For the second time in 12 days since the Las Vegas carnage, Op-Ed pieces appearing at opposite ends of the country have called for repeal of the Second Amendment.
The first showed up in the New York Times under the byline of Bret Stephens, who writes about foreign policy and domestic politics. After candidly acknowledging that “the more closely one looks at what passes for ‘common sense’ gun laws, the more feckless they appear,” he contends that “Gun ownership should never be outlawed…But it doesn’t need a blanket Constitutional protection, either.”
The second piece, authored by Timothy William Waters, a professor at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law and an associate director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy, was published by the Los Angeles Times. His argument is that, “We don’t need an amendment prohibiting guns or protecting them. We just need a 28th Amendment that repeals the 2nd. The Constitution should be silent, because there’s a lot we need to talk about.”
Waters believes that in order to have a discussion about guns, we need first to remove the constitutional protection for keeping and bearing them as private citizens.
This comes after he observed that “Sensible people disagree about what the 2nd Amendment means. Perhaps it ensures an individual right, forbidding restrictions on “constitutional carry.” Perhaps it refers only to militias, and therefore authorizes regulation. But everyone agrees that the 2nd Amendment was an amendment — a change to the Constitution.”
He might get an argument from any of the hundreds of people who attended the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference in Dallas about “sensible” people disagreeing over the meaning of the Second Amendment. That seems to be the prevailing stubborn excuse for ignoring the Supreme Court’s specific language in both the 2008 Heller and 2010 McDonald rulings. The high court made it clear what the amendment means, gun rights activists maintain.
For decades, gun prohibitionists have contended that there needs to be “a discussion” about guns in America. Second Amendment advocates argue that this discussion is already in progress, but it just hasn’t worked out the way anti-gunners would like. That is, gun control advocates have been unable to put their agenda of public disarmament into law, at least not at the national level.
Anti-gunners have established beachheads of restrictions in California, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and a few other states, but they have lost ground in Illinois, Wisconsin, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and Washington, D.C.
More than 16.5 million Americans are licensed to carry and that number continues to climb. The Supreme Court now has Associated Justice Neil Gorsuch on board, and many people believe President Donald Trump will have at least one or two more appointments to make on the high court before he is finished, along with more appointments to the lower federal courts, where most case law is decided.
Long before Las Vegas, gun control proponents have been pushing for bans on certain firearms and accessories. But now it seems the proverbial cat is out of the bag because it is now being discussed in two major newspapers. Some people want the Second Amendment repealed, which may really be what this has been about all along.