New York Times Highlights Letters Supporting Second Amendment Repeal

Pyrrhic victory - Johann Peter Krafft Final Charge from the fortress of Szigetvar (courtesy wikipedia.org)

“In an Op-Ed essay on Tuesday, the former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens called for the repeal of the Second Amendment,” nytimes.com recaps. “Readers debated it on social media and in the comments section of the piece. Below is a sample of some representative viewpoints, edited lightly for clarity.” Edited lightly? Perhaps. Chosen to support Stevens’ treason? Well there’s an English expression. . .

Start as you mean to finish. Which is exactly what The Times doesn’t do. They begin their curated column with a stout defense of the Second Amendment from a Texan (of course):

The Second Amendment was created to guarantee the eternal freedom of the citizenry from an overreaching federal government. The same argument applies today, as history proves that one of the first steps for authoritarian governments is to remove firearms from their future serfs. Then comes free speech and religion. The founding fathers were much more wise than Stevens.

And then it’s time to pile on. First up: one Dennis Fritz:

Frankly, in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller, I don’t see how any meaningful gun control could be enacted without a repeal of the Second Amendment. Heller elevated the right to own a gun to such a high level, it is right up there with freedom of speech and the right to due process. Even the most mild, seemingly sensible gun control measures can now be challenged on constitutional grounds, with a high probability of success. Heller created such an impregnable shield around the Second Amendment that tearing it out root and branch seems like the only way.

If only! The “reasonable regulations” caveat made Heller a Pyrrhic victory (as above).

Anyway, next up: Eric Byer’s all-too-common, ahistorical belief that the Second Amendment is the only amendment in the Bill of Rights that doesn’t protect an individual right:

Right-wing talking points aside, the Second Amendment was never written to guarantee the eternal freedom of the citizenry from an overreaching federal government. It was written — long before we had a standing army — to guarantee a well-regulated militia to defend the country from being attacked. It is a relic we tolerate to maintain consensus and something resembling unity in this country.

Our next contestant on Who Wants to Put American Gun Rights in Jeopardy? is William Griffith of South Carolina. Mr. Griffith looks at the answer “government tyranny” and poses the following question:

Up to now I have been a Second Amendment supporter, but I have never been against controls on large-capacity magazines, Teflon-coated bullets, background checks, etc. I could accept repeal of the amendment, but I would need to know precisely what was replacing it. All gun owners would need to know that.

So far it’s 3 – 1 in favor of — or least willing to consider — repealing 2A. Here are the final three, heavily edited to avoid elevated blood pressure and TLDR-itis:

The issue of personal safety is a red herring. Japan has a much lower rate of gun violence. Canada, Britain, Australia and other countries are doing just fine without all the guns and some of the nuts who advocate for them. What makes America so “exceptional” that the rules of law and human nature do not apply to them? — mdroy100, Ontario

Only the extremists want to ban all guns; clearly, there are ways to regulate weapons without taking away people’s rights. Further, the process to repeal a constitutional amendment takes many years, which makes this argument even weaker.— Marc McClenahan, Arizona

I have no problem repealing the Second Amendment and believe it is a great position from which to begin. Often liberal politics start negotiations from a position of compromise, forcing us to move right when the other side screams “compromise!” If we start from a position that moves us to a fair compromise, I say go for it: Repeal the Second! — Sara McElroy, New York

Our final tally: four writers for 2A repeal, two who say we don’t need to (’cause we can degrade 2A with it) and one firearms freedom fence straddler willing to consider repeal but won’t commit [until Uncle Sam’s jack-booted thugs come knock, knock, knockin’ on his door].

That division may well represent New York Times readers’ opinions on the subject, but it sure doesn’t reflect the broader populations’. Then again,  since when did The Times care about that?

comments

  1. avatar Joe R. says:

    The NYT needs to go away, quietly.

    THERE ARE NO RIGHTS GUARANTEED BY THE BILL OF RIGHTS

    AS ALL “RIGHTS” THEREIN, ARE PROTECTIONS “FROM” GOVERNMENT

    THEREBY, ALL RIGHTS ARE GUARANTEED BY AN ARMED CITIZENRY. [J.M. Thomas R., TERMS, 2012]

    The NYT needs its armed defenders probed and tested.

    1. avatar nativeson says:

      The totalitarian left is on the march. They smell blood and seem to believe that the time is right to usher in a fascist state. Unfortunately, the GOP lacks a spine and principles. So it’s up to the average citizen to preserve what’s left of our rights. Civil disobedience wxill be required at some point if the elected representatives fail to act.

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        The republican party rose from the ashes of the whig party. It was the party of corruption, cronyism, and strong, centralized government. The first republican president was a former railroad lobbyist.

        Nothing has changed.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          Huh, I never knew that Lincoln, the first Republican President, was a lobbyist for the rail roads…I would agree, however, that he was an advocate for a strong central government, a union of independent states subject to the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land. One can sensibly argue that he was the father of our current federalist state and the death of republicanism.

        2. avatar The Punisher says:

          For MarkN:

          Go to Amazon and buy any book on Abraham Lincoln and/or the Civil War from Thomas Dilorenzo. You will be educated – and not Government Public School Propaganda educated.

      2. avatar The Punisher says:

        Civil disobedience? “POTG” can’t even agree that open carry is the very essence of the 2nd Amendment and, really, the whole Right to Bear Arms that is INHERENT to a FREE PERSON.

        I don’t see anyone in this country that has the balls to group up and even defy the NFA, GCA or any of the other already ridiculous restrictions that have made the 2nd a moot point already.

        Get back to me when people are ready to just carry without a CCW and be willing to suffer the consequences or fight back in court and then we can talk.

        Or better yet, tell the NRA and all the other supposed POTG to go support the men in Kansas who – under Kansas State Law – were perfectly “legal” in making, selling and buying In State Suppressors but ran afoul of the NFA and are now being prosecuted. They are being civilly disobedient and should be honored as patriots – but instead most POTG just heckle, point fingers and laugh.

        1. avatar Kroglikepie says:

          Speak for yourself.

  2. avatar anonymoose says:

    >Ontario
    Last I checked foreigners are supposed to have no say in how my country is run, and if they really meant Ontario, California, that’s still basically a foreign country.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      @ anonymoose

      line of the day and true !

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      Canadians don’t have the right to free speech, so he can only exercise it here.

      If only he had the intelligence to grasp that fact, and the underlying reasons…

  3. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Why would anybody be surprised that the Slimes has an agenda. They are firmly at the top of the heap in the middle of the enemy encampment, they are not now nor have they ever been a friend to the Second Amendment. The rights of the people don’t concern them, they are only interested in extending the rights of the government to control the people.

  4. avatar Gary says:

    There are many “relics of the 18th century”, suggested by the left. Perhaps a belief in God, and the sanctity of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are very old and archaic. But they are what separates the U.S. from the rest of the world & I for one am happy for that fact.

  5. avatar DrewR55 says:

    Let’s see how the low crime and gun free Canadian paradise is doing in twenty years once they have finished the importation of the new labor class from the Middle East, and elsewhere around the world, that is intended to offset their aging population.

    1. avatar anarchyst says:

      Canada is not as “safe” as most people believe. There is absolutely NO RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE in Canada. If you use a legally acquired firearm in Canada to defend yourself, even in your own home, YOU WILL BE PROSECUTED–no exceptions, except for the “thin blue line” as is common here in the USA..
      You see, in Canada, criminals and police have more rights than honest citizens.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        In some ways that is a bad deal for Canadian criminals, since it encourages people to finish the job, roll the bad guy in plastic and feed him to the critters. Bad guy? Nope, haven’t seen him, maybe he went somewhere in the city or snuck into the States.

  6. avatar anarchyst says:

    0’bama complained about the Constitution being a “charter of negative rights” which was one of his few correct statements, and that the Constitution was a PROHIBITION ON GOVERNMENT “granting” rights (which it does not. Our “rights” come as a virtue of merely being born into this world. The Constitution PROHIBITS government from acting to restrict our “rights”. Hence, “Congress shall make NO LAW…”, “shall not be infringed”… etc.
    The Constitution is the only document in the world that states that our “rights” do not come from government, but are inherent in us being born.
    Even if the Second Amendment were repealed, it would not negate our inherent rights…

    1. avatar FlaBoy says:

      Exactly this right here. The Constitution doesn’t grant me rights from my benevolent betters, but rather it acknowledges the rights that I inherently have by virtue of being born and lets the government know what rights I, as a citizen, grant it. Repeal of the Second wouldn’t negate that right, it would just say that my idiot fellow citizens wish for the government to actively suppress that right, something I don’t think would end well.

  7. avatar Alex Waits says:

    Parents of tide pod eaters, ladies and gentlemen.

    1. avatar Bob h says:

      And let’s not forget, they are so far up their own collective ass that they can’t even figure out which bathroom to use. No wonder we see terms like democracy, granted, “common sense” thrown around so flippantly by people completely ignorant of their meaning.

  8. avatar Mas Cool Arrow says:

    Let’s say that an amendment to the constitution was presented to repeal the 2A and it failed miserably. Would these “people” STFU and go away, or will they keep taking a piece of the cake?

    It seems like the antis have everything to gain and nothing to lose. We POTG have everything to lose and nothing to gain so why give in?

    Molon Labe!!!

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    My “rights” aren’t provided by a piece of parchment. They are GOD given. Not up for debate from a deadtree rag…

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Repealing the 2A does not repeal the right, it repeals the guarantee against government interference/regulation of that right. Enacting gun control legislation would not, therefore, be unconstitutional. Which is the point of course.

      But don’t worry. Congress isn’t terribly likely to pass a resolution for a repeal (2/3 vote in both houses), and the odds of getting the necessary state ratifications (38 states) is slim to none. And 2/3 of the states are needed to call a Constitutional Convention, and 38 are needed to ratify any changes proposed by the Convention.

  10. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    Until 1943 we had another much easier way to fight government overreach. Withholding our tax support of the government. But misnamed “greatest generation” squandered that recourse with the Current Tax Payment Act of 1943. Most voters went along because they were lazy and and unsuspicious this made paying their taxes easier, but from then on it was no longer possible to cut off the government’;s tax income. Only the self employed can choose not to pay now. That left the 2nd amendment as the only minority (political minority) voter recourse and of course that is a much more costly option. Thanks for the debt and and the behemoth government “Greatest” generation.

    1. avatar anarchyst says:

      You are correct. It was economist Milton Friedman who came up with the idea of “withholding”, making government collection of income taxes easier to impose.
      If I had my way, there would be no “withholding” of income taxes and they would be due the day before election day.
      Now THAT would spark a real revolution…

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        It was a brilliant move by the advocates of big government and it pretty much hobbled any resistance to government spending. A government as addicted to spending and power as ours will never allow it to be repealed again as it’s predecessor was in 1916. I suppose it was all made possible by the 16th amendment of a generation earlier but there was still hope until ’43 when we lost the war.
        Oh and Friedman’s apology – “I have no apologies for it, but I really wish we hadn’t found it necessary and I wish there were some way of abolishing withholding now.”

  11. avatar Reggie Browning says:

    Call them out whenever they say “nobody wants the ban or take guns.” But repeatedly praise countries that have virtually banned and taken guns. Just be like “you WANT to take the guns, you just don’t think you can get away with it yet.” Otherwise they wouldn’t be gushing over England, Japan and Australia.

  12. avatar Shire-man says:

    But nobody wants to take the guns.

  13. avatar Scoutino says:

    Are they really sugesting that some basic human rights are inferior to other basic human rights?

    “Heller elevated the right to own a gun to such a high level, it is right up there with freedom of speech and the right to due process.” No, right to own and carry arms, not just firearms, was always right up there!

    If they want to get rid of the 2A, I say – let them try. At least it’s more honest than claims like “I support the 2A, BUT….. “

  14. avatar Behindenemylines says:

    Can we get a post: Guns of March for Our Lives

    I want to see what guns were used to protect them as they tried to convince us guns won’t protect us.

    1. avatar Moltar says:

      Nobody needs to see another picture of an AR, Glock, or pump shotgun. We know what they look like.

  15. avatar cisco kid says:

    “How foolish are the Fools who cannot see reality”. CK 2018

    The real facts are that the Second Amendment is already dead and gone because the Supreme Court simply now ignores it starting with the refusal to hear the Maryland Assault Rifle Case. The new way to destroy it is for the Supreme Court to placate Public Opinion and paranoia by just completely ignoring it and let the demagogues who control the States gradually annihilate it into eventual oblivion and right now many States are well on their way down that path with outrageous restrictions, outright gun and ammo bans and now even confiscations for melt downs (Peoples Republic of California). The growing amount of gun bans just introduced in the various States, even those that are classed red are too numerous to even go into here but it is an avalanche that is burying the Second Amendment.

    If you do have a collection of modern arms (smokeless powder) and especially semi-auto pistol, rifle or shotgun now is the time to dump them even it you only get half of what they are worth because the State is not going to give you anything for them when the “turn them in time” comes. Are you beginning to feel the noose tightening around your neck?

    1. avatar pg2 says:

      No worries, after they get our firearms, and they will get them because we’re not allowed to talk about the real source of the school shootings, you and your ilk can go door to door taking unvaccinated kids and forcing vaccines and other pharmaceuticals on an unarmed populace. This should bring a smile to your face.

    2. avatar bobo says:

      Brain Gremlin:
      Well right now we are advising our clients to put all they can into canned food and shotguns.

  16. avatar FortWorthColtGuy says:

    Good luck with that. In an amendment convention where each state has an equal vote, good luck getting 37 states to ratify it. Sure, California and New York would sign on up day 1, but a state like Nebraska, Alaska or even Vermont have the same power and would never ratify it. Most proposed amendments have expirations placed on their ratification and end up failing as the bar is set so high (which is a good thing).

    Often for tyranny and the loss of rights to prevail it only take a simple vote, but for liberty and expansion of right to succeed it takes a complex and often bloody revolution.

    I hope we cut this one off at the pass.

    1. avatar JR Pollock says:

      It takes 38 states to ratify, not 37. At the present time there are 13 states with Constitutional Carry, all red states, with the exception of Vermont. That’s enough to scuttle ratification.

  17. avatar John Thayer says:

    A single standard for carrying a loaded weapon in public and for casting a vote in a public election would go a long way towards bringing about a compromise on voting rights and gun rights.

    Telling your followers to vote against other people’s gun rights is no different than telling them to start shooting against someone else’s voting rights.

  18. avatar Chris. says:

    Oh My Goodness Gracious! Teflon-coated bullets, Not teflon-coated bullets… DOn’t you know those will shoot through 3 states and 50 armored vests???? WHy I hear tell a .9mm teflon-coated bullet will punch right through the reactive armor of an M1-Abrams!. When Captain Miller shot that tank in Saving Private Ryan – that’s what he was using in his Colt 1911!!!! Teflon coated 45’s. Blows up tanks See!

  19. avatar mandrake the magician says:

    “letters” to the New York Times [?]
    i’m sceptical;
    unless and until i seen actual, physical copies of such ‘letters’ …. either hand-written, printed/signed by hand or faxed ….. i simply cannot suspend my dis-belief!
    sorry!

    1. avatar mandrake the magician says:

      Japan has a much lower rate of gun violence. Canada, Britain, Australia and other countries are doing just fine without all the guns and some of the nuts who advocate for them

      and…that comment right there is why i’m sceptical;
      typical anti-gun agit-prop ….
      i’m “betting” either a ‘bot or a proxy;

      ➤let’s un-pack

      i/Japan;
      Japan is a mono-racial, mono-ethnic country that hardly even qualifies as “a democracy”;
      many of the historical freedoms and protections that still exist even in countries like, for instance, the UK and AUstralia, such as presumption of innocence and the right to not self-incriminate, simply do not exist and have never existed in Japan;
      further-more: if you exclude the War years, Japan has had strict gun control since the late 17ᵗʰ century;
      so much for Japan!
      ii/Britain and Australia;
      the current gun laws in both those countries were introduced in the mid-1990s as the result of two very dubious incidents … the Dunblane and Port Arthur “massacres” respectively;
      the official ‘accounts’ of both of these incidents continue to be very hotly contested to this very day;
      Britain has never had a gun-owning culture anyway even pre-WWI when gun laws were virtually non-existent as compared to today;
      Australia had a traditional gun-owning culture and it was a sort of “un-written” right;
      how-ever: the gun laws that were introduced there over two decades ago now relied heavily on a unique set of socio-political circumstances that have never existed in the US and, in fact, no longer exist even in Australia;
      iii/Canada;
      Canada cannot be compared to the afore-said countries because it actually does have fairly reasonable gun laws;
      there is a licensing process but long guns, apart from military-style semi-automatics like AR-15s, are fairly easy to acquire;
      also: there is no fire-arm registration except for hand-guns so, technically, any-one can purchase a second-hand or, even, an as-new fire-arm on the private market;
      even the process for acquiring a hand-gun is much less onerous than that required in countries like Australia or the UK (where hand-guns are, effectively, banned, across-the-board);
      doubtless, its proximity to the US and the strong Second Amendment culture there, heavily influences Canadian gun laws;
      as in: if they ever got too restrictive, then, Canadians would simply travel to the US, purchase fire-arms and return with them and there would be very little that the Canadian authorities could do to prevent it! 😲

      1. avatar john says:

        Britain started firearms confiscations in the 1920s to in response to what they believed to a threat of armed revolt by the Communist party.
        As a result, US civilians sent firearms to British citizens during WW ll so they might have something to defend themselves with, in the event of invasion. This was done while the US was officially neutral.

  20. avatar samuraichatter says:

    Is it even worth pointing out that elsewhere in the constitution it enables the U.S. to form an army and navy?

    And that the 2A came after to keep said fighting forces in check?

    1. avatar john says:

      “Right-wing talking points aside, the Second Amendment was never written to guarantee the eternal freedom of the citizenry from an overreaching federal government.” But that is exactly what our founding fathers said it was there for in their personal writings.

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