Should we repeal the Second Amendment?
via AP

Should we repeal the Second Amendment?

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Since the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre five years ago, the U.S. has averaged one mass shooting a day and 12,000 gun deaths per year. Many say half-measures like background checks are futile, and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens believes we must amend the Constitution and repeal the Second Amendment. But gun rights advocates say the right to bear arms is sacred, and gun safety groups say the right regulation can and will save lives. What do you think? 🔫

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In an op-ed for the New York Times, John Paul Stevens argues if gun control advocates are serious about ending gun violence in America, they should push to repeal the Second Amendment.

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 believes the concerns posited by the Second Amendment are no longer relevant today. Tinkering at the edges of gun rights won't solve the problem of gun violence but repealing the Second Amendment will. We must stop tiptoeing around the NRA and just fight to change the Constitution.

Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that “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.” Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.

Pod Save America hosts Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer asked whether the failure of gun control is due in part to the fact that liberals and Democrats are disingenuous when they say they support gun rights but just want common-sense regulations.

Perhaps it is time Democrats came forward and said what many of them believe: that half-measures don't work, and that background checks and incremental steps won't solve the problem. We need to make guns illegal for our citizens, just like they are in every other Western democracy on earth.

Maybe liberals just need to say it: 'Yes, we want to take away your guns.'

But even congressman Steve Scalise, who was shot and seriously injured by a rogue gunman last year, still defends the Second Amendment and says the right to bear arms is so important that it is worth the cost we pay in terms of violence and mass shootings.

"Look, people need to tone down the rhetoric,” he said. “This is part of our Constitution in our country. Go read what Thomas Jefferson wrote, what John Adams wrote about the importance of people having firearms to protect themselves.”

Second Amendment advocates say repealing gun rights would be akin to repealing the right to free speech or freedom of assembly—it's inherently un-American and a violation of our freedom.

Even those who want to outlaw guns say repealing the Second Amendment is a political pipe dream. Thirty-eight states would have to ratify the change to the Constitution. Gun safety advocates need to work on common sense solutions, not advocate for radical constitutional changes that have no chance of becoming reality.

Others point to gay marriage and the civil rights movement, as both were huge societal changes once thought impossible and impractical. Maybe if gun safety advocates dream it, they can do it.

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