A Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative writer is calling for repealing the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
New York Times op-ed columnist Brett Stephens wrote Oct. 5 that he wants to abolish the right to bear arms in the name of public safety. The column came under the headline, “Repeal the Second Amendment.”
“There is only one way to do this: Repeal the Second Amendment,” Stephens wrote. “Repealing the Amendment may seem like political Mission Impossible today, but in the era of same-sex marriage it’s worth recalling that most great causes begin as improbable ones. Gun ownership should never be outlawed, just as it isn’t outlawed in Britain or Australia. But it doesn’t need a blanket Constitutional protection, either.”
It is difficult to amend the Constitution. Under the present system it would require a vote of two-thirds of Congress and approval of three-fifths of the state legislatures.
Recent Republican successes, and the Vegas shooting, inspired Stephens’ proposal.
“Donald Trump will likely get one more Supreme Court nomination, or two or three, before he leaves office, guaranteeing a pro-gun court for another generation” Stephens wrote. “Expansive interpretations of the right to bear arms will be the law of the land — until the ‘right’ itself ceases to be.”
Stephens has penned several conservative columns this year, including one titled “On North Korea, Trump’s On The Right Track,” and another column that defended Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against liberals (his term).
“I have never understood the conservative fetish for the Second Amendment,” he wrote Oct. 5. “From a law-and-order standpoint, more guns means more murder. … From a personal-safety standpoint, more guns means less safety.”
“And now we have the relatively new and now ubiquitous ‘active shooter’ phenomenon, something that remains extremely rare in the rest of the world,” he wrote. “Conservatives often say that the right response to these horrors is to do more on the mental-health front. Yet by all accounts Stephen Paddock would not have raised an eyebrow with a mental-health professional before he murdered 58 people in Las Vegas last week.”
Stephens acknowledged his goal is lofty.
“Some conservatives will insist that the Second Amendment is fundamental to the structure of American liberty,” he wrote. “They will cite James Madison, who noted in the Federalist Papers that in Europe ‘the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.’ America was supposed to be different, and better.
“I wonder what Madison would have to say about that today, when more than twice as many Americans perished last year at the hands of their fellows as died in battle during the entire Revolutionary War. My guess: Take the guns—or at least the presumptive right to them—away. The true foundation of American exceptionalism should be our capacity for moral and constitutional renewal, not our instinct for self-destruction.”
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