In light of recent mass shootings, both Republicans and Democrats want to create new legislation and policies to ensure that these atrocities end.
Many Republicans believe the answer is to arm teachers and to put more police officers in schools. Democrats have a different answer: Many want to prohibit AR-15s and create stricter legislation about buying guns.
On March 27, longtime Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in a New York Times op-ed that the answer is to repeal the Second Amendment, an action he believed would be “simple.”
Repealing the Second Amendment would be by no means simple, and many of Justice Stevens’ other assertions are wrong.
In order to propose an amendment, two-thirds of both houses must vote in favor of it, or two-thirds of the states’ legislatures must call for a national constitutional convention. Additionally, after the amendment is proposed, it must be passed by three-quarters of the states’ legislatures.
Considering these measures and how the Republicans have the majority in both houses and state legislatures, it is very unlikely that the Second Amendment will be repealed in the foreseeable future because the Republican Party doesn’t support government infringement upon citizens’ right to bear arms.
Not only is it unlikely because of the Republicans’ current legislative power and party platform, but it would lead to the end of many Democrats’ careers, too.
Gallup, a bipartisan survey company, conducted various surveys in 2017 about the publics sentiment on guns. When asked, “Do you think there should or should not be a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by the police and other authorized persons?” 71 percent responded that there shouldn’t be. Despite the several school shootings where an assault rifle was present, 49 percent were against the outlaw of the sale, manufacturing and possession of assault rifles.
According to Justice Stevens, the Second Amendment was created in the 18th century because the national army could have posed a threat to the security of the separate states, and he believes that concern was relic of the 18th century.
If the government wants to attack amendments that it believes to be outdated, then what other amendments could it go after?
When the First Amendment was created, social media wasn’t around. With that said, do you really think that the members of the Constitutional Convention envisioned fellow Americans using a “free speech” platform to threaten and degrade each other?
The answer would be “no,” but the Constitution wasn’t meant to govern for that time period. It was meant to govern for eternity in the United States.
Tyler Jordon is a senior political science major from Charleston, West Virginia.