Declaring that the “type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated” at the March for Our Lives event Saturday “demands our respect,” retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens encouraged the anti-gun marchers to “demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”
Stevens spoke out in an opinion editorial published in the New York Times on Tuesday, titled, “John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment.”
He began his takedown of one of America’s most valued rights by commending the massive marches that took place on Saturday:
Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.
That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.
Stevens declared that the “concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separates states,” which lead to the adoption of the Second Amendment, is now just a a “relic of the 18th century.”
He quoted former chief justice Warren Burger, who called the NRA “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.”
Stevens insisted the NRA is a “propaganda weapon of immense power,” and said getting rid of the Second Amendment would “eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States” and make our school children safer.
Nominated by former President Gerald Ford, Stevens served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 until he retired in 2010.