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Former Supreme Court justice: Change Second Amendment to improve Constitution

Former Justice John Paul Stevens recommends fundamentally changing Second Amendment.
Former Justice John Paul Stevens recommends fundamentally changing Second Amendment.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens had his way, the Second Amendment would be changed with five simple words that would fundamentally transform its meaning, The Blaze reported Friday.

As written, the Second Amendment simply says:

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.

But in his new book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,” the 93-year-old former Justice says the Second Amendment should 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 other words," AWR Hawkins wrote at Breitbart.com, "the protection of the right becomes collective and is only protected for those serving in the militia."

According to Stevens, the authors of the Second Amendment were mostly concerned about oppression from a national standing army and were not so concerned about the right to self-defense, and suggests the change is necessary to reflect modern times.

"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,” he argued.

But as Hawkins observes, the Second Amendment does not create a right to own guns, but protects one of the "certain unalienable Rights" with which man was "endowed by [his] Creator."

Stevens retired from the Supreme Court in 2010 after serving for 35 years.

"The odds of his crusade to transform the Second Amendment has little chance of even receiving serious consideration as Americans have rejected gun control efforts at the state and federal levels," The Blaze said.

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