(CBS News) — Retired Supreme Court Justice calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment to allow for significant gun control legislation. The 97-year-old Stevens wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times on Tuesday suggesting a repeal would weaken the ability to “block constructive gun control legislation” and be a more “effective and more lasting reform.”is
“Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century,” wrote Stevens.READ MORE: Torrance Woman Arrested In Mistaken ID Retaliation Murder Of NorCal Rapper
In his essay, the former justice embraced legislation that would, increase the minimum age for buying a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establish a “more comprehensive”
Stevens was on the losing end of a 2008 ruling in which the high court held that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own a gun for self-defense. He had previously called for changing the Second Amendment to permit gun control.READ MORE: Mother-Daughter Team Win Decade-Long Battle To Bring Sidewalks To San Bernardino County Community Of Muscoy
Stevens said the decision in that case, District of Columbia v. Heller, “has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power.” Stevens retired from the court in 2010, after more than 35 years.
The former justice also said the“demand our respect,” hailing the civic engagement of young children as a stepping stone to enacting legislation to “minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.”
Stevens added, “That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform. It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States — unlike every other market in the world. It would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008 and honor the memories of the many, indeed far too many, victims of recent gun violence.”MORE NEWS: UCLA Basketball Star Johnny Juzang Declares For NBA Draft, But Intends To Retain Collegiate Eligibility
(© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)