WARNING: After this you may never view the constitution the same ever again.
It is a matter of perspective, it would seem, dividing the Left and the Right on which constitutional amendments are the most important. To the paranoid, frightened or dangerously immature, the second amendment would pretend to be the most important. Fear not, however, this is not just another gun-grabbing Liberal dirge I actually see value in responsible gun ownership, with reasonable oversight. And if I may for a moment, the perverse every man, woman and child packin’ 24/7 culture is the mark of idiots not patriots. By that measure child porn should be legal, or screaming the N-word in church should carry no repercussions because they are the ultimate fulfillment of the First Amendment.
Too much? The NRA has fought even the most “liberal” gun restraints, advocating for guns to be carried everywhere, and that people should own machineguns, and that there should be no restrictions at gun shows- shown as the primary source of guns that end up on the killing streets of this nation. Rep. Joe Walsh on his nightly gun porn-propaganda program argues for guns everywhere and screamed his paid for outrage by advocating a boycott of Starbucks simply because the CEO requested-requested-requested that patrons not bring weapons into their coffee shops.
The promise of the constitution has always been hard-fought and won through non-violent action. Photo courtesy of Jerry Boyle and Occupy Chicago
Walsh, the NRA, Beck and other gun pornographers attest that the right to bear arms at church, while shopping, during sex is a God-given right. Simply because someone writes the words down as a God-given right doesn’t…does anyone believe that god appeared to the so-called founding fathers to proclaim 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.”? Seriously?
True to the letter of the law, I should be able to keep a bazooka in the car, or own a rocket launcher or be able to lay landmines around my property. They are all “arms” after all. But we don’t allow such arm-aments of warfare in civil society in America, do we? Reasonable people understand that Thomas Jefferson likely did not anticipate a Predator drone or even the Thompson submachine gun, which was responsible for unprecedented carnage, even by today’s standards, on the streets of this nation before being banned during the 1920s and 30s.
On the other hand are primarily Progressives, Liberals and centrists who believe that the First and the Fourth amendments are the most sacrosanct. And there is a substantial case to be made that no other freedoms are possible without the right of free speech or the prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure remaining strong. Many would argue that the current masturbatory-schoolyard impassion over guns points to a notion that the constitution is a historic document in need of constant scrutiny, oversight and evolution. That argument is supported by the fact that women and blacks can vote, and that prohibition went into effect banning liquor, and then was repealed by reasoned souls.
In defense, a bit, of the gun-pervs, no change should ever be made lightly, and must always be viewed in context of the past, present and most especially the potential for future abuse. But the constitution is very definitely a living document. The all but forgotten 3rd amendment that protects all of us from soldiers quartering in our homes is a shining example. It is an example that neither the Left nor the Right seem to refer to much. The Left simply ignores it as a relic of the past, while the Right just hopes that it remains safely in the shadows where it won’t be used again their flimsy as toilet paper arguments for gun proliferation. The 3rd amendment truly is the amendment that dare not speak its name
Many will find this shocking, some a heresy and others outrageous, but despite pretense, the constitution and these United States is a deeply flawed document, only curtailed from being a document of oppression by the diligence and sacrifice of citizen activists. Every defense-every defense and expansion of civil rights for the truly common citizen has been hard fought, not by gun slinging Tea Party types, and definitely not the cottage-cheese assed playground bravado of talk radio hosts, but by the stalwart, unflinching activism and organizing of citizens compelling change through non-violence. That the state and status quo media have always tacitly and often explicitly encouraged or supported violence against those activists underscores the oppressive tendency a static or unchanging constitution would protect.
Need more evidence? Everything is, as we have seen, in the perspective, and perspectives by their nature inform interpretation. The very first line of the constitution may be interpreted to completely negate all of the amendments to the constitution. Through that interpretation every American may be stripped of their “God-given” rights: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
It is this that becomes the most dangerous threat to the freedom of Americans, “… insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare…” First of all, they spelled “defense” wrong, at least by contemporary standards-part of that living document thing. But “insure domestic tranquility?” That is a dangerously broad and interpretive phrase. What becomes the bulwark against its abuse is the weight of the citizenry, not with guns. That has never worked, but with true pressure by an active and engaged citizenry…
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