On Tuesday, the L.A. Clippers J.J. Redick suggested it is time for the Second Amendment to evolve to allow gun control.
He referenced the Second Amendment while talking about collegiate sports, contending that NCAA basketball players ought to be paid. In fact, Redick jumped from announcing the end of “amateurism” in collegiate sports to declaring the end of a Second Amendment that protects 21st century firearms.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Redick said:
The idea of amateurism, it doesn’t exist anymore. And so if you’re going to do what you’re doing, then you just need that complete overhaul. It’s got to be something radical. It’s not just, ‘Oh, let’s just pay every player $5,000.’ It really requires something really radical. And maybe that’s getting rid of college athletics as we know it.
He paraphrased a Thomas Jefferson quote to segue to guns, saying, “I go back to the Thomas Jefferson quote — I’m going to butcher it, but it’s something we’ve all read. ‘You wouldn’t expect a little boy to wear the pea coat he wore as a boy as a grown man.’ You need to change with the times.”
Redick then addressed gun control, saying laws should evolve in the same way he wants to see collegiate sports evolve. He said:
Laws should reflect that [change], rules, regulations, especially as we know more. Gun control. I don’t want to get political, but gun control. That’s something that should evolve as technology evolves. When the 2nd Amendment was created, we had to worry about bears, people lived on the frontier and it took a minute to load a muzzle. I think laws should reflect where we are with guns.
Ironically–just one day before Redick made these comments–Independent Institute’s Dave Kopel wrote that gun control arguments framed around musket arguments show a lack of historical knowledge. Writing in The Washington Post, Kopel said:
Gun-control advocates often argue that gun-control laws must be more restrictive than the original meaning of the Second Amendment would allow, because modern firearms are so different from the firearms of the late 18th century. This argument is based on ignorance of the history of firearms. It is true that in 1791 the most common firearms were handguns or long guns that had to be reloaded after every shot. But it is not true that repeating arms, which can fire multiple times without reloading, were unimagined in 1791. To the contrary, repeating arms long predate the 1606 founding of the first English colony in America. As of 1791, repeating arms were available but expensive.
Kopel’s historical observation helps the reader better understand the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). In that opinion, late Justice Antonin Scalia pointed to judicial precedent to show the Second Amendment protects guns “in common use” at any given time. In other words, at all times the Second Amendment protects the guns commonly owned and used by law-abiding citizens. This means protection for the very 21st century firearms J.J. Redick believes justify more gun control.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.