An unlikely source of an argument for repealing an amendment came in the form of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. The retired justice argued in the New York Times that the Parkland children who have become the faces of a new gun control movement weren’t going far enough.

In his op-ed, Stevens establishes the Second Amendment as a relic of the 18th Century and says that the scale and size of the demonstrations indicate a massive groundswell of support for legislation which should be aimed at protecting people in an era where assault weapons are too widely available.

Stevens continues by saying that for over 200 years after the passing of the Second Amendment the implication was that it did not in fact bar or prohibit either federal or state governments from enacting measures of gun control, citing a 1939 Supreme Court decision that effectively ruled against the legality of sawed-off shotguns because they had no purpose in ensuring a well-regulated militia.

Stevens alludes to the Berger Supreme Court, and links that 1939 case with the jurisprudence that the Second Amendment was an extremely limited freedom. It was not until 2008 that this amendment would be reinterpreted to mean an individual freedom to carry or have a gun.

Stevens maintains that the decision of the Supreme Court was wrong then, as he was one of the four who dissented against the majority opinion. He says that the court has provided groups such as the NRA with a tool of propaganda which they have not failed to use. Stevens then argues that actually introducing a motion to repeal the Second Amendment is probably the best chance to stop the NRA’s stranglehold on legislative debate and gun control legislation.

It will be interesting to see if John Paul Stevens’ call to get rid of the Second Amendment is met with any action.

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