Hey, why not? Republican politicians are often grilled by the press over any gaffe or controversial comment made not only by a fellow GOP official or candidate (think, "legitimate rape" or virtually anything the president tweets), but even talk radio hosts (this scenario comes to mind). Now that a former US Supreme Court justice has outright called for the repeal of the Second Amendment in the pages of the so-called 'paper of record,' isn't that enough of a "news hook" for journalists to start pressing elected Democrats on whether they think that's a worthwhile endeavor? Let's hear the question asked and demand Democrats' answers, Sen. Lindsey Graham said yesterday. One would think the time has arrived for the inquiry to go mainstream, but this CNN anchor -- like many of his colleagues -- is still going the scoffing 'paranoia' route:
this is a lot of bunk. no one calling for 2A repeal. stop with the bogeymen. we need to stop the shootings and have a rational conversation about what can be done. https://t.co/P2MYoY4EtO— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) March 28, 2018
This was tweeted after Justice Stevens' op/ed had garnered a lot of attention. And it wasn't an isolated piece either, as Noah Rothman quickly pointed out:
Calls for 2A repeal in writing since Mon:— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) March 28, 2018
A former supreme court justice: https://t.co/o67sGM0eeJ
A GWU law professor: https://t.co/vSXQqY32Zu
Esquire op-ed: https://t.co/mTSfC1XXfL
Seattle Times op-ed: https://t.co/4FtmLBI9bh
A Dem candidate in CA: https://t.co/S9DjASHwAQ https://t.co/bwyqfksAHF
Rothman went on to write a piece accurately describing efforts to dismiss the notion that abolishing the fundamental right to own firearms is a goal being seriously discussed among a sizable and influential cohort on the Left as reality-distorting "gaslighting." Mary Katharine Ham makes a similar argument here, arguing that gun rights supporters who are concerned about growing calls for gun bans "aren't paranoid, they're just listening:"
[Justice] Stevens is not a bogeyman...his op-ed, its author, and its placement are a very clear signal that this idea should be taken seriously. In fact, I can think of few clearer signals to and from liberal and elite culture that something should be taken seriously than a Times op-ed by a retired Supreme— the justice who wrote the dissent in the landmark Second-Amendment affirming Heller case, no less! ... [Stevens'] op-ed in the country’s most prominent publication is part of an effort to repeal the Second Amendment. This is the third op-ed the New York Times has run on this exact topic in the last year, the first two by conservative contributor Bret Stephens. In other words, it counts. It is not the first of its kind, nor is The New York Times the only place from which such calls emanate...In the past, it’s been possible to say that calls for repeal of the Second Amendment or widespread gun bans and confiscation were crackpot calls outside the mainstream of American liberalism. But during the Parkland response, that has become progressively less plausible. Certainly, the combination of all of these things cannot be dismissed as mere right-wing paranoia. How many Supreme Court justices have to publicly support repeal of the Second Amendment for gun owners to take them seriously without ridicule? For gun-control activists, the right number is probably about five of nine sitting justices. We won’t be waiting that long.
One counterpoint the Left offers to dispel these concerns is that any fantasies their brethren may harbor or confide about uprooting the Second Amendment are ultimately just that: Fantasies. This is when we get a civics lesson: In order to amend the constitution, they accurately say, two-thirds of each house of Congress would need to approve the new measure -- after which three-quarters of the states would be required to ratify that outcome. And that's the "easier" path. Given Congress' chronic inability to accomplish much of anything due to gridlock and bickering, forging such a coalition is virtually inconceivable, especially on such a controversial issue. I don't disagree, at least in theory. But it was instructive that Justice Stevens, of all people, has emerged as a leading voice in this crusade. That's because it's through his former profession that the repealers will pursue their objectives, not the laborious amendment process, which they all know is a dead end.
Their strategy, presumably, is to install enough judges onto the federal bench (especially at the highest level) who are willing to gut the Second Amendment to the point that the heart of its meaning is basically erased. It may not be a full and permanent repeal per se, but it would be a vast, unilateral, elite-imposed shift away from Heller and its related precedents, for which many liberals have open contempt. That's the plan. Obviously. It's the go-to tactic they use to conjure new rights they cannot win at the ballot box (Roe and Doe), and there's every reason to believe they'd embrace that same approach to restrict or end "problematic" rights they don't much care for. I'll leave you with recent polling on the question of supporting or opposing the repeal of the Second Amendment -- via YouGov:
Sixty percent of Americans oppose the idea, while just 21 percent support it. Among Republicans and Independents, the percentages in favor of doing away with gun rights were eight and 16 percent, respectively. But among Democrats? Nearly 40 percent. A substantial chunk of the Democratic Party's base wants the second freedom in the Bill of Rights to be gone. Between that data and the proliferation of explicit calls for repeal, why shouldn't Democrats be asked some very tough, detailed questions about how far they'd be willing to go, and what they'd like to see "achieved" by the judges they support?