Just as retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is publicly declaring that the U.S. Constitution needs to be changed to restrict gun ownership to make it consistent with the wishes of the Founding Fathers, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting the National Rifle Association on notice that he intends to dig into his deep pockets and spend upwards of $50 million to influence local and state politicians to support gun control.
Stevens gave an interview to ABC News to coincide with the publication of his new book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.” Among Stevens’ “moderate proposals” to the Constitution is a five-word change to the Second Amendment. Stevens wants to add the words “when serving in the Militia” so that it would read: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms – when serving in the Militia – shall not be infringed.”
Stevens said the original intention of the founders was not to grant a general right to bear arms to all citizens — though the Supreme Court’s 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision was counter to the beliefs of the liberal former justice, who President Barack Obama replaced on the court with another liberal, Elena Kagan, when Stevens retired in 2010.
“The likelihood of [widespread outlawing of firearms] is quite remote,” he said, because the gun lobby “is able to take care of itself in the democratic debates, which would continue with my amendment.”
“There was a fear among the original framers that the federal government would be so strong that they might destroy the state militias,” Stevens said. “The amendment would merely prevent arguments being made that Congress doesn’t have the power to do what they think is in the best public interest.”
As Stevens is making his case against guns, Bloomberg, in an interview with The New York Times, boldly declared that he is ready to spend abundantly to build a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence. Bloomberg said gun-control advocates must adopt the tactics of the NRA and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats.
“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’ ” he said of the NRA. “ ‘If you don’t vote with us, we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ ”
“We’ve got to make them afraid of us,” he told the Times.
The former mayor will restructure the groups he already funds — Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — and bring them under a new umbrella group called Everytown for Gun Safety, according to the Times, which said women and mothers in particular will be the focus of the message.