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Justice John Paul Stevens Is Wrong About the Second Amendment, Again

The retired justice wants to claw back parts of the Bill of Rights.

Library of CongressLibrary of CongressIn his 2008 dissent in District of Columbia v. Heller, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens insisted that the Second Amendment offers zero protection for what he called the "right to possess and use guns for nonmilitary purposes like hunting and personal self-defense."

Writing in today's New York Times, the retired justice reiterates that losing view. "For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment," Stevens maintains, "it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation." To clear the path for sweeping gun control restrictions now, Stevens advises, activists should turn their energies towards passing a "constitutional amendment" that would overturn Heller and "get rid of the Second Amendment."

One problem with Stevens' position is that he is dead wrong about the legal history. His preferred reading of the Second Amendment has never been "uniformly understood."

For example, consider how the Second Amendment was treated in St. George Tucker's 1803 View of the Constitution of the United States, which was the first extended analysis and commentary published about the Constitution. For generations of law students, lawyers, and judges, Tucker's View served as a go-to con-law textbook.

Tucker was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, a colleague of James Madison, and a professor of law at the College of William and Mary. He observed the debates over the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as they happened. And he had no doubt that the Second Amendment secured an individual right of the "nonmilitary" type. "This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty," Tucker wrote of the Second Amendment. "The right of self-defense is the first law of nature." In other words, the Heller majority's view of the Second Amendment is as old and venerable as the amendment itself.

Regrettably, today's op-ed is not the only example of Stevens trying to claw back a portion of the Bill of Rights.

Stevens cast a dissent, for instance, in Texas v. Johnson (1989), the landmark case in which the Court ruled that flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment. "Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable," declared the majority opinion of Justice William Brennan. Stevens rejected that endorsement of bedrock free speech principles.

Likewise, Stevens has said that had he not retired from the Court in 2010, he would have joined Justice Samuel Alito's dissent in Snyder v. Phelps (2011), the case in which the Court recognized First Amendment protections for the rights of Westboro Baptist Church members to stage offensive protests outside of military funerals. "Such speech cannot be restricted simply because it is upsetting or arouses contempt," declared the majority opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts. Stevens rejected that endorsement of free speech principles too.

And then there is Stevens' record on the Fifth Amendment, as exemplified by his majority opinion in Kelo v. City of New London, which allowed a municipality to wield its eminent domain powers not for a "public use," as the Constitution requires, but for the benefit of a private developer working with the Pfizer corporation. "The Kelo majority opinion remains unpopular," Stevens acknowledged in a 2011 speech at the University of Alabama School of Law. "Recently a commentator named Damon W. Root described the decision as the 'eminent domain debacle.'" (Guilty.) How did Stevens' justify his debacle? He claimed that "Kelo adhered to the doctrine of judicial restraint, which allows state legislatures broad latitude in making economic policy decisions in their respective jurisdictions."

In sum, John Paul Stevens has a bad habit of shortchanging the Bill of Rights for the benefit of overreaching officials and would-be censors. I'd think twice before taking his constitutional advice.

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  • John||

    First, it the 2nd Amendment will not be repealed except by judicial fiat anytime soon. Second, saying it must be is an implicit admission it protects the individual right to bear arms. Third, the Constitution just codified rights that already existed. So judges writing it out of the document doesn't extinguish the right.

    Fourth, that old bastard can go to hell. What a disgrace to the bench he is.

  • Libertymike||

    "that old bastard can go to hell..."

    One, he is old.

    Two, he is a bastard.

    Three, is in the process of being arranged.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Scalia and Taney are waiting for him to join them...but because it is hell they only hear small claims and divorces. So Scalia is finally Chief Justice...of small claims court!

  • John||

    Allowing people the right to own a gun to defend themselves and their home is the same as saying black people are an inferior race subject to being enslaved by superior whites at any time or place? Really? Is that your final answer?

  • Cranedoc||

    Nobody said any such racist thing except for you! Kindly stop posting racist messages, Adolph!

  • John||

    Justice Tanney said exactly that. Tanny is likely in hell right now because he was the author of Dread Scott. So, when Sebastian said "Scalia and Tanny are waiting for him to join him (in hell)" he was implying that Scalia was as bad as Tanny.

    Do yourself a favor and only respond to posts that you understand. You clearly don't know who Tanny was or understand the reference. Instead of trying to figure that out, you just shit on the thread and embarrassed yourself. Try to avoid that in the future.

  • MJBinAL||

    "Do yourself a favor and only respond to posts that you understand."

    You first.

    (the rest of us will enjoy the silence)

  • Sevo||

    "(the rest of us will enjoy the silence)"

    Do you have a turd in your pocket?

  • Juice||

    Tanny is likely in hell right now

    Highly unlikely.

  • John||

    What do you visit there often?

  • StackOfCoins||

    Scott the Dreaded, long may he reign.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    ^^^

  • Vin_Decks!!!||

    Totes agree, John, but you could have phrased this better: "Second, saying it must be is an implicit admission it protects the individual right to bear arms." Saying it MUST BE REPEALED WHEN YOU DISAGREE WITH AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS is an implicit admission it protects the individual right to bear arms.
    Touche. Had never thought of it that way....

  • Mark22||

    Logic and reason is a tool the white patriarchy uses to oppress women and minorities! /sarc

  • timbo||

    Lifetime appointments are a bad idea because of dipshit like this.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Yes, but on the other hand, they also protect us from the whims of a mercurial populace.

  • Agammamon||

    Kelo, PPACA, and similar show that it doesn't do a very good job of it.

  • ||

    I proudly became a US Citizen just over two years ago. During this process I had to answer questions, under oath, one of which is Question 50: "If law requires it, are you willing to bear arms on behalf of the United States?"

    Another, Question 47 reads: "Do you support the Constitution and form of government of the United States?".

    Presumably existing citizens will abide by these conditions although not having been required to make the oaths. If not maybe naturalized immigrants such as I have a stronger allegiance to the US than some who were born here.

    As a citizen, Amendment 2 provides the opportunity as part of a recreational activity to train for the day when my response to Q.50 will need to be fulfilled.

  • hardcorps||

    Correct. As a citizen, you are a member of the unorganized militia and should the militia be needed, you should respond. Of course, during Hurricane Katrina, members of the militia were routinely disarmed and abused by the government. Regardless, you have the human right of self defense, and the second amendment is an individual right.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    I would argue that an individual right to keep and bear arms could be found in those auras, penumbras, and emanations of the Ninth Amendment where Justice Douglas discovered that individual right to privacy.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Excellent point about the implicit admission. The Washington Post is kind of peeved that JPS opened his big mouth.

  • ||

    Hell no longer seems to be an option...

  • tlapp||

    Glad he is retired and glad he exposed the desire to repeal our natural rights. Too many Americans far too complacent and the power hungry all to eager to take full advantage.

  • Zeb||

    John Paul Stevens insisted that the Second Amendment offers zero protection for what he called the "right to possess and use guns for nonmilitary purposes like hunting and personal self-defense."

    Even if he were right about that, it's still pretty clear that the second amendment does guarantee the right to keep and use military weapons.

  • John||

    What is a military weapon other than a weapon someone in the military uses? It would be funny if a state declared every able-bodied adult who was not legally disqualified from owning a gun (i.e. felons and such) to be subject to militia duty in times of emergency and to further this purpose allowed all such persons to own fully automatic weapons. It would fit into the purpose of the 2nd Amendment to the letter. And as such, I think would make the federal prohibition on ownership of fully automatic weapons unconstitutional in this circumstance. And when the gun grabbers whined about it, the response could be "you have always said the 2nd Amendment was for the militia, not individuals right?"

  • R. K. Phillips||

    If you look at 10 US code 46, it already says what you say:
    "The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard."

  • John||

    The militia of the United States is not the same thing as the state militias. That being said, the feds could under the section of Title 10 you quote, do the same thing on a nationwide scale.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""The militia of the United States is not the same thing as the state militias. ""

    Also, no amendment was necessary to arm the Continental Army. So it's not a right that would belong to the government because they don't need one.

  • John||

    At the time of the BOR, the states relied on volunteer militias to protect themselves. The point of the 2nd Amendment was to keep the federal government from disarming the states by disarming their citizens. The founders did not want a large standing army and wanted to ensure that the states had armed populaces to use as militias in times of emergencies and ultimately against the federal government if necessary.

    I think there is an interesting argument to be made that the Insurrection Act because it gives the President the power to nationalize a state's national guard and use it against it, violates the 2nd Amendment. The existence and independence from the federal government of state militias, which later became the state national gaurds, is a necessary consequence of the 2nd Amendment. Why else would the founders go to the trouble of saying the federal government can't deprive citizens of their right to keep and bear arms so that the states may maintain a militia if they didn't also mean those militias are independent from federal control?

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    The 2A was in response to the events of Lexington and Concord. Also the militia officers were appointed by the state so the state militia could only be used against the state if the state government approved.

  • John||

    No it wasn't. Where did you hear such bullshit?

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Yes it was.

  • John||

    You have no source for that. I have read lots on this subject and never heard or seen that mentioned. Give a source or admit you pulled it out of your ass.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    What was the 3A in response to?

  • John||

    The 3rd Amendment was in response to the forced quartering of troops in English homes by the government of Charles II during the English Civil War. You really don't know anything do you?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""The 2A was in response to the events of Lexington and Concord""

    Source?

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    VA DoR.

  • John||

    Which is not the source of the 2nd Amendment. The source is the English Bill of Rights of 1689, And where is your evidence that the Virginia BOR was created for only that purpose? You have none. You are just making shit up.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Nice job, John. Rando got schooled.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""VA DoR.""

    I did not see in the VA DoR where it says that.

  • MJBinAL||

    I think there is an interesting argument to be made that the Insurrection Act because it gives the President the power to nationalize a state's national guard and use it against it, violates the 2nd Amendment.

    That is a good point John.

    And one that about one more Supreme Court Justice appointment by Trump might make possible.

  • Longtobefree||

    The state national guard is not equivalent to a state militia. The Guard is part of the US Army reserve system, mostly funded with federal tax dollars, armed with federal weapons, and the guard members cannot refuse a call to service.
    A militia is distinguished by two characteristics.
    One, the members are all volunteers, and select their own leaders, and provide their own arms (hence the preface clause in the second amendment).
    Second, they determine on their own where, when and if they will respond to a government official 'calling out the militia'. A militia unit may offer its services to a regular army unit for a specific time (we will fight until harvest time), or a specific place (we will fight in this county, we will fight in this state). The army is free to accept the unit on those terms, or to refuse the restrictions.

  • John||

    that is true but only because the feds federalized all of the old state Militias with the National Guard Act. When serving on State Active Duty status, the guards belong to the state. They are effectively state militias. So, where does the federal government get the authority to federalize them over the objection of the governor?

  • Juanito_J_Ibanez||

    John wrote: "So, where does the federal government get the authority to federalize them over the objection of the governor?"

    Rudolph George "Rudy" Perpich Sr, Governor of the State of Minnesota v. United States Department of Defense (cited as 'Perpich v. DOD, 496 U.S. 334 (1990)

    And guess who wrote the opinion?

    Justice John Paul Stephens, who wrote the decision for a unanimous Supreme Court.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    "The point of the 2nd Amendment was to keep the federal government from disarming the states by disarming their citizens."

    That's always been my understanding as well. The states were very wary of the potential tyranny of a federal government and included the militia language to restrain it from challenging their sovereignty. The language seems obvious to me. Of course they ended up with federal tyranny anyway and some would happily disarm their citizens to that end. Some states are not willing to disarm so we need to repeal that pesky 2nd.

  • Johnny B||

    John -- It is not quite true that the founders did not want a standing army. Hamilton clearly wanted one. But you are right that Jefferson and Madison, among others, were opposed to the idea. Though it was Jefferson who started the Military Academy at West Point. So no-one other than Hamilton was entirely consistent.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Could be challenged at SCOTUS. Well regulated miltia leaves room to strike down if not well regulated. Doesn't matter what the regulation is because FYTW.

  • Longtobefree||

    Well regulated has the meaning of well trained.
    As in you cannot infringe by restricting ammunition sales to prevent training (target practice).
    As in you cannot infringe by restricting magazine size to prevent effective firepower.
    As in you cannot infringe by restricting the types of weapons.
    As in etc etc

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    There is no such thing as the "militia of the United States". The president can call forth several state militias to quell a rebellion as Washington did with the Whiskey Rebellion but the federal government has no militia...it has an army.

    Btw, before you start quoting the asinine Heller opinion keep in mind that gun rights advocates needed a guy with a 202 IQ to explain to them the "plain meaning" of the 2A! You don't need a 202 IQ to figure out that if you need a guy that for some reason doesn't want to be a rocket scientist to create a right to self defense then the 2A most likely has a different meaning.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    There is no such thing a the "plain meaning" of the 2A for that matter. Or what the founders' intended. The was no plurality of opinion.

  • John||

    There is no such thing as the "militia of the United States". The president can call forth several state militias to quell a rebellion as Washington did with the Whiskey Rebellion but the federal government has no militia...it has an army.

    It most certainly does. Read the section of title 10 quoted above. It creates a militia of the United States. And the federal government calling out the state militias does not mean there isn't or can't be a militia of the United States. It just means the President has multiple means of quelling an insurrection.

    You don't need a 202 IQ to figure out that if you need a guy that for some reason doesn't want to be a rocket scientist to create a right to self defense then the 2A most likely has a different meaning.

    So if a smart person makes an argument, the argument must be sophistry because it took a clever person to figure it out. WTF? One, Scalia didn't have a 202 IQ. He wasn't half as smart as he thought he was. Second, he didn't pull the argument out of his ass. It was based on historical research into the nature of the right to bear arms and its origins and definition at the time of the drafting of the BOR that had been done by many other scholars. Scalia just restated a truth that was already known.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Volokh has a 202 IQ and he wrote the most important law review articles cited in Scalia's opinion. The reality is Stevens' dissent provides the "strict constructionist" interpretation of the 2A and Scalia's majority required help from one of the smartest people on the planet.

    The state militias failed under the AoC so the federal government can set minimum regulations for state militias but the militias are always under control by officers loyal to the state because the state appoints officers and trains their militia. So RE Lee was a federal officer but even he was still loyal to his state in 1861.

  • John||

    The reality is Stevens' dissent provides the "strict constructionist" interpretation of the 2A and Scalia's majority required help from one of the smartest people on the planet.

    Just the opposite. Strict constructionist means you read the BOR as it was originally intended and by the meanings of the words as they were at the time of the drafting. The opinion in Heller is one long explanation about what the term "right to keep and bear arms" meant to the people who drafted the amendment. That is how you do strict constructionism.

    What Stevens did was to forget the original meaning of the words and put his own meanings on them. That is the opposite of strict construction.

    If you are going to talk about this subject, learn something about it and try and do more than spewing canned talking points. Not that I mind beating you down, but at some point, even I get bored with shooting ducks on a pond.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""The opinion in Heller is one long explanation about what the term "right to keep and bear arms""

    The 2A clearly says "right of the people". People could argue the why part (militia) but to whom the right applies is very clear.

  • John||

    That is a good point VIC. Stevens tried to make an Amendment that says "right of the people" into a right for the state to control who owns firearms. That is utter nonsense.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    The 2A was a reaction to the events at Lexington and Concord which involved a cache of arms for the militia...so it didn't relate to the British disarming individuals.

  • John||

    Who do you think owned those arms? And how do you think that militia was formed? It was formed by private citizens showing up with their own weapons. If the federal government could deprive people of the right to own weapons, then the states could no longer have militias.

    And the Amendment wasn't in response to Lexington and Concord. The Amendment was drafted in 1790, 15 years after those events. Read Heller. There is an entire history behind the right to bear arms. How can you believe such ahistorical bullshit?

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    The VA DoR was drafted in 1776...have you ever considered taking a history course at your local junior college so you become less ignorant? Knowledge is power and pulling stuff out of your ass wastes everyone else's time.

  • John||

    The VA DoR was drafted in 1776.

    So what? We are talking about the federal BOR. And it was based on more than just cutting and pasting the Virginia BOR. Moreover, the right to keep and bear arms has a history long before 1776. It goes back to Cicero for God's sake. If there is a single source for the American right to keep and bear arms it is the 1689 English Bill of Rights which "allowed Protestant citizens of England to "have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law"

    Most of the ideas of the Founders came from the Glorious Revolution and from the experience of the English Civil War of the 17th Century. The founders understood that an unarmed populace was at the mercy of the government and enshrined the 2nd Amendment to prevent that.

    I don't know what junior college history class you took, but you clearly failed it. Why don't you try learning something or at least not priding yourself on being ignorant.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Lol, the existence of the 3A undermines your argument! You must have pooped your pants when you read the 3A for the first time a few minutes ago. Everything you think you know is wrong and you need to expand your mind by taking a junior college history course.

  • John||

    LOL The existence of the 3rd Amendment relates right back to the forced quartering of soldiers by the government of Charles II. Read the history of England sometime. You might learn something you fucking doofus. The English quartered troops in American homes for a reason. It was to send a message. It was a message that the Americans understood. It was saying that they were not Englishman and entitled to the rights of Englishman. They were colonists.

    You don't understand a God damned thing about this subject or the early legal history of this country or of England. Your ignorance is starting to annoy me.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Your argument was that Lexington and Concord could not have been the foundation of the 2A because it was drafted "15 years after those events". You just undermined your argument!!! Because the 3A was based on actions by the British from even longer before!

    Lol, now that I have explained it so even you can understand you will probably poop your pants...I hope you have a change of underpants.

  • John||

    Your argument was that Lexington and Concord could not have been the foundation of the 2A because it was drafted "15 years after those events". You just undermined your argument!!! Because the 3A was based on actions by the British from even longer before!

    My argument is that it wasn't in response to it because it was 15 years after and that the roots of the right to bear arms goes back to Cicero and the English Bill of Rights of 1689.

    You have yet to come up with a response to that. The facts are what they are. The 2nd Amendment was the codification of a long standing right. It was not made in response to Lexington and Concord. The entire American Revolution was seen by the people behind it as Americans asserting their natural rights as Englishman. And one of those rights was the right to keep and bear arms. Lexington and Concord were an outrage because it was a violation of what the colonists saw as their lawful rights as Protestant English subjects.

    I don't know how much more simple I can make it for you. And as much as I enjoy teaching you early American and English history, you seem to be untrainable. So, run along and come back when you are ready to sit at the adult table.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Lol, you are so ignorant and yet so content with your ignorance! I guess it is true that "ignorance is bliss". The fact you believe Cicero owned a Colt revolver is just precious! I am pretty sure your "college professors" were named Bill and Ted.

  • John||

    Cocaro believed that people had a right to bear arms so that they were not defenseless against an oppressive government. The nature of those arms at his time or ours is besides the point.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    The 2A is a federalism provision like the Establishment Clause so I agree Stevens' opinion isn't 100% correct but it is more correct than Scalia's majority.

  • John||

    You have yet to give a single reason why the majority was incorrect. Sorry but baseless assertions do not count as arguments.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    For one in the 2A the word "state" refers to the several states and not America...because the full name of our country is actually the United STATES of America. Scalia for some reason forgot the name of our country which is why he presides over small claims in HELL with Taney!

  • John||

    The right of the people to keep and bear arms. The word "state" is describing the purpose of the right.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    But what does the word "state" refer to?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yes, but the word "People" in the amendment doesn't refer to state governments, it refers to people.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    So you believe the word "state" in the 2A refers to the several states that make up the USA?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    A job being necessary for the prosperity of a nation, the right of the people to own a car shall not be infringed.

    Does this mean only people with a job have a right to a car?

  • Bubba Jones||

    "Volokh has a 202 IQ"

    Bullshit. That is almost 7 SD from the mean.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    He does and he devoted his brain and his career to figuring out a way around the language of the 2A. So without his law review articles the Supreme Court heeds the NRA's caution and refuses to take Heller. Keep in mind that Ted Cruz and his big brain got nearly 100% wrong in his amicus with regard to the final opinion so there was not an obvious path to go down.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""He does and he devoted his brain and his career to figuring out a way around the language of the 2A."'

    Ahhh, there you have it. That's ok, many cops devote their brain and career to figuring out a way around the language of the 4A and 5A.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Get the fuck outta here with that nonsense, Sebastian. First of all, who the hell would brag about their IQ score? That's a sign of low social intelligence right there (which, BTW, is often considered the most important type of intelligence). Second, what does his IQ have to do with the argument? That is an appeal to authority fallacy. Third, what part of "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" do you not understand? The first explanatory clause is irrelevant to this imperative statement.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    "Computers fascinated the young Volokh. He wrote his first professional-grade program when he was ten and earned his first paying gig as a coder two years later, when his IQ was measured at 206. After graduating early from UCLA at 15, Volokh worked full-time as a software engineer."

    http://www.lamag.com/citythink.....influence/

  • Voros McCracken||

    Anyone with a 202 IQ would know, implicitly, that there's no possible way to tell whether someone has a 202 IQ. They would understand, instinctively, that any possible test devised to determine such a thing could not possibly be accurate within that level of precision. IE, 30 points of IQ at that end of the scale is a vanishingly small number.

  • Sevo||

    Sebastian Cremmington|3.27.18 @ 12:54PM|#
    "Volokh has a 202 IQ and he wrote the most important law review articles cited in Scalia's opinion."

    And anyone using that as an argument has a room-temperature IQ.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Why couldn't a person with a 120 IQ figure out the meaning of the 2A if it is so plain spoken? Why was a 206 IQ some 200 years later necessary to figure out that the word "state" in the amendment referred to America?

  • John||

    Lots of people knew the meaning of the Amendment. Why can't you figure it out?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Why was a 206 IQ some 200 years later necessary to figure out that the word "state" in the amendment referred to America?""

    Yeah I'm sure someone with an IQ of 206 could find all kinds of creative ways to say "the right of the people" does not actually mean the right of the people.

    Sometimes intelligence gets in the way of common sense.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Why was a 206 IQ some 200 years later necessary to figure out that the word "state" in the amendment referred to America?""

    Yeah I'm sure someone with an IQ of 206 could find all kinds of creative ways to say "the right of the people" does not actually mean the right of the people.

    Sometimes intelligence gets in the way of common sense.

  • M Scott Eiland||

    Particularly since that IQ has grown 4 points since it was first cited. Must be all of the fertilizer that ol' Sebastian is piling up here.

  • Johnny Lawrence||

    Why are you so hung up on what "state" means in this particular instance? If it refers to "the United States of America" or "Maryland," does it change the operative clause?

  • Flinch||

    If it didn't matter, congress would not have thought to gift president Washington with specific powers to call out the militia. The second was originally crafted for the states as a backstop to the standing army authorized the federal government by the constitution. They had some money troubles on startup, if you recall, and had to work with what they had. But Stevens popping out of the woodwork means one thing: one [or more] of the progs on the court needs steering, and is barely able to find their way around the room.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Lol, you are so ignorant and yet so content with your ignorance!

    Meanwhile, Soyboy Sebastian couldn't cite a goddamn thing other than the VA BoR, ignoring the fact that militias were recruited during the French and Indian War, and the militiamen--provided their own arms.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Btw, before you start quoting the asinine Heller opinion

    You're not getting your progressive feudal utopia, soyboy. I'm wiping my ass with the Cruikshank decision right now.

  • Juanito_J_Ibanez||

    Sebastian Cremmington wrote: "There is no such thing as the 'militia of the United States'."

    Uh, Sebastian:

    10 U.S. Code § 246 - Militia: composition and classes

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are—
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

  • mpercy||

    O.C.G.A. § 38-2-3

    ARTICLE 1. STATE MILITIA GENERALLY
    PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

    § 38-2-3. Division and composition of militia; membership of unorganized militia
    (a) The militia of the state shall be divided into the organized militia, the state reserve list, the state retired list, and the unorganized militia.
    (b) The organized militia shall be composed of:
    (1) An Army National Guard and an Air National Guard which forces, together with an inactive National Guard, when such is authorized by the laws of the United States and regulations issued pursuant thereto, shall comprise the Georgia National Guard;
    (2) The Georgia Naval Militia whenever such a state force shall be duly organized; and
    (3) The State Defense Force whenever such a state force shall be duly organized.
    (c) The state reserve list and the state retired list shall include the persons who are lawfully carried thereon and such persons as may be transferred thereto or placed thereon by the Governor in accordance with this chapter.
    (d) Subject to such exemptions from military duty as are created by the laws of the United States, the unorganized militia shall consist of all able-bodied male residents of the state between the ages of 17 and 45 who are not serving in any force of the organized militia or who are not on the state reserve list or the state retired list and who are, or who have declared their intention to become, citizens of the United States.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    All the lefties moving to Georgia do not realize that they are in Georgia's militia.

  • Juanito_J_Ibanez||

    loveconstitution1789 wrote: "All the lefties moving to Georgia do not realize that they are in Georgia's militia."

    ...and, according to Dick Wolfe and "The Kingston Trio", should be "eating goober peas." :-)

  • operagost||

    It's 10 US Code 246, and it reads in full:

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are—
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

    Which DOES, contrary to the text skimmers replying ahead of me, DEFINE the UNORGANIZED MILITIA as all people in section (a) who are not part of section (b)(1). Perhaps there is some confusion about part (a), because it includes women who are members of the National Guard. This seems redundant, but I imagine this was to prevent some loophole where some knucklehead could claim a female soldier in the National Guard was not actually in the (organized) militia because she was female.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Not necessarily true Zeb. A Remington 870 shotgun was (god I hope they upgraded since then) a weapon I carried in the Military. It's basically just a shotgun. Civilians are allowed to have those. Knives are also used in the military.

    There are misconceptions about what a military type weapon is. The AR-15 that civilians can buy is not the same as the M-16 variant. The M-16 (A1) has full automatic on the fire selector switch. The M-16 (A2) does not. Three round burst was the most of rock and roll you got.

  • John||

    One man's deer rifle is another man's sniper rifle.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Yep, If I wanted a sniper rifle, I would get the 30.06 that my grandfather use for deer hunting.

  • Curt||

    And, at that point you'd probably have a Remington 700. And, therefore, you'd have another military weapon in addition to your 870. Then you could ride around on your ranch with a lever-action model 94 and shoot varmints. And that's another military weapon.

    If you honestly think about it, most of the individual weapons that have been in the military service either started as or later became pretty standard civilian weapons. It's almost as if the real difference between a military weapon and a hunting/self-defense weapon is a question of what it's being pointed at.

  • John||

    I think I would rather take my chances being shot by an AR 15 than being shot by something like an 8mm that people use to take down an elk. The claim that hunting rifles are somehow different and less dangerous than evil military assault rifles is one of the many idiotic and false claims the gun controlers make.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""And, at that point you'd probably have a Remington 700"'

    I have seen it in years, but I think your right.

  • Mock-star||

    A remington 700 (or basically 99% of any turnbolt hunting rifle - winchester 70, savage axis, etc. etc.) is almost a direct copy of the German Mauser Gewehr 1898 with a less fucked up safety. Making them MORE of a military weapon than an ar15.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    But a Barrett would be cool.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    .50 cal's are cool.

  • Zeb||

    Sorry, didn't mean to imply that "military weapons" is a totally distinct category from anything else. My point was that, in principle you could ban hunting or other activities involving guns without running afoul of the 2A. But you can definitely not ban weapons because they are intended or could be used (or look scary) for military purposes.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""But you can definitely not ban weapons because they are intended or could be used (or look scary) for military purposes."'

    Yet that's exactly what the assault weapons ban would do.

  • Curt||

    Well, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 begs to differ with you.

    But, I agree with you in principle.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, obviously I'm assuming a pretty straight reading of the second amendment.

  • Juanito_J_Ibanez||

    TrickyVic wrote: "The M-16 (A1) has full automatic on the fire selector switch. The M-16 (A2) does not. Three round burst was the most of rock and roll you got."

    However, the Model 941 M16A3's third selector position is "Full Rock & Roll" ("AUTO").

    BTW; both the 607B and 610B CAR-15 SMGs have four selector positions: SAFE–FULL–SEMI–BURST (clockwise from 9 o'clock position).

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Nice to see Rock & Roll made a comeback.

  • Exocetmd||

    See US v Miller 1938.
    NFA '34 ban of sawn-off shotguns ruled constitutional by Supreme Court (overturning a lower court decision), on the grounds that sawn-off shotguns were NOT recognized military weapons and, therefore, the NFA did not infringe the 2A, which protected weapons suitable for militia use.

  • Grifhunter||

    No such holding. Quite the opposite actually. They sent Miller back down to the lower court for an evidentialry hearing on whether said shotgun was suitable for militia use. If it was suitable, they would have upheld the right to possess it. The hearing was never held, and case dropped, so we'll never know what the trial court hearing would have found, but this is certain: short barrelled shotguns were in common use in the trenches of WWII and on ship defense forces.

  • Exocetmd||

    Disagree. SC reversed (8-0) the lower court's finding that NFA was unconstitutional on the grounds that sawn-off shotguns were not in common military use (which was wrong, I agree), and found that, as such, the NFA did not infringe the 2A.
    They then remanded the case for further proceedings (the lower court had originally quashed the indictment, meaning Miller would now be subject to trial), but Miller was dead by then (which is partly why he had no representation before the SC for this case), and so no further action was taken.

    However, the court's opinion clearly held the 2A protected ownership of military weapons.

    "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State of Tennessee, 2 Humph., Tenn., 154, 158." direct quote from US v Miller 1939.

    The OP (Zeb) had commented that he felt the 2A clearly protected ownership of military weapons. I agree, and was just trying to provide a case reference.

    If my other comment (differently worded, and currently MIA) ever shows up, sorry for double posting!

  • Grifhunter||

    "However, the (Miller) court's opinion clearly held the 2A protected ownership of military weapons."

    We actually agree, I misread your case reference.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    SOTUS ruled (in Miller)that it was not "within the notice of the Court" that sawed off shotguns were suitable for military use because Mr Miller, the bank robber, jumped bail and his lawyer didn't bother to file a brief.

  • Juanito_J_Ibanez||

    BigChiefWahoo wrote: "SOTUS ruled (in Miller)that it was not "within the notice of the Court" that sawed off shotguns were suitable for military use because Mr Miller, the bank robber, jumped bail and his lawyer didn't bother to file a brief."

    1) Neither Jack Miller nor co-defendant Jack Layton "jumped bail", as their bail was exonerated with the granting of the Demurer by the District Court judge and, therefore, were free to leave.

    2) When notified of the subsequent SCOTUS hearing on the direct appeal to the Court, their (now former) attorney didn't notify them (he didn't know where they were) nor did he file an answering brief with the Court.

    [Continued]

  • Juanito_J_Ibanez||

    [Continuing]

    3) Seeing as how neither Miller nor Layton were present OR represented before the Court, the US Solicitor General was damn sure NOT going to provide evidence that "short-barreled shotguns" (SBS) known as Blunderbusses were used by both the US Navy and shipboard US Marines during the Revolutionary War during "boarding parties" onto British Navy ships.

    4) And since we have brought up 'Miller', the hearing itself was a direct violation of the Supreme Court's earlier decision in 'Hopt v. People of the Territory of Utah' – 4 S.Ct. 202, 28 L.Ed. 262 (1884), as it constituted a "trial in absentia."

    5) And the case wasn't "dropped" when it went down to the District Court.

    Jack Miller had been murdered by fellow gangsters in the interim and Frank Layton took a "plea bargain" the federal prosecutor offered him, as they were afraid of a real evidentiary hearing being held, as that would have "torpedoed" the National Fireams Act of 1934, as ALL firearms are "arms of the militia" -- even the Stevens SBS Miller and Layton were prosecuted for possessing and transporting "across state lines."

  • DajjaI||

    I'm completely baffled why proggies want to cede their gun rights to extremists like Trump and his cronies, right after complaining that they are genocidal madmen. I suspect they really think the dems will sweep the midterms and then they can launch their war on guns.

  • colorblindkid||

    Nah, it's going to be like the Republicans' "repeal Obamacare" promise. They're not actually serious. They just need a partisan issue to drive voters to the polls. Just like all the "single payer" advocates that showed up after Trump won. Once Democrats get control again, they won't do shit to get us anywhere near single payer.

  • John||

    NO. They have lost their minds. They mean what they say and will do it if they ever can.

  • R. K. Phillips||

    That is True, with a capital "T". I was talking to a doctor who believe that our government wasn't nearly large enough. He'd vote to outlaw guns, and give universal healthcare. He surely didn't consider what would happen to his $200K salary if that occurs ...

  • John||

    What kills me is the same people who last weekend were marching around saying "only cops should have guns" will after the next publicized police shooting be marching around yelling about how racist and awful cops are and how none of them can be trusted. The sheer volume of cognitive dissonance these people engage in is astounding.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Actually, from what I've read of the march it included marching around yelling about how racist and awful cops are and how none of them can be trusted.

    Flaky, but not surprising. I remember going to an antiwar rally in '05; one of the reasons that I never went to another was the ludicrous cacophony of messages the Leftists were spewing. Many of the marchers had no interest in protesting the war; they just glommed on to that march to promote their own cause, like free abortions.

  • Libertymike||

    Last Saturday, against my wife's better judgment, I went to the counter-rally held by the state house.

    Sure enough, there were dozens of antifa protesters, faces covered, and screaming black lives matter who had begun to approach the 150 or so counter demonstrators. The cops, to their credit, kept the antifa crowd from the counter demonstrators.

  • Libertymike||

    In Boston.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A riot in Boston over fundamental constitutional rights would have been AWESOME!

  • John||

    They hate gun ownership because it prevents them from using mob tactics to terrorize and intimidate their political enemies. The Antifa talks a great game about taking it to the streets and into the homes of their enemies but nothing ever comes of it. If they ever managed to disarm their enemies, a lot would come of it very quickly.

  • Libertymike||

    Of course, but on the specific point of the content of the crowd, Enjoy is right.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The mumbled insights of disaffected right-wingers are fascinating.

    Does anyone genuinely wonder why these fringe positions are opposed by the American mainstream?

  • Bongo Supreme||

    Because the American mainstream is stupid, like you?

  • damikesc||

    What kills me is the same people who last weekend were marching around saying "only cops should have guns" will after the next publicized police shooting be marching around yelling about how racist and awful cops are and how none of them can be trusted. The sheer volume of cognitive dissonance these people engage in is astounding.

    Hell, that Hogg kid has already come out about the evil of "white privilege".

    The boy might not be bright, or consistent, or honest, or....I forget the point, actually.

  • damikesc||

    What kills me is the same people who last weekend were marching around saying "only cops should have guns" will after the next publicized police shooting be marching around yelling about how racist and awful cops are and how none of them can be trusted. The sheer volume of cognitive dissonance these people engage in is astounding.

    Hell, that Hogg kid has already come out about the evil of "white privilege".

    The boy might not be bright, or consistent, or honest, or....I forget the point, actually.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You should read about Kamala Harris.

    "Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine
    who can carry a concealed weapon," said Kamala Harris, who was then the
    California Attorney General.

    I have always wondered how #BlackLivesMatter would view this. After all,
    according to their narrative, cops are just Klansmen with badges who
    habitually gun down unarmed black men. How could we trust such people with
    discretion to determine who may carry a concealed weapon?

    And yet, she tweeted this:

    Tweet

    Today, we remember #MikeBrown and recommit to ensuring truth,
    transparency, and trust in our criminal justice system. #BlackLivesMatter

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So I wonder if any reporter from the network broadcast and print media would
    ask her any of the following questions:

    – If the reason that "[l]ocal law enforcement must be able to use their
    discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon" is because they
    are just Klansmen with badges, why shouldn't the Stormfront White
    Nationalist Community also get to decide who can carry a concealed weapon?

    – If the reason that "[l]ocal law enforcement must be able to use their
    discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon" is because they
    habitually gun down unarmed black men, why shouldn't the Crips also get to
    decide who can carry a concealed weapon?

    – Is more black men dead or in prison a worthy price to pay to make lawful
    gun ownership more difficult?

    – Is making lawful gun ownership more difficult a worthy price to pay to put
    more black men in prison?

    – Does some magical guardian fairy turn these Klansmen with badges into
    freedom riders whenever they exercise their "discretion to determine who can
    carry a concealed weapon"?

  • Juanito_J_Ibanez||

    Hi, Mikey: long time no see! :-D [–TopCop]

    I see we're still both still battling Left-wing LibSoc SJW gun control quisling propagandists. :-)

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Yes, we are.

    One of my longtime Usenet allies, Chris Morton, has been battling those folk online for over a quarter of a century.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They don't actually think the Republicans are genocidal madmen. It's just more projection on their part.

  • colorblindkid||

    The worst act of blatant political violence in the last two years was a Bernie campaign volunteer who tried to assassinate 20 members of Congress.

    It's not brave to jump on the bandwagon and give speeches to millions of people who agree with you on getting rid of guns.

    Being brave is nearly dying and being permanently disabled from a politically-motivated assassination attempt, and still not backing down on your pro-second amendment views, like Scalise.

  • John||

    If they could, they would kill you. Don't let them fool you into thinking otherwise.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Considering that these are people who admired Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro, I don't find their love of genocidal madmen all that surprising.

  • Curt||

    Really? Baffled? They want to cede their gun rights because they don't give two shits about their gun rights. Those rights are meaningless to them. They don't want those rights. The more important part is that they want to cede your gun rights and my gun rights.

    Other rights like 5A (self incrimination), 4A (S&S), 1A (religion & speech), etc are ones that people are surprisingly willing to give away because they mistakenly believe that they're on the preferred side of popular opinion and they'll never need those rights to protect themselves. But, when it comes to 2A, they're begging to have the right taken away because they have absolutely no interest in it and don't want you or me to have it.

  • DarrenM||

    They are pro-government and think they will ultimately control it, so they don't need gun rights. They'll be able to use the various law enforcement agencies.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Let us know how that turns out.

  • juris imprudent||

    Stevens, like Burger, demonstrates it is better to hold your seat until death. The alternative is making senile statements in retirement.

  • Eidde||

    As opposed to putting their senile statements into judicial opinions where they'll have to be respected.

  • DajjaI||

    What is this really about? Because people are bored and want to spark a new war. These school shootings are terrible but they are exceedingly rare and the hysteria about them is completely ludicrous (and we are at far greater threat being defenseless against a tyrannical government). But if you want a new war well then this is probably your best shot. Why do kids want a war? Because it's FUN! And because we solved all their problems for them so they have to create new ones. And it's a great way for us to deflect their attention from the real threat to their health and safety - $20T national debt.

  • Tony||

    This person is obviously hinged. Someone get him a semiautomatic rifle!

  • DajjaI||

    The citizens of Europe are defenseless (again) and ironically our 'gun nuts' and "people who shouldn't own firearms" will be sent over to save their asses. Again.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Luckily, the 2nd Amendment prevents government and lefties like you from taking away a dissenter's gun just because they are not a lefty like you.

  • DajjaI||

    "Only a crazy person would oppose common sense gun reforms to protect us from the crazies."

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I haven't seen any common sense reform.

    I do see a bunch of mischaracterizations, and falsehoods regarding the understanding of firearms and how they work from the anti-gun crowd. This would have to end before common sense can begin.

  • DajjaI||

    Gun Disease - the irrational desire to own guns or support gun rights. Don't worry we have effective treatments for it these days. Now if you'll just come with us....

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Still absent of common sense.

  • MarkLastname||

    When did you start referring to yourself in the third person?

  • DarrenM||

    This person is obviously hinged. Someone get him a semiautomatic rifle!

    With a chainsaw bayonet!

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""With a chainsaw bayonet!"'

    AKA the Ash attachment.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    How many states have legalized carry and conceal. I'm pretty sure it's more than 2/3rds. No repeal. But those states would be interested in federal CCW reciprocity. So the path for an amendment might not work out the way anti-gun folk want.

    So there is officially a Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 in the house. I think a republican that is willing to vote for it should add federal CCW reciprocity to the act. We'll see if dems still want to vote for it.

    If that act should pass, we can thank liberals for pushing the idea that states do not have to enforce federal law when states decide to become gun sanctuary states.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Another example of supposed conservative ex-justices hiding among the Republicans.

    Good riddance!

  • Zeb||

    Stevens is a supposed conservative? I don't think being nominated by Ford makes you conservative.

    Or did I miss your point?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefties often say "Judge so and so was appointed by a Republican president" as if that means the justice actually follows the Constitution.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss."

    ----The Federalist #29

  • Ken Shultz||

    The purpose of the Second Amendment is to allow average people to people to own and bear arms so that in the course of doing things like hunting, recreational shooting, learning to use their arms in self-defense, etc., they may acquire the skills necessary to defend themselves against a standing army. The difference between regular army and irregulars is still a big deal--what both Federalist #29 and the Second Amendment calls "well-regulated"--and torches and pitchforks are still no match for a trained standing army. Notice, both of these things (guns and practice) are necessary for a group of citizens to hold their own against the standing army of a dictator, and that's why the Second Amendment states that the right to right to both "keep" and "bear" arms shall not be infringed--the ability of average people to "bear" them and, thus, gain proficiency through use, being necessary for the preservation of a free state.

    Use a loaded term like "originalism" to describe that, there should be another loaded term for when a justice picks a position beforehand and then shoehorns the constitutional justification afterwards. I nominate the new verb "wickard" for this phenomenon, taken from Wickard v. Filburn. That case is a good example of the kind of ass-backwards justification I'm talking about, and wickard is phonetically similar to "wicked", which only means something good to Bruins fans in Boston who still sport mullets without any suggestion of irony.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    Ken,
    When your not training baby otters to only have consensual sex you make great points on here. Keep it up. #babyotternorape/proggiesnorape2ndamendment

  • Libertymike||

    Ken, phonetically it is far closer to "wickit" than "wickard" as those afflicted with the proverbial Boston accent tend to not pronounce the r in such words.

    You are an authority on many things, but on this issue, I will defer to my own experiences. I trust the board's other Massholes will agree.

  • Number 2||

    Funny you mention Wickard. Because Stevens was also the author of Gonzales v. Raich, and he used that decision to breath new life in Wickard's virtually-limitless reach of the Commerce Clause power.

  • Bubba Jones||

    +1 Kentucky rifleman

  • josh||

    Yeah, I have this popping up in my Facebook feed. Along with stories about how some high school kids are leading a "revolution", I'm having to bite my tongue more than usual lately.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Are they carrying pictures of Chairman Mao?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That won't go over with anyone, anyhow.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    Yeah it's Chairman Xi now...hey he/she has a great name for the times too.

  • John||

    I love how the left memory-holed the meaning of that song. Lennon to his credit saw right through the New Left and saw them for the nasty bastards they were. And that song calls them out for it. And at the time, they hated it and him for doing it. Over time, they just pretended it didn't really mean that and was all about having a "revolution". Ah no, "say you want a Revolution?" is Lennon asking a rhetorical question not saying it is a good idea.

  • Libertymike||

    Given Tony's failure to get with the ladies, you'd think that he would have taken heed to Lennon's advice:

    But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao,
    You ain't going to make it with anyone, anyhow

  • John||

    Tony might be the one gay man in the world who can't even get laid with other men.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world…
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don't you know that you can count me out."

  • Libertymike||

    LC, don't you know? Tony doesn't want destruction, he just wants a great leap forward.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Indeed. Much like they distorted the meaning in Gil Scott Heron's epic, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"

  • Zeb||

    Over time, they just pretended it didn't really mean that and was all about having a "revolution".

    Really? God, people are weird. I don't see how you could possibly interpret that song that way.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Nowadays it's pictures of Hillary in her Chairman Mao pantsuit.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Along with stories about how some high school kids are leading a "revolution", I'm having to bite my tongue more than usual lately."'

    No kidding.

  • Muzzled Woodchipper||

    Yeah. Since when do children get to tell adults how to live their lives?

    Sit down, shut the fuck up, and maybe you'll learn something worth knowing as you live life over the next 20 years or so.

  • damikesc||

    I'm amazed that, a month ago, the media was obsessed over these same kids EATING LAUNDRY PODS.

    Now? Let them run everything!

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Since when do children get to tell adults how to live their lives?"'

    They are 17 going on 30

  • Rebel Scum||

    I'm having to bite my tongue more than usual lately.

    I'm having trouble biting mine.

  • ||

    I think this "revolution" will be about as successful as the Children's Crusade of the 13th century.

  • MikeP2||

    Stevens is a putz. A perfect example of credentialism over merit.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday's marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform. It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States — unlike every other market in the world.

    But don't worry, they don't want to take your guns away....

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    "I didn't lie; I just took the liberty of bullshitting you."

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Misspoke is the political term.

  • John||

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/sh.....-bear-arms

    This issue is like most issues for Progressives, just a rationalization for their racism and desire to control the lesser races. Inside the dark heart of every good little progressive reading that article is the overwhelming fear of the Negros being armed.

  • Ron||

    Interesting that they are doing the right thing, arming themselves, based on a false idea, that Trump will create violence. and considering the violence to date has been from the left and not the right

  • John||

    They have a right to be armed even if it is for paranoid reasons. The more people who own guns, the safer society is and the harder it will be for the government to ban them. So, more power to them.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Murder rates don't lie.

  • singlestack||

    Thank God we have the 2nd Amendment to guarantee the right of the military to bear arms. Otherwise our boys would be fighting wars with swords and trebuchets and we'd be subjugated by Canada or Grenada or some sh*t.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The government (military) can own whatever arms it chooses. I understand that you're a troll, but that's no reason to be stupid.

  • singlestack||

    The left says the 2nd amendment only applies to the military. If this is true, it follows that military members wouldn't be allowed to bear arms without 2nd amendment protections. Otherwise, why would the founders have even bothered? If it is false (which it is), however, then it follows that the 2nd amendment protects the individual's right to bear arms.

    Q.E.D.

  • singlestack||

    The left says the 2nd amendment only applies to the military. If this is true, it follows that military members wouldn't be allowed to bear arms without 2nd amendment protections. Otherwise, why would the founders have even bothered? If it is false (which it is), however, then it follows that the 2nd amendment protects the individual's right to bear arms.

    Q.E.D.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Stevens is retired. What harm can he do?

    Don't get your panties all bunched up, Peanuts.

  • John||

    He can't do anything except reveal the truth about what nasty lying fucks people like you are and how no matter what you say, your intentions are to disarm the public.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He is thankfully letting us know how dangerous those robed ass clowns can be.

    The justices on the left still feel the way he does or worse.

  • Just Say'n||

    When grown-ups still ran this country and its major institutions, everyone across both sides of the aisle would have been outraged that a former Supreme Court justice was advocating changes to the Bill of Rights, regardless of what amendment he was referring to

  • Eidde||

    Not necessarily - if the person advocated the actual amendment process, where the final decision got made by 3/4 of the states.

    That would simply be legitimate political advocacy.

    Depending on whether the proposed amendment was a good idea or (like repealing the 2nd) a bad idea.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You know who else did harm after they retired?

  • Eidde||

    The Beatles?

  • Libertymike||

    Yeah, to Patriot fans, the answer is easy: Don "I have a perfect season and you don't" Shula.

  • MarkLastname||

    And yet you never stop shitting your pants over things Rush Limbaugh, a guy who holds no power, says.

  • Rev. Arthur Ꮮ. Kirkland||

    Limbaugh has the power to motivate a bunch of ignorant redneck gun owners to open fire on elected officials over paranoid accounts of how they're going to destroy the country.

    Cary on, clingers.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Yet it was a Bernie bro that actually shot an elected official.

  • Johnny B||

    And remind me, Rev., what was the political persuasion of the one who shot Reagan?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Jodi Foster?

  • Bongo Supreme||

    Please provide an example. Or just stop talking out of your ass CONSTANTLY.

  • Eidde||

    I'd love to hear lots of speeches and statements from Kennedy and Ginsburg from their retirement homes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Soon. Rumors are Kennedy is retiring this summer after the term ends in June or July.

    Gingsburg will just croak from being old and a socialist bitch.

  • Eidde||

    I'd rather read their musings on Making Retirement Great Again than hear about their deaths.

  • Just Say'n||

    Most state constitutions spell out what constitutes the "militia" and it is usually defined as all able bodied men over a certain age. Is Stevens suggesting that women don't have the right to bear arms?

    I'm triggered AF. Literally shaking

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The US CFR codifies the militia for 2A purposes (and includes female officers of the National Guard). Since 2A refers to the people's right, this is irrelevant anyway.

  • Just Say'n||

    State militias are different from whatever other nonsense the federal government is spewing. Stevens and other gun controllers continue to make the argument that only a militia can keep and bear arms (specifically a state militia). I'm just playing the same game

  • ||

    St. George Tucker And The Second Amendment: Original Understandings And Modern Misunderstandings —Saul Cornell

  • Mark22||

    Your point being... what exactly?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    If you haven't read the link, it's definitely worth a read (at least the bits I've skimmed so far). I haven't completed it, but certainly found this an interesting take:

    "Modern discussions of gun rights and gun control have generally ignored the common law, focusing instead on issues of constitutional law. The obsession with constitutional law and the absence of attention to common law would have been puzzling to Tucker and others of the founding generation. The common law was absolutely essential to understanding the right of self-defense and a host of other issues in American law."

    For all that we as libertarians talk about common law or natural law, and laws not being bestowed upon us by the government, these gun control debates always come down to the 2nd amendment. To be honest, no matter how you interpret the 2A, government restrictions on firearms are an affront to natural law. So while the 2A argument is generally more pragmatic, even absent 2A, we should still make the case.

  • John||

    The obsession with the Constitution has served to obscure the context in which it was written. The Glorious Revolution was only a hundred years before the drafting of the Constitution. The English Civil War and the return of the Catholic Stewarts after the end of the Commonwealth only a 150 years before. Those events shaped the founder's view of the world in the same way the World Wars and the American Civil War shaped ours.

    One of the things James II did that sealed his fate was he made it illegal for Protestants to own weapons. Catholics could still be armed to the teeth but Protestants could not. After James was removed from power, the English enshrined the right of every Protestant to bear arms consistent with the law into the English Bill of rights. They were never again going to allow a government to disarm disfavored populations. The founders were well aware of this. And one of the things that triggered the revolution was the English attempts to disarm the colonists. The colonists rightly considered themselves to have the right to bear arms as English subjects. And saw the Crown's attempt to disarm them as the Crown saying they did not have the same rights as other English subjects.

    When you understand that context, it is clear that the 2nd Amendment was nothing but an enshrinement of an existing right and that the existing right to bear arms was both individual and for the purpose of both self defense and defense against an oppressive government.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    That's true and I certainly agree that 2A can only be interpreted in relation to an individual right, as Heller has established.

    What I meant was that either absent 2A (through repeal for instance) or if the interpretation changed such that 2A only applied to militia (which Stevens and the Democrats appear to favor), the individual right to own arms and to defend your self and property are enshrined in common law or natural law.

    Much like property rights (which aren't specifically enshrined in the Constitution), my right to own firearms and defend my property exist regardless of the Constitution.

  • John||

    I agree completely. And the English Bill of Rights is proof of that. The Catholics deprived the Protestants of the right to be armed so they could terrorize them. It wasn't just about the government, it was about people having a human right to defend themselves. Banning the possession of firearms is banning the only way many people have of effectively defending themselves. And doing that is a clear violation of their natural rights.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Come on John, don't you know that the peasants shouldn't have weapons that could cause the ruling class problems.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    If the republicans were like the democrats they wouldn't bother waiting for him to die; they would just put a pillow on his head and asphyxiate him to death.

  • Harvard||

    So,I wasn't wrong to question Scalia's untimely demise?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The right of the people... to get gay married, shall not be infringed. It's right there, in plane engrish.

  • Mark22||

    "For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment," Stevens maintains, "it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation."

    The US government is one of enumerated powers. Is there an enumerated power anywhere in the Constitution to restrict gun ownership?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    "Shall not be infringed"

    I'm curious as to who Stevens thinks that applies.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Because only blacks were subject to gun control.

  • creech||

    I'm reminded of Sheldon Richman's position that a grammatical reading of the 2ndA is that citizens have the right to bear arms in order that the militia be kept well-regulated. In so many words, the people needed guns to defend themselves against un-regulated ( rogue) militias and not just to defend themselves against the federal army.

  • John||

    Richman is normally an idiot, but he makes a valid point there.

  • ThomasD||

    So long as his notion of "rogue militia" is understood as 'lawless bandits' then yes. But to the extent that any 'rogue militia' otherwise acts within Constitutional constraints then, no Richman is wrong.

    Militias can be government sanctioned, but they do not require any such sanction.

    Otherwise they could not perform their expressed duty of maintaining a free state.

  • John||

    I agree

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    That's always been my reading too. Someone called me nuts. Basically, "A bunch of armed dudes acting on behalf of the state, being a necessary evil, the right of the people to shoot back shall not be infringed."

  • Bubba Jones||

    Because a cop doesn't fit in my pocket.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Not so much to defend themselves against rogue militias, but so that it would be possible to assemble a militia from scratch even if the government had decided to discontinue the militia system.

    As I like to point out, a bill of rights exists not to facilitate the government doing to right thing, but to stop the government from doing the wrong thing. And needs to be read from that perspective.

    The wrong thing here is what has mostly happened: Replacing the militia system with a standing army. If individuals did not have a right to keep and bear arms, you could not only discontinue the organized militia, but arrange for it to be impossible to reconstitute in an emergency.

    A well regulated militia might be necessary to the security of a free state, but, suppose that state's government doesn't want it to be free? Then the people are still armed, and can put together militias if they have to.

  • croaker||

    Senile old coot needs to STFU.

  • Alcibiades||

    Never understood Alito's dissent in Snyder vs. Phelps (2011).

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Christ, what an asshole.

  • Rebel Scum||

    "it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation." To clear the path for sweeping gun control restrictions now, Stevens advises, activists should turn their energies towards passing a "constitutional amendment" that would overturn Heller and "get rid of the Second Amendment."

    These statements do not jive. Why would you need a new amendment if it just the interpretation that is wrong?

    This is where anti-gunners try to have it both ways. Either it means what it says and you need an amendment to justify currently enforced legislation and enact new legislation **or** the interpretation is incorrect and you can re-interpret it.

  • ThomasD||

    "...the retired justice reiterates that losing view."

    No, his latest statements are a tacit admission that his prior view was utter horseshit, and the only way he could hope to achieve his desired outcome is to eliminate the 2nd Amendment.

    Otherwise, he would merely re-iterate his prior position that the currently accepted understanding of the right is flawed.

  • Joe_JP||

    I disagree with the Republican appointee, who once noted he doubted the logic of a minimum wage (though voted to upheld application to state workers as constitutional), John Paul Stevens, at times. He over and over again did vote in a way to further the cause of liberty. But, had his blind spots. No surprises. Largely right in Kelo though & the result reflected the policy in many states, some of which were more libertarian than others.

    He's wrong on this issue -- at least the op-ed -- especially given a large part of the protection of guns in this country is beyond the 2A [though, as intended, having a written provision influences the conversation], including state constitutional provisions, federal laws that repeatedly (pre-Heller) honored an individual right view & other constitutional provisions which would protect the individual right to firearms.

    Heck, lots of people sympathetic with his overall viewpoint said the same thing -- they would apply the 2A as Scalia said in Heller -- with various reasonable regulations. An attempt to repeal the 2A, even if it was a good idea, is not really strategically ideal. His Heller dissent was fairly good though. I myself would defend the right to own a firearm for self-defense at home using another amendment.

  • Joe_JP||

    "I agree that it is unwise for the Federal Government to exercise its power in the ways described in the Court's opinion. For the proposition that regulation of the minimum price of a commodity -- even labor -- will increase the quantity consumed is not one that I can readily understand."

    -National League of Cities v. Usery (dissenting opinion)

  • Grifhunter||

    Once the 2nd Amendment is disposed of, Justice Stevens would still need to reconcile his Roe v Wade privacy penumbras with gun ownership.

    If a woman has a civil right to the most effective means to protect her body from a 2 ounce fetus, how does she not also have the right to the effective means to protect her body from a 200 pound rapist? You're up Judge...

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    That's not how the Living Constitution and its Emanations from Penumbras work. The Constitution lives and breathes and evolves just enough to incorporate rights that we left-libertarians and progressives support (abortion, same-sex marriage), but not enough to cover rights we oppose (gun ownership).

  • DarrenM||

    The Constitution also often pants and wheezes these days.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    One problem with Stevens' position is that he is dead wrong about the legal history. His preferred reading of the Second Amendment has never been "uniformly understood."

    When he says "uniformly understood" I think it's safe to assume he means uniformly understood by all "right thinking" people. Anyone who disagrees is guilty of wrongthink and is therefore wrong.

  • Agammamon||

    Isn't the purpose of the military self-defense writ large?

    Or is he saying that because the modern military is only used in wars of aggression nowdays that a 'reasonable' person can only possess firearms for the purposes of destroying neighboring cities through a policy of 'pre-emptive defense' and 'nation building'?

  • Iheartskeet||

    B-b-b-but wait. I thought Supreme Court nominees weren't a good enough reason to vote for Trump.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Stevens cast a dissent, for instance, in Texas v. Johnson (1989), the landmark case in which the Court ruled that flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment. ...

    Likewise, Stevens has said that had he not retired from the Court in 2010, he would have joined Justice Samuel Alito's dissent in Snyder v. Phelps (2011), the case in which the Court recognized First Amendment protections for the rights of Westboro Baptist Church members to stage offensive protests outside of military funerals. ...

    And then there is Stevens' record on the Fifth Amendment, as exemplified by his majority opinion in Kelo v. City of New London, which allowed a municipality to wield its eminent domain powers not for a "public use," as the Constitution requires

    Christ, what an asshole.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    That makes sense. At least in that he fails to understand the Constitution places limits on government.

    I guess he does not know what "Shall make no law" or "Shall not be infringed" means.

  • Jay Dubya||

    Pretty sure that either complete disregard for the bill of Rights or skill enough in sophistry to distort the plain language of the Constitution has been a prerequisite for being a judge of any court since the founding.
    You can't spend your days locking up kids in cages for getting high or resisting arrest & also give a shit about human rights.

  • Rebel Scum||

    For those that say that "weapons of war don't belong on the streets of America, but you get to keep your musket." That reasoning is asinine. A musket is every bit the "weapon of war" that an M4 is. It is merely older technology.

  • Longtobefree||

    You bet.
    Ever ask one of those 'musket only' idiots if the first amendment only applies to single sheets of paper hand pressed after being hand set using lead type? So anything they say or do online is not covered by the 1A, and can be licensed, restricted, etc.
    Sort of like deer in the headlights - - - - - - then they talk about the weather.

  • Rebel Scum||

    That's one of the things I hate about the whole discussion. There's a reason certain terms were used. The founders, while not perfect were also not stupid. Some of them were inventors. They all had a solid understanding of history and they most certainly knew that technology was not going to remain the same forever, regardless of the fact that there were already repeating arms in existence at the adoption of the BoR. (Hell, there have been since the cross-bow or bow and arrow were invented.)

  • John||

    If they had meant it to apply to one form of technology, they would have said so. Also, if they wanted it to be a qualified right, they could have said so too. They were well away of how the English Bill of Rights phrased to the right to bear arms. It said, "have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law." That effectively is a dead letter. All it really says is that you can't disarm part of the population. But it doesn't by a strict reading keep the government from disarming all of the population. If the founders had wanted the right to be qualified or subject to state approval the way the English right, they knew full well how to do that. They didn't. They chose to use unqualified language, just like they did in the 1st Amendment but unlike the qualified language "reasonable" that was used in the 4th. They knew what they were doing and they intended it to be an unqualified individual right to bear arms, whatever those may be.

  • Rebel Scum||

    I agree. Someone tried to pull the "what about teh NUKES!" bogus non-argument with me recently. I hadn't really thought about that because I was concentrating on 'small arms able to be beared' rule. I said no because nukes are indiscriminant they are not protected. But I'm not sure if that is the best response.

  • John||

    I am pretty sure the right to bear arms never included the right to have explosives. An "arm" means a personal weapon in this context.

  • Rebel Scum||

    That was basically my response. But that does somehow have to square with the fact that there were privately owned frigates at the time.

  • John||

    But you could only use those during times of war and with a letter of marque and reprisal. Misusing one of those and capturing a ship without that or capturing a neutral ship got you in serious legal trouble.

  • Longtobefree||

    There were also armed merchant ships. They mounted cannon, and were privately owned. They were (and would still be) constitutional. They were armed against pirates and other nations.
    The arms refers to weapons suitable for use by a militia unit, so yes, hand grenades, cannon, whatever. Pretty much anything from the bucket of rocks in a schoolroom to a restored Sherman tank is covered by the second amendment. If you still don't understand why, go look up the videos of New Orleans Police Department, BACKED BY THE ARMY IN FULL COMBAT GEAR, body slamming an 85 year old woman who questioned (not refused) why they wanted to take away her pistol.
    We have the right to keep and bear them.
    Using them might become problematic outside of actual armed conflict against an invading army or tyrannical government, but any legal violations would be prosecuted AFTER the act, not before.

  • Longtobefree||

    At least he got the part right about amend the constitution or give up.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    " "For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment," Stevens maintains, "it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation." "

    To be clear, this wasn't merely a mistake, as he was certainly exposed to plenty of evidence to the contrary in the plaintiff's and amicus briefs. I was free to think it the majority opinion, though even that would have been wrong. But to suggest that nobody thought otherwise?

    It's an outright lie.

  • John||

    It is an absolute lie and completely at odds with the circumstances and context around which the Amendment was drafted. He might as well have said "FYTIW". That would have at least had the virtue of being honest and would have been no less at odds with the truth than what he said.

  • Flinch||

    Poor Stevens. If the second cannot limit/protect against gun control, then what is a governor going to call out as an alleged "militia"? A brigade of cell phones? Free range morons? He's not completly lost, but definitely so where it counts. The second secures a [large scale] defense power to the states for insurrection, rebellion or invasion. Unfortunately it does not guarantee any right to individual self defense or protection of property - the private posession of arms is protected for the higher purpose of the militia. Personally, I don't care for that black hole: we need to codify the implied self defense argument so many eagerly subscribe to, and make it certain in the law as the second falls short. Time for a new amendment? I think so. We can't have justices undermining the militia by erecting permissions for legislators to gut the militia. An unit without weapons is... meat. Is it important? Consider what happened in Florida this month where federal, state, and local authority failed top to bottom before saying no. I say anyone of militia age and sound body should be obliged to keep & maintain a serviceable weapon at least .223 caliber but less than .50, and preferably capable of 3 round burst operation. The swiss have it right, for the most part.

  • NoVaNick||

    Maybe once they realize it will be impossible to repeal 2A and 1A, the progs will finally make good on their promise to leave the country.

  • DarrenM||

    Impossible now, but it may be doable in another hundred or two hundred years. I still wouldn't bet on it.

  • Matrix||

    You want to start a revolution? Because that's how you start a revolution. -- Founding Fathers

  • MaleMatters||

    He needs to pay heed to history:

    "A national effort to reduce mass murders, the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004, produced this consequence: "The ban didn't appear to have a significant impact on the number of mass murder incidents in that decade compared to other decades, and within the decade, there was no downward trend. This only shows that the availability of assault weapons doesn't change the number of mass murder incidents, which means that killers just switched to different weapons, obtained illegal weapons, or made improvised weapons. During the ban, large attacks like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park Bombing occurred, and the average number of people killed per incident increased from 9.4 pre-ban to 11.3 during the ban, then decreasing to 7.6 after the ban expired. The average number of people injured per incident increased from 8.0 to 35.0 during the ban and decreased to 5.6 after the ban."
    --
    https://relevantmatters.wordpress.com/
    2016/06/30/rush-draft-why-gun-
    control-fails-against-mass-killers/

    combine the urls and delete the spaces.

  • Sevo||

    "During the ban, large attacks like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park Bombing occurred, and the average number of people killed per incident increased from 9.4 pre-ban to 11.3 during the ban, then decreasing to 7.6 after the ban expired. The average number of people injured per incident increased from 8.0 to 35.0 during the ban and decreased to 5.6 after the ban.""

    Yep, cherry-picking by those who do not like A-2.
    If you manage to keep some deranged individuals from having guns, why there might be fewer deaths from shooting! Just ignore those who are dead from the actions of the deranged by other means.
    I'm sure in some cases (like the kids used as props in the political marches), the 'confusion' might be honest. In many cases, it is nothing of the sort.

  • colorblindkid||

    But what is the cost of saving, at most, a couple dozen people a year in a country of 330,000,000? Will the additional violence due to new gun black markets result in more deaths and crime than the legal weapons themselves caused?

    Highly likely.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    There is so much that JPS has been wrong about, this is just another small entry.

  • Presskh||

    Hopefully, Stevens and Ginsburg will soon be taking a long dirt nap together.

  • John C. Randolph||

    A gun grabber is lying, film at 11.

    -jcr

  • ranrod||

    Publius Huldah Powerful Speech: All Federal Gun Control Is Unlawful

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn6UJbDm2-c

  • ranrod||

    If you are one that believes the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is lawful and constitutional, then you have believed a lie and a myth that Jefferson warned about. The States still retain their rights to this day to defy the federal judiciary, which has become an oligarcy. We just need strong statesmen as governors and legislatures to make that stand!

    In writing to William Jarvis, Jefferson said, "You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy."

    The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped."

  • ranrod||

    Marxists and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.
    The Second Amendment foes lying about gun control - Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government.

    Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media hooker tells you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

  • ranrod||

    These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens' ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jews, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.

    Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved.
    Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us?

    American Thinker

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Not sure why some Americans are so scared to die for their freedom.

    Lefties enslaving you is much worse than death.

  • Wolf Larsen||

    With every disingenuous and nefarious act the Left carries out to attempt to right by judicial fiat what it cannot obtain by the ballot box, it reinforces the need and value of the 2nd Amendment.

    I don't own a gun. I've fired a rifle on one occasion. Nevertheless, our form of government is governance of, for and by the People, not of, for and by the Left, as the Democrats would prefer.

    For every backwater hick that votes for Republicans because he doesn't like black people, there are 100 Leftists who have absolutely no shame in conjuring whatever sophistic claim they like in order to rationalize why Democratic aims can be written post hoc, without anything more than the totalitarian motives of 5 lawyers in robes, into the Constitution.

    There is nothing more loathsome or evil in our human social interaction than a Leftist in power. Not because of their destructiveness -- right-wing dictators can be equally ruthless -- but because of the prevalence and support in the population for their twisted ends and Leftists' inability to reflect critically on their smug and soulless lack of principle.

  • Intelligent Mr Toad||

    Actually, Trump has shown us a way to get all the guns away from non-professionals, without repealing the Second Amendment. I call it "the Arpaio maneuver". It has several steps:

    1. Elect an anti-gun POTUS.

    2. Have the anti-gun POTUS send federal agents to take away all the privately-owned guns, and to quash any interference or resistance with extreme violence.

    3. Wait for the gun-owners to sue.

    4. Wait for the judge to issue a court order saying not allowed to violate 2A, so, must stop taking guns, and must give the guns back.

    5. The POTUS has the agents defy the judge, and ignore the order. The agents go on taking guns.

    6. The judge finds the agents in contempt of court, and issues a warrant for them to be arrested.

    7. THE POTUS PARDONS THE AGENTS FOR THE CONTEMPT OF COURT! Just like Trump pardoned Arpaio.

    8. The court can't do anything more!

    Thanks to the precedent set by Trump pardoning Arpaio for violating the law and defying a court order, any POTUS can now use the pardon to neutralize ANY part of the Constitution he does not wish his people to obey, including, 2A.

    M. A. G. A.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Counter scenario:

    1. Lefties elect an anti-gun POTUS.

    2. Have the anti-gun POTUS send federal agents to try and take away all the privately-owned guns, and to try and quash any interference or resistance with extreme violence.

    3. Americans with millions of arms defend themselves against that tyrannical government with more extreme violence.

    4. All the socialists no longer are a problem in the USA and temporary positions in government are filled until new elections can be held. The Constitution triumphs again.

    MAGA

  • JuanQPublic||

    3. Americans with millions of arms defend themselves against that tyrannical government with more extreme violence.

    The U.S. has the most advanced weaponry and military resources in the world. It's actually not even close when comparing to any other country. Sadly, it's difficult to see how the hypothetical quote above could be realistic.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It's not that hard to understand. Where do the gun owners live?

    America.

    Where do the politicians live?

    America.

    Where do the politicians live after they order the military to attack Americans?

    It's a trick question, they don't...

  • BigT||

    "The U.S. has the most advanced weaponry and military resources in the world. It's actually not even close when comparing to any other country."

    That's why the war against ignorant, primitive Afghanis was over so quickly!

    Oh, wait...

  • Direct Line Development||

    So interesting. Thanks a lot!

  • JuanQPublic||

    Stevens' proposal is dangerous, misguided and reactionary.

    It's dangerous because he is a retired justice who is actively musing about modifying the fabric of our liberal and free society, the Bill of Rights. Purported "slippery slopes" abound in today's anti-intellectual America, but tinkering with Constitutional Amendments is a very real slippery slope, with consequences for enshrined ideas that have been a part of America since its inception. The Second Amendment is not in a vacuum. It is part of the overall tone and spirit of the Bill of Rights. Altering it means also altering the other Amendments. Once the ball begins to roll in modifying the Bill of Rights, it creates a precedent in modern times, opening the door for future tinkering, subjective to who resides in Washington DC. It weakens the U.S. Constitution.

    It's misguided because we don't fully understand why America has higher violent crime rates. Merely considering that America 1) has higher violent crime and 2) has freedom to own guns, is not even close to sufficient in making any drastic moves to alter how individual liberty is understood in the U.S. We need to be looking for variables everywhere in order to build any effective plan to combat violent crime. But it's no coincidence that we skip over a true process of inquiry because of reactionary politics.

  • colorblindkid||

    Don't point out that all those glorious countries with low crime rates were, up until like ten years ago, de facto ethno-states with little immigration and a single common culture. I will take diverse and free America over all those other places any day, but it infuriates me when progressives point to the least diverse places on Earth as something America should emulate.

  • colorblindkid||

    These peoples' deliberate lies or denial of the fact that the majority of gun crimes in this country are perpetrated by young black men with illegally obtained hand guns is only going to wind up putting tens of thousands more black men in prison for no goddamn reason.

  • TGoodchild||

    That Stevens Op-Ed was embarrassing, almost arguing that the 2nd Amendment should be repealed so as to satisfy the teenagers who wanted to skip school and be on television. That his jurisprudence is a series of backward footnotes is fitting.

  • AndyM||

    Except that, for the couple of hundreds of years prior to Heller, Steven's stance and position was the "winning" one.

    In that regard, he does not want to take away or strip away any of the Bill of Rights. He wants to see it in it's original and well-established form, not this revisionist one. I thought Libertarians were "Constitutional Originalists"?

    This attempt to paint Stevens as some sort of extremist is exactly the opposite of established history and fact. How about an old-school conservative, Warren Burger for you?

    "The Gun Lobby's interpretation of the Second Amendment has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to insure that state armies - the militias - would be maintained for defense of the State. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any type of weapon he or she desires."

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Except that, for the couple of hundreds of years prior to Heller, Steven's stance and position was the "winning" one.

    Except, it wasn't. Liberals claim that the 2nd Amendment only applies to a "collective" right rather than an individual one, but it's clear from the precedents cited in Heller that Scalia was returning the 2nd to its original meaning.

    The "winning" argument, such as what you speak of, was based entirely on Cruikshank, a decision that overturned the convictions of a white mob who attacked freedmen that were armed in self-defense.

    Gun control has long been the fruit of a poisoned tree, and no one here will give a shit what Burger said about it, either.

  • WoodChipperBob||

    Someone who knows a friend of mine chimed in on a discussion with Stevens' op-ed, and said, "See, a Supreme Court Justice says that Heller was a vast divergence from two centuries of SC decisions." I pointed out to her that that's what he said when he dissented, but given that every Justice who is on the less-than-five side always thinks the case was wrongly decided, and not in accordance with precedent, the fact that he's saying it now, without even providing citations to back it up makes it even less relevant than it was when he was a dissenting voice in Heller.

  • Mr Happy Man||

    John Paul Stevens represents an attitude
    that was once found amongst a lot of Republicans, but is very rare today. This is the one where propriety is king. And along with that was an idea that guns should not be possessed by civilians. My great aunt and uncle were known as rock-ribbed Republicans who squarely believed in everything a good Republican believed in. And they wanted to ban guns. Yet this was a position that wasn't odd, it was shared by other hard-core Republicans, like a neighbor across the street. This generation shared a lineage that went back to Federalist New England, the ancestry of the Republican Party. On the other hand, my moderately liberal Democrat grandfather was a gun owner and an NRA member, and propriety certainly wasn't a concern of his. This also was not unusual; liberal Democrats like John Dingell and Frank Church were adamant about gun rights.
    The whole thing changed during a change in party affiliation that I call the Great Realignment, which is now wrapping up. It is where those who are of blue collar stock worked their way into the Republican Party. On the other hand, those of Puritan descent, whose ancestors were Federalists, became Democrats. And it is those of Puritan descent who became the most adamant gun grabbers - whether they did so as Republicans (of 50+ years ago) or as Democrat
    voters today. So it should not surprise us that John Paul Stevens takes such an extremist position against gun rights, because that is part of his heritage.

  • Linda C||

    Disagree. What happened was increasing complete bans. When the press and the left mention the more muscular attitude taken by the NRA they mention it is if it came out of nowhere. It came out of increasing complete bans on the the law abiding.

  • Linda C||

    Steven's op-ed was completely dishonest.

    I was living in DC in 2005 when I inherited my grandfather's revolver. I expected DC to require a background check and perhaps training. What I did not know was DC completely forbid, for people who have full fingerprint based background checks, full training, a gun safe etc etc, even five-shot revolver, and even only for home protection.

    Steven's completely leaves out this core fact -- and the fact that he supported total bans. so to does EVERY gun control lobby front now claiming they have only wanted universal background checks, support complete bans for the law abiding. They ALL supported DC in Heller.

  • Fearless Truthteller||

    "Amendments to the consitution are morally wrong. Me, I preferred it when black people could be owned, and women couldn't vote, like in the good old days. "- Author of this article

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    you should change your handle to Fearless Bullshitter

    Adding quotes to something you made up is pretty high level of dishonesty.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    This is pretty rich coming from a shitlib who's political position on guns is based on a Supreme Court decision that denied black men the right to self-defense.

  • vek||

    Well, universal suffrage is a pretty horrible idea! Look what it has got us. I would be okay with allowing women to vote, even though they will mostly vote wrong (too much feelz, not enough thinkz in their voting), if they at least had to pass a civics and history test to do it... Just as I wish men had to do!

    Universal suffrage has basically ruined everything by allowing idiots to vote. This is why the founding fathers didn't set it up like that in the first place. No matter what anybody else has to say about that, I think the founding fathers are smarter than you, and anybody else who thinks universal suffrage is a good idea.

  • LifeStrategies||

    Intellectually-challenged former Justice Stephens is also dead wrong on the Chevron doctrine which allows agencies to determine the limits of their own power, see https://pacificlegal.org /the-greatest-threat-to-liberty

    Writing for the 6 justice majority, in perhaps the most stunning example of judicial abdication in the last forty years, Justice Stevens laid the groundwork for the most constitutionally damaging doctrines of the modern era.

    "As a result, in the decades since the decision the Chevron Doctrine has allowed agencies nearly unfettered authority to determine the limits of their own congressionally bestowed powers, enabled Congress to enacted purposefully ambiguous statutes as a means of avoiding democratic accountability, and left individual liberty subject to the whims of professional bureaucrats. How in any rational sense can such a system be described as a government of limited powers?"

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