Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens believes the Second Amendment should be amended.
In order to clear up what one commentator calls the “exquisitely awkward 18th century syntax,” Stevens proposes adding five words to the present version of the Second Amendment. Stevens’ revised Second Amendment would read:
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 his newest book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, Stevens offers the following defense of his proposed change:
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.
Slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands? The fact is that it is governments, not civilians, that have been responsible for the killing of over 300 million people in the 20th century alone.
Stevens’ proposal not only would allow regimes to retain access to their weapons, but would leave private citizens powerless to oppose future slaughters.