered my question: Who would want to make our troops take sides? I seem to remember something in the constitution about waging war against The United States or a State thereof. What did the constitution call that? Where’s my Aricept? O! Bother! I seriously doubt that our troops would do whatever name the constitution gives to waging war against The United States or a State thereof.

          2. No, he cited Kurt Schlicter. “Townhall” is just an archive of columns.

  8. There is nothing that will stop the carnage. There is no one move that needs to be done. The only possibility is to reduce the death toll. There will always be someone who will get a hold of a gun, in any country, and slaughter innocents.

    That being said it is truly about which direction the country should follow when it comes to doing the only thing possible, lowering the death toll. Thus far the NRA and the gun lobby have managed to stop most demands by the majority of the population to simply complete and make more effective the common sense rules that are partially in existence. Their argument is that this flies in the face of the second amendment. This is not true. There is nothing in the second amendment about the right to bear arms without common sense oversight by the society. There is, in fact, a part that states, ‘a well regulated militia’.

    If this right to bear arms is to have a ‘well regulated militia’ then it would follow that this society should interpret that to mean regulating gun ownership. We are far behind our peer nations that allow their citizens the right to bear arms but do so in a well regulated manner. Extensive background checks pertaining to all gun procurement as well as ownership, disallowing gun ownership for those deemed mentally unbalanced, those with a criminal record, and the ability to bring the law to bear to a perceived threat before the event, must be expanded. There is no need to allow military style weapons in the hands of any other than the military. The effectiveness in killing is responsible for the degree of slaughter, regardless of whether or not the person could have been stopped or not.

    What needs to be done is to take this country and the second amendment back to before the NRA, in one night, became a lobby system for the gun manufacturer. There were madmen who went on killing sprees but nothing to this extent.

    It has been proven statistically that the more society does, the less the carnage. Those that argue that this or that won’t make a difference are certainly in the category of those that should not have access to weapons.

    1. Isaac, there will be a changing of the guard at the Supreme Court someday. The Heller decision is not irreversible. None of them are. We could, and should, go back to precious SCOTUS interpretations of The Second Amendment. People like sgtsabai, Liberty2nd, Paul C. Schulte, mespo727272 and even old fake school girl, herself, would get to keep their beloved guns. But the criminals and the genuinely crazy people would have a harder time getting their hands on guns. Maybe that’s what the March For Our Lives students should be working for. They are the future; you know.

      1. L4D

        Precisely. The issue is not the second amendment. The issue is the bullying of the population by special interests and their tactics of quasi religious ranting and raving when faced with a common sense argument. We don’t let blind people drive. We attempt to stop people from driving while intoxicated. An intelligent and responsible society adjusts to the conditions. It does not remain tethered to a time that no longer exists.

        It is the majority of the society that decides, not a minority such as the NRA. The majority of Americans demand more comprehensive gun control. We may never know if a more comprehensive gun control program will work or not. However, if sane, responsible, well educated in the use of fire arms, population of gun owners can keep weapons for self defense, hunting, and target practice that do not include the weapons of efficient destruction such as are found in the military, then what is the big deal.

        A fanatic that demands absolutely no restraints and/or oversight, is a fanatic and a potential threat. That is the enemy.

        1. Agreed. The constitution does not prohibit the people from making sense. And even if it did, Isaac would never play ball with that prohibition.

        2. Fine, you effect removal of AR 15 from all bad guys after which I’ll surrender mine.
          Until then, buzz off.

          1. Chuck

            Your argument is based on being the last guy to conform. When you get the country sorted out then I’ll conform. There will always be those outside of the law. However, the laws are where to start. Along with eliminating military efficient weapons, make the possession of them a greater crime with stiffer penalties for those caught possessing and/or using them in a criminal manner. Perhaps the crooks will revert to pistols and single round rifles if carrying an AR 15 gets them life. Imagine a society where a sane, non criminal owns a pistol and/or rifle, has ample means to defend the castle, but a criminal who uses any such weapon, gets life or 20 years minimum. There will still be some knives tossed about but also a reduction in the carnage. Stop with the ‘cold dead hands’ routine. That’s just stupid.

        3. “It is the majority of the society that decides, not a minority such as the NRA”

          Oh, this is precious! I must remember and post this every time you argue. You do NOT believe one word of this. Any integrity that I thought you might have just went out the window.

          “There is nothing in the second amendment about the right to bear arms without common sense oversight by the society. There is, in fact, a part that states, ‘a well regulated militia’.”

          Here is the second:
          “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.”

          You do understand commas right? It does not read the right of the people to form a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, shale not be infringed.

          There is nothing in the second amendment about common sense oversight.

          Stop focusing on the shinny object of guns and start blaming the ahole kids that are over medicated.

      2. Strike “precious” and make it “pervious” instead. Then strike “pervious” and make of it whatever you will.

      3. You’d have to scrounge for examples wherein the phrase ‘the right of the people’ refers to something other than a personal right.

        1. Compelling interest of the government is the first test in strict scrutiny review. Surely the security of a free state and a well-regulated militia are compelling interests of the government. All you need then would be a narrow construction and a least restrictive means to pass the other two tests for strict scrutiny review. Der dang in sich passes rational basis review without breaking a sweat.

          1. Translation: the judges will find an excuse to give me what I want.

            1. Your translation applies only to rational basis review. Heller could be reversed under strict scrutiny review. Compelling government interest; narrow construction and least restrictive measures. What’s more, rational basis review entailed strict scrutiny review. Before rational basis review, there was no strict scrutiny review.

      4. Maybe that’s what the March For Our Lives students should be working for. They are the future; you know.

        No, they[re obnoxious punks who don’t know manure from apple butter.. Most of them will grow out of it.

        1. Rumor has it that the vaunted Milennials aren’t like the rest of us . . . yet. I’m betting they won’t grow into our foundational suicide pact.

    2. While the current situation can’t continue if we imagine ourselves a rational people, the Constitution is paramount. The paranoid will continue to sacrifice a certain number of their fellow citizens on the altar of their anti-government goggle-eyed conspiracy fantasy. Unfortunately for the gunshot victims, it will take the votes of the paranoid to change the Constitution. Until then, it’s gonna be a free-fire zone; just as it is now. Whatever curtails the carnage will necessarily have to come from somewhere other than statutory authority.

      1. Mark M., supposing that there’s an actual difference between the personal security of an individual citizen versus the collective security of a free state, there ought also to be an actual difference between the individual right to keep and bear arms versus the collective right of a free state to keep and bear arms by the necessary means of a well-regulated militia. What if the Second Amendment is a state’s right?

        1. It isn’t, which is why it is stated in such a way ‘right of the people’ that delineates a personal right. See the work of Clayton Cramer. What the phrase ‘a well regulated militia’ indicates is that the provision is referring to military arms.

          1. Rational basis review routinely quashes Fourth Amendment motions. In a few rare cases, the judges are forced to resort to strict scrutiny review to obtain the same end–quashing the Fourth Amendment right. As I recall, the Fourth Amendment also makes good use of the phrase “the right of the people.” If only you’d admit that the security of a free state and a well-regulated militia are compelling governmental interests, you might then apply strict scrutiny review to the Second Amendment in a manner consistent with the application of strict scrutiny review to the Fourth Amendment. That ought not to be too much to expect.

            1. Word salads on irrelevant topics aren’t going to help your argument.

  9. I’m a pesky Redskin (resent the hell out of that snide remark) and you are a white eyes, a foreigner. I’m also a USMC Vet and a Wounded Knee II Vet, a part time gunsmith and still one hell of a shot. I like my guns and will use them, especially when threatened by right wing nut cases, comprende’ esa? The menace to what remains of America faces is the ring wing lunatics running the asylum, like many that comment on here. No thanks Justice Stevens, I’ll kept the 2nd Amendment thank you, NOT! Don’t ever think there aren’t more on the far left, i.e. not liberal, left wing radical militants like me that aren’t armed and know as much about their weapons, how to and willing to use them as do the right wing wackos.

    Oh and the white part of me fought for the Confederacy, don’t even try to talk about the statues and where they belong. They were enacted long after the war as a part of a campaign to suppress black people. Do a little research.

    NOT MY PRESIDENT! NEVER MY PRESIDENT!

  10. If I’m not mistaken, didn’t Stevens write the majority decision in the Kelo case which granted the government the power to take private property from one party and give it to another?
    And he was charged with protecting our rights. His regard for our rights is at least consistent.

  11. I think everyone can agree that the repeal of the Second Amendment would be good. But the question is good for whom? Not the safety of the American public, that’s for sure; but rather, for the Leftist Authoritarian, Brutalitarian Government’s control of the population. The Leftists closely follow the guidance described below by one well-known historical figure:

    “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjugated races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjugated races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police.”–Adolph Hitler

  12. The constitutional amendment we need is term limits on Supreme Court justices.

  13. As far as change is concerned the state of Florida got it right. Quick action with sensible changes. Look to those for now!

    1. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      “Martha Nelson
      March 30, 2018 at 2:31 AM
      As far as change is concerned the state of Florida got it right. Quick action with sensible changes. Look to those for now!”

      Sensible Change, BS, Yeah Right, PH’ing Gun Grabbers, Move to Commie China, no Gun Rights there!

      The FB.I PHk..d up & didn’t pull the ahole, The Sher.iff’s Dept didn’t pull the creep & then the sher.iff’s dept had about 10 Cowards Stand Down while the lil Creep b*stard was in there & m*rdered a bunch of people.

      Yeah some wish to take away the 2nd, well 1st I suggest we start taking away guns from those in the FB.I & that Sher.iffs Dept that Phk….d up their Job up.

      1. Incomprehensible; but on the bright side, it’s consistent.

        this is to “keep up the good(?) work” okie

    2. Florida got it expedient. I always worry when I see laws made in a hurry. What could possibly go wrong? I am pretty confident that the age restriction on buying rifles will be stricken in court.

  14. Did Stevens happen to say anything about the 3% Rule regarding the 2nd?

    Speaking of “Prehistoric Dog” Dogs:)

  15. FWIW

    http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/us/2018/03/29/convicted-felon-shot-killed-by-homeowner-during-tennessee-home-invasion/_jcr_content/par/featured_image/media-0.img.jpg/931/524/1522365046616.jpg

    An attempted robbery of a Tennessee home Wednesday night turned deadly when the homeowner fatally shot one of the alleged robbers, who was a convicted felon.

    Terry Adams, Jr., 27, died Wednesday night in Nashville during a home invasion, the Metro Nashville Police Department said in a news release.Adams, along with another robber who remains at large, allegedly entered the home of 43-year-old Brent Bishop through a back door and hit his wife in the face.[]

    Looking for his wife — who had fled to a neighbor’s house — Bishop got a pistol from another room and went outside to look for her when he once again met Adams and his partner. Police said that Bishop fired shots at the two, “fatally wounding Adams.” The second robber “dropped the long guns and the pistol that had been taken from the safe and ran away.”

    Adams, who’s had convictions of auto burglary, attempted burglary, felony theft and aggravated assault, is a suspect in a Feb. 6 burglary at Bishop’s home, in which a flat screen TV was stolen.The now-deceased robber had been arrested in July 2017 for felony meth possession for resale and unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon and was being sought by authorities for two probation violation warrants.

    Bishop was hospitalized with a skull fracture from the incident. The second robber who fled the scene remains at large.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/03/29/convicted-felon-shot-killed-by-homeowner-during-tennessee-home-invasion-cops.html

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. I’m sorry, Squeeky, but since this story was not covered by CNN, MSNBC, or the Washington Post, the story is unreliable and unconfirmed.

    2. Percentages say otherwise but once in awhile a gun will serve a useful purpose. Note the defender used a pistol and did not need an assault rifle. Klan, NRA, do you have any purely fun social clubs?

    1. Please post more of this type of material. Not only does it illuminate what a substantial segment of the undiagnosed mentally ill currently believe is factual, but it provides comic relief as well. Thanks for the chuckle.

      this is to “the doc only ‘suggested’ the meds” okie

  16. Woudn’t worry too much about the second. The couch potato party can’t get it up enough to get rid fo the electoral college those days are gone and over Now it’s just watch TV pick up the welfare check and do a shift on the corner.

  17. Mr Turley,

    Your thoughtful discussion of the issue raised by Stevens also omits, as did he, consideration of the right to self defense. As such your assessment of the proposal is incomplete. Stripped of my right to gun ownership as an individual who is to protect my family from the bad guy with a gun at my door. Will Stevens, will you? Certainly police are lncapable.

    1. Police are not required to protect you but must investigate after the fact. Course you could do like OBama and clinton and hire the gangs to do the policing

      1. Good thing about being a bot (RWNJ, same programming), you do not get tired of beating a dead horse. What gangs were hired, Che?

  18. We need the 2nd Amendment more now, than when we were fighting off hostile redskins, and various foreigners. In Chicago alone, there are over 70,000 gang members. Most of whom are probably armed, even though they have criminal records, and should not possess a firearm.

    I think a good chunk of the Left wants to seize guns for the same reason they wanted to take down Rebel flags and statues. It is part of a class struggle between white people, therefore there will be little or no reason in the argument.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. I think a good chunk of the Left wants to seize guns for the same reason they wanted to take down Rebel flags and statues. It is part of a class struggle between white people, therefore there will be little or no reason in the argument.

      It saves them from actuallly having to discuss practical law enforcement. Discussing law enforcement incorporates an acknowledgement that their mascot groups are a problem and that cops are socially useful. They cannot bear either.

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