OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Some Democrats and liberals are using the two recent mass shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, Texas to call for an actual repeal of the Second Amendment.
Among them was filmmaker Michael Moore who said that he wants to see others call for the Second Amendment to end.
“Who will say on this network or any other network in the next few days, ‘It’s time to repeal the Second Amendment’?” he said to MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
“Oh, you can’t say that,” he imagined some people responding to him.
“Well why not?” he said.
“Look, I support all gun control legislation. Not sensible gun control. We don’t need the sensible stuff. We need the hardcore stuff that’s going to protect ourselves and our children,” the filmmaker said.
“We won’t acknowledge that we are a violent people to begin with. This country was birthed in violence with the genocide of the native people at the barrel of a gun. This country was built on the back of slaves with a gun to their back…We do not want to acknowledge our two original sins here that have a gun behind our ability to become who we became,” he argued.
“I truly believe if Jefferson, Madison and Washington if they all knew that the bullet would be invented — some 50 years after our revolution, I don’t know if they would have written it that way. They didn’t even know what a bullet was. It didn’t exist until the 1830s. [If] they had any idea that there would be this kind of carnage, you have to believe that the Founders of the country would not support it,” he said as if he was a psychic.
“Who will say, ‘It’s time to repeal the Second Amendment?'" says Michael Moore. “If they had any idea that there would be this kind of carnage, you have to believe the founders of this country wouldn’t support it.” pic.twitter.com/d2C7QmLDre
— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) May 25, 2022
Another MSNBC contributor, Dean Obeidallah, joined him in his call to end a Constitutional right.
“There is NO constitutional right to own a gun. That was literally made up by 5 GOP Justices in 2008 decision of DC v Heller. We need to make overturning Heller a cause like the right made overturning Roe v Wade,” he said on Twitter and expended in an opinion piece for MSNBC.
There is NO constitutional right to own a gun. That was literally made up by 5 GOP Justices in 2008 decision of DC v Heller. We need to make overturning Heller a cause like the right made overturning Roe v Wade. My @MSNBC https://t.co/4K6mhc38bi
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) May 28, 2022
The amendment connects the right to bear arms to a well-regulated militia, and between the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791 to the Heller decision in 2008, no federal court ever interpreted it as codifying an individual’s constitutional right to have a gun. To the contrary, in 1939, while considering an appeal by a person convicted of violating the National Firearms Act, the Supreme Court ruled that unless the weapon had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.”
James Madison drafted the Second Amendment, and in his notes from the 1789 Constitutional Convention, there’s not a single mention of an individual’s right to possess a gun for self-defense or recreational use. If the framers wanted to create a constitutional right to gun ownership, then they would have made the Second Amendment a mirror of the First Amendment. Just as they wrote that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” they could have written, “Congress shall make no law prohibiting the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Why didn’t they? Simple. They were expressly tying the right to bear arms to militia service.
It may appear ridiculous on its surface, but make no mistake that this is where some liberals want to go.
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is a separate statement to “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.”
The Amendment does not say “the right of a militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” But that is not going to stop some from fighting against that right.