CNN Political Contributor: ‘Just Get Rid’ of 2nd Amendment
'It has nothing to do with individual gun ownership'
CNN senior political contributor Bill Press said that the “only effective way to deal” with gun violence is to repeal the Second Amendment.
Press said, “that it has nothing to do with individual gun ownership; nothing to do with self-defense; and nothing to do with assault weapons.”
In a Thursday CNN op-ed titled “There’s no way to fix the Second Amendment. Let’s just get rid of it,” the liberal pundit and former co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire” begins by claiming that history repeats itself “when it comes to the aftermath of mass shootings.”
“After Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Margery Stoneman Douglas, El Paso, Buffalo, Uvalde and so many others, it’s always the same,” he wrote.
“First, shock. Then, grief. Then, a demand for action.”
“Then, the phony claim: Too bad, but we can’t do anything about guns because of the Second Amendment,” he adds.
“And then, nothing is done to prevent the next attack.”
Questioning whether things could be different this time around with senators of both parties “actually talking about a compromise on guns,” Press warns, “don’t hold your breath.”
“No matter what they come up with, chances are still slim that there will be 10 Republicans willing to override the filibuster,” he wrote, adding that anything agreed upon will likely “just nibble around the edges of the gun issue” because Republicans won’t “ruffle the feathers” of the National Rifle Association (NRA) during this election year.
Though President Biden’s proposals “come close to what’s really needed,” according to Press, it is “not enough to convince some conservative Americans that the Second Amendment is an open license [to] arm themselves, even with weapons that belong on the battlefield.”
Arguing that the way “many judges and conservatives interpret the Second Amendment is a total con job,” Press — who once served as chairman of the California Democratic Party — described their “wild” interpretation as “a license to kill as many people as you want with as many guns as you want.”
His proposed solution is repealing the Second Amendment altogether.
“The only effective way to deal with the Second Amendment is to repeal it — and then replace it with something that makes sense in a civilized society,” he wrote.
Citing former Justices John Paul Stevens and Warren Burger — who, Press claims, agreed the Second Amendment has been a “disaster” for America — he insists one need only read its text “to see what a fraud it’s become.”
“There’s no way you can logically leap from those 27 words about the existence of a state militia to the unfettered right of any citizen to buy as many guns — and any kind of gun — that they want, without the government being able to do anything about it,” he wrote.
“It’s clear from the wording of the Second Amendment itself that it has nothing to do with individual gun ownership; nothing to do with self-defense; and nothing to do with assault weapons,” he added.
“The amendment speaks, not to the rights of well-armed individual citizens, but only to citizens as members of a group, a ‘well-regulated militia.’”
Press, who hosts his own podcast, states that the country’s founders “saw no need to mention guns in the original Constitution,” claiming that the Second Amendment was added later merely to secure the support of “White racist Virginians” for the Constitution’s ratification.
He also quotes Emory University historian Carol Anderson, who describes the alleged “anti-Blackness” and “repression” that lies at the heart of the Second Amendment.
Charging that the Second Amendment “has nothing to do with self-defense or allowing ownership of any kind of gun,” Press admits “it won’t be easy to repeal” it.
“It would require a constitutional amendment, passed by two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-quarter of the states.
"Or a constitutional convention, called by two-thirds of the states, with any proposed changes approved by three-quarters of the states,” he wrote.
“But, difficult or not, it’s still the right thing to do,” he added.
He concluded by asserting that we are “condemned to more and more mass killings” until we stop arguing over the Second Amendment “and just get rid of it” instead.
The piece comes in the wake of recent school shootings and House Democrats passing a legislative package that contains six gun control measures.
On Sunday, a bipartisan group of senators announced a deal on gun control legislation, though the compromise excludes President Joe Biden’s “assault weapons” ban and a higher minimum age for rifle purchases.
The deal includes Republican priorities — such as expanded mental health services and school safety — and nods to Democratic priorities by adding expanded background checks for those under the age of 21, who will now have juvenile records screened before gun purchases.