When former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens called for repeal of the Second Amendment in a New York Times op-ed last week, Democratic Party officials largely laid low.
But the vice chairman for civic engagement and voter protection for the Democratic National Committee issued a tweet urging “Repeal the Second Amendment,” with a link to Stevens’ op-ed:
Repeal the Second Amendment https://t.co/iAIJGmWtlR
— KarenCarterPeterson (@TeamKCP) March 27, 2018
The Louisiana state senator’s tweet got only about 50 likes and a little more than 79 retweets, but she was flooded with responses from defenders of the Second Amendment.
The reactions included:
- This is what @TheDemocrats want. Anything else they claim is a lie.
- Please keep talking.
- Please Democrats…Please run on repealing #2A. I dare you.
- It’s going to be very hard for @Democrats to argue that a sizable portion of their party does not want to repeal/ban/confiscate firearms in the midterms. This is a liberal base issue.
- The Bill of Rights is to limit government, not the people. Those rights are given to us by God, not you. You took an oath to faithfully defend the Constitution of The United States. I did too. You are in violation of that oath and WILL be removed from office.
WND reported Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, explained that the Framers of the Constitution recognized the right to bear arms as a natural, God-given right – not a right granted by the government – which means repealing the Second Amendment would not eliminate that right.
“When you look at the way the Second Amendment was written, it does not grant or create a right. It does not say the people ‘have’ the right to keep and bear arms. It says that ‘a right’ of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” he said.
“That is assuming a pre-existing right, which now cannot be infringed in any way by the civil government,” he said.
Pratt noted the reference in the Declaration of Independence to the inalienable rights granted by the Creator.
“They recognized the right to self-defense as a God-given right,” he argued, noting the Declaration specifies life and liberty as two of the rights endowed by God.
“So, defense of life just flows naturally out of that. There’s no question, when you go through the statements of the Founders, they refer to the laws of nature and nature’s God,” he said.
Stevens believes the landmark 2008 U.S. Supreme Court case Heller vs. D.C., which affirmed the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right to bear arms, was wrongly decided. The former associate justice contends the Second Amendment was motivated by a concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states.
That concern now, he insisted in his Times op-ed, is a “relic of the 18th century.”
But Pratt argues that the Supreme Court has ruled that “the right of the people” means the same thing in the First and Fourth Amendments as it does in the Second.
“You just can’t do that to the language of the Constitution, otherwise we’ll end up forfeiting all our rights,” he said.