Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens published a New York Times op-ed saying the idea behind the Second Amendment is a “relic of the 18th century” and should be repealed — a controversial opinion that’s further ignited the raging gun control debate that brought the massive March for Our Lives rallies across the United States on Saturday.
Members of the National Rifle Association along with gun rights advocates are immediately using Stevens’ piece as proof that Democrats want to take away Americans’ guns. This is despite the fact that Stevens is a Republican who was appointed by Gerald Ford, a Republican president.
“Liberals: we don’t want to take your guns away. Also liberals: check out this awesome editorial in The NY Times called ‘time to repeal the second amendment,’” conservative Charlie Kirk tweeted. This was soon retweeted by NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.
However, student activists from Parkland, Florida, who led the March for Our Lives rallies on Saturday, don’t necessarily agree with Stevens’ position.
“Not what we’re going for here, but very interesting considering who wrote it,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky tweeted.
“I think responsible ownership of a small weapon is not something that should be revoked,” Kasky added. “It should be much more difficult to get a gun than a car and there should be frequent psychological checkups, but some weapons can protect a home. Assault weapons are not those.”
Gun control advocates, including Igor Volsky, founder of gun control organization Guns Down America agreed with this sentiment.
“I’m fighting for a future with fewer guns,” Volsky tweeted. “#2A, as it’s been interpreted, isn’t incompatible w/ policies that reduce number of guns. Should that interpretation change, we must have a national convo about what hurdles we need to overcome to build safer communities.”
At least one conservative was not convinced by Kasky’s comments on Stevens’ piece. Joel Pollak, an editor at Breitbart News, tweeted to the teenager on Tuesday morning.
“Check out the #MarchForOurLives leadership pretending not to endorse John Paul Stevens’s op-ed to Repeal the Second Amendment,” Pollak tweeted. “Note to @cameron_kasky: Americans aren’t stupid.”