A recent op-ed in The New York Times by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens that called for the repeal of the Second Amendment set off a firestorm on social media. The piece was not the first one the publication has published calling for the elimination of our right to bear arms. New York Times columnist Bret Stephens called for doing away with the amendment just a few months ago. Second Amendment supporters decried the suggestion, while progressives either endorsed the idea or reiterated that they are not coming for Americans’ guns. Amidst the discussion around guns, gun culture, and gun control, the president tweeted his unwavering support for the Second Amendment.
THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED! As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
Though the president drew sharp criticism for saying “Take the guns first, and then go to court” when talking about taking firearms away from troubled individuals, and despite supporting a bump stock ban, he has stood by gun owners.
With midterm elections almost seven months away, Republicans may have an uphill battle to keep the House but have the opportunity to put pressure on Democratic senators who represent red states. In an attempt to thwart further gun control laws, the president is correct in saying more Republicans need to be in Congress in 2018. As for the Supreme Court, the president is also right.
If conservatives want to preserve the Second Amendment, they need to ensure constitutional originalists fill future vacancies. With President Trump nominating Justice Neil Gorsuch to the bench, he has affected future court decisions for decades to come. But what would be better than merely holding the Supreme Court would be adding more originalists to it. Rumors have been going around for some time now that Justice Anthony Kennedy may retire. If those rumors were to become a reality, the president would have yet another opportunity to change the court. To confirm his nominee, however, Republicans would need to control the Senate.
Historically, midterm elections have low turnout compared to presidential cycles. But this time around, will threats to the Second Amendment and the potential of adding another originalist to the Supreme Court drive conservatives and Republicans to the polls?