Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens argued in a New York Times op-ed Tuesday that the Second Amendment should be repealed.

Stevens wrote in the Times that repealing the Second Amendment would help Congress enact gun control measures.

The op-ed sparked outrage from many gun supporters including President Donald Trump.

“THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!” Trump tweeted early Wednesday. “As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!”

It’s time for former Justice Stevens and President Trump to have a reality check.

The Second Amendment is not in jeopardy, nor should it be.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the amendment lets people own guns for self-defense.

Stevens’ op-ed is counterproductive.

His argument inadvertently aids the cause of the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby, avid gun supporters and many Republican lawmakers who oppose gun control laws. They argue that any attempt to enact gun control legislation is really aimed at repealing the Second Amendment and removing guns from law-abiding Americans.

Stevens’s argument is being made when there is a shift in attitudes toward gun control.

In the wake of the mass school shooting last month in Parkland, Florida teenagers across the country held a massive march in Washington, D.C. and in more than 800 towns and cities across the world last Saturday.

The “March for Our Lives” rally was held in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Thousands of young people listened to a series of speakers, some of whom had lost friends and family members to gun violence, engage in a collective call for tougher gun laws.

To their credit, march organizers addressed not only mass shootings which get the headlines, but the broader issue of gun violence which is too common in many poor African-American and Latino communities.

In addition to the march, new polls show increasing support and national support for gun control since the Parkland shooting.

A Quinnipiac University poll taken shortly after the Parkland shooting found that 97 percent of Republicans said that they supported background checks for all gun buyers, 77 percent said that they supported mandatory waiting periods for all gun purchases and 43 percent said that they supported a ban on assault weapons.

A newer Quinnipiac survey, taken last week, found that 41 percent of Republicans “think Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence.”

Most Americans are not seeking to repeal the Second Amendment. They do not seek to ban the sale of guns used for self-defense and hunting.

What is needed is sensible gun control laws including increasing the age of gun buyers to age 21, universal background checks to prevent violent people from having guns and banning the sale of military style assault weapons.

We can reach common ground on sensible gun laws if we avoid extreme arguments on the issue.

Most Americans already agree on stricter gun control laws. But change will only come from Congress when lawmakers who do not represent the interest of the people are removed from office.

(2) comments

Smartuckus

In what way are these suggestions “sensible”?
I own guns for the sole purpose of protecting myself and my family. I have a right to defend my life and those of my family regardless of any “sensible” law that seeks to deprive me of doing so by whatever may become necessary. That right didn’t begin when I turned 21. Home invasions happen, according to our government’s very own statistics, well over a million times a year. No victim of a home invasion knows whether or not the invaders are armed, or with what. They don’t know what the intentions of their home invaders are. The only safe assumption is that a home invader intends to rob your home and murder anyone inside. Depriving a resident of the weapons he or she may need to use to prevent his or her own murder, and those of the children living there, is the exact opposite of “sensible.” I may use a handgun, but a shotgun may be better suited to the task. And if I really want to strike fear into the hearts of would-be assassins breaking into my house, a place they know they don’t belong, nothing does that job better than an AR-15 or some other semi-automatic rifle. The choice of weapon is entirely up to me, and not a bunch of self-serving bureaucrats and politicians whose only real concern is winning the next election.
Guns are not the problem. Our declining culture is.

Guest

I agree. What no is talking about is that there already exist background checks and laws that prohibit certain people from owning guns (mental illness,criminal record, etc..). How are more laws going to prevent mass shootings when these shootings occur because of the ATF, FBI or local authorities fail to enforce the existing laws. That’s like a teacher punishing the class with more homework because she/he forgot to take attendance. I’m going to punish the law abiding citizens because I forgot to do my job. If the authorities can’t do there jobs now what are more laws going to accomplish? Second, the cities with the highest crime rates have the toughest gun laws on the books. Third, time and time again the places of mass shootings are gun free zones where, again, the perpetrator owns a gun because the authorities failed to do their job. And last, everyone opposed to guns chants that cops are there to protect so we don’t need firearms. If this is so, why are there still gun violence victims even in the presence of cops. Even if we got ride of guns, there would still exist victims of violence. What is not reported is that violent crimes using hands,knives,bats,cars and other objects are just as high as gun violence.

It’s so easy to blame law abiding citizens and their guns instead of the real cause of gun violence. How about holding government accountable for lack of enforcement or crime prevention. Bring music, art and more sports into urban schools. How about telling kids the truth: they are not all winners and you can’t get a prize for participation. Yes, 2+2=4, not “it’s ok you’re still right no matter what your answer is”. Rejection and failure are part of growing up and building character. Maybe if we do this next time someone finds himself rejected they can brush it off instead of committing mass murder.

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