Judge Stevens’ argument voiced int the Washington Post article “The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment” is not new, nor even novel. Many progressives, like him on this position, would love to re-write a lot of constitutional elements to fit their own controlling view of the world. In this case, Stevens’ view of the 2nd 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.”
But in speaking of “a well regulated Militia,” the Amendment merely states a reason for recognizing the people’s right to be armed, not necessarily a purpose for and limitation on that right (see Thomas Jefferson). An armed citizenry was recognized as advantageous to a free State (question – free from whom?). If the Amendment were meant merely to guarantee a State the right to maintain a militia, the last half could just as easily have stated “the right of any State of this Union to permit their citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Our founders where painfully clear on why people should retain the rights to bear arms – self protection (aka first responders) and protection against a tyrannical government. Police are not obligated to prevent crime (see Warren v. District of Columbia), only to investigate and potentially arrest. I am a first responder and, as such, have a constitutional right to protect myself and those around me.
Regarding a tyrannical government, political parties have now weaponized our government. Using the IRS to shut down free speech came at the tip of the “Roman Spear.” Ten years ago, political parties where fighting each other with government resources, now they are fighting the people. By all account, we are in the last stages of the Tytler Cycle (dependency to bondage), after which all of us are miserable and a slave to uncontrolled political system.
Stevens neither understands these foundational principles nor does he care. While many consider him conservative in thinking, one can also view him in terms of a federalist (vs states and individuals). He view the commerce clause as means to enable federal control over the individual. In terms of the Forth Amendment, he believes the federal government should have boarder rights to search the individual. He usually takes a position that sides with give the federal government more rights at the expense of states and individuals.
The Second Amendment is not missing any word, nor is it confusing an any way. It allows for American people to own any firearm they want as a means to protect themselves against other and a potentially bad government. The real questions for progressives is, “Why is that a bad thing to want?”