In February 2014 former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens campaigned for a change in the language of the Second Amendment to eliminate any protections on the individual right to keep and bear arms.
The Second Amendment was one of six amendments that he wanted to change at the time.
As written, the Second Amendment says, “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.”
Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Stevens wanted to change the amendment so that it said, “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.”
Stephens’ 2014 push was the result of his strong disagreement with the SCOTUS decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). He believes the right to keep and bear arms is collective, rather than individual.
This same disagreement fueled his March 27, 2018, New York Times‘ op-ed calling for an all-out repeal of the Second Amendment. His claims the Heller decision “provided the NRA with a propaganda weapon of immense power,” and that a repeal of the Second Amendment would render the Heller decision moot, thereby eliminating the NRA’s sway over lawmakers.
He contends repealing the Second Amendment “would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008,” but does not address the fact that some of our most heinous firearm-based attacks occurred years before the Heller decision was handed down. For example, thirteen students were shot and killed in the April 20, 1999, Columbine attack and 32 were shot and killed in the April 16, 2007, attack on Virginia Tech’s gun-free campus.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.