John Paul Stevens served on the Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010, the second longest tenure of all Supreme Court justices. Fortunately for freedom-loving Americans, he can’t do any more damage. Of course, this hasn’t stopped the present crop of justices from significantly remaking America into their own misguided image.
His latest book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, is an inside look into the mind of a Supreme Court Justice, and it’s not a pretty sight. Stevens has been described as a “Midwest Republican conservative” that became a “hero of the political left.”
In his book, Stevens proposes that the Second Amendment be changed from this . . .
“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.”
. . . to this:
“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.”
Stevens shows by his call for the addition of “when serving in the militia” that the original meaning referred to private citizens (people) and not only people serving in the military.
There’s another point to be made. How is “when serving in the militia” a fundamental right? Who controls the militia, as Stevens and other liberals understand the word? The State. The purpose of the Second Amendment is “the security of a free State.” If the State controls access to weapons, then only the military, which is controlled by the State, is armed. This makes no sense.
Stevens has been described as a brilliant jurist. There’s nothing brilliant about his call for adding “when serving in the militia” to the Second Amendment unless you’re part of the “political left.” It’s antithetical to what a Bill of Rights is all about.
Governments don’t need rights spelled out for them. Governments operate on the basis of force. The Constitutional framers hammered out a document that limited the powers of the federal government by enumerating them.
The Bill of Rights was added at the insistence of the states in order to guarantee certain freedoms to the people not the national government – the State!
People who serve in the military already have the right to “keep and bear arms.” That’s what a military does.
By guaranteeing the right “of the people to keep and bear Arms,” the national government and any foreign power are put on notice that either a coup d’état or an invasion will be hard to win. Read this story about what happened when Nazis invaded a British island.
A final point needs to be made. Here’s the bottom-line rationale from Stevens:
“Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands.”
Who’s doing the “slaughter”? In the majority of cases it’s people breaking the law, whether it’s with a gun, knife, baseball bat, or their own hands. “[T]he reality is that gun homicides are overwhelmingly tied to gang violence. In fact, a staggering 80% of gun homicides are gang-related.” Will this change if Stevens gets his way? Yes. The number of gang-related shootings will go up!
“Yet most gun control legislation would do little-to-nothing to slow the growing gang problem. Most of the gun laws are aimed at a segment of the population that is mostly law-abiding and outside of the gang culture and would likely do little to stop any of the violence.”
Didn’t Stevens learn anything from Prohibition?
When the consumption and manufacture of alcohol was made illegal, it did not stop people from consuming and manufacturing alcohol. The 18th Amendment created a new criminal class that had no regard for the law.