Pro-gun advocates will likely be relieved that John Paul Stevens, 93, is now retired and no longer serving as a member of the Supreme Court. In his upcoming book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,” he argues for a slight change to the Second Amendment that would fundamentally alter its meaning.
As written by the Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution, the Second Amendment reads:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
Stevens argues that the authors of the Second Amendment were mostly concerned about being oppressed by a national standing army, not so much about the right to self-defense.
So in order to reflect the changing times, he says, the Second Amendment should be altered to add five key words:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.
“Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands,” Stevens writes in his defense of the change.
Stevens retired in 2010 after serving on the nation’s highest court for 35 years.
The odds of his crusade to transform the Second Amendment has little chance of even receiving serious consideration as Americans have rejected gun control efforts at the state and federal levels.
(H/T: Bloomberg Businessweek)