Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wants to add five words to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Five words that would incense gun owners across America.
As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, then-Secretary of State, the Second Amendment reads:
“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.”
In his upcoming book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,” the 93-year-old Stevens suggests a “slight change” — adding five words — that would fundamentally alter the Amendment’s meaning:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.”
In effect, Stevens would take away the right of private citizens to own firearms in America. In his book, he argues:
“Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands.”
Gun law “reform” advocates, from Barack Obama to multiple members of Congress including Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, insist that it is not the goal of the pro-gun-control crowd to “take away your guns.” To Stevens’ credit, at least he states his real objective — loud and clear. For that, at least, he is to be commended.
But the bottom line is this: If people cannot defend themselves or their property from criminals or the government, then they are not a “free” people. Adding the judge’s five simple words would not only render the Second Amendment meaningless, it would fundamentally alter the relationship between law abiding Americans and their country.
Justice Stevens’ proposal would legally leave Americans no more than defenseless wards of the state — to do with however politicians see fit. This is precisely the opposite intent of the U.S. Constitution: politicians are representatives of the people; not their masters.