Warrior's Quill

The Author Blog of Ethan E. Harris

Put My Bill of Rights on Your “Do Not Protest List”

There are no background checks on the 1st Amendment

The Constitution of the United States (which I’ll call COTUS) and the Bill of Rights are starting to look like a declassified document with redaction marks throughout the text. Like a document that might show up on the X-Files, line by line, it’s getting harder to read. The document is being redacted and no Freedom of Information Act will be able to erase the editorial revisions. The way I see it, the people of the United States should be the editors. But right now, the Office of the President is offering to make those corrections for us. We didn’t vote on it and States aren’t offering to ratify any revisions.

The way I see it worked out in society is that if I threaten someone’s safety or legal rights, I am in jeopardy of violating that person. People in society are protected from being violated in their person and in their legal status from any action or statement on my behalf. I can lose my rights for violating others, but you can’t take away my right when you think I might violate someone’s rights. We all have the potential to be criminals, but most of us don’t act on it. Just because the potential exists doesn’t mean that we will commit crimes.

COTUS: 1st Amendment – Protection of my thoughts from tyranny

It seems to be a uniquely American idea. I can say whatever I want unless it impacts the safety or rights of others. In theory, I can voice any opinion without any concern for being penalized by the State or Federal governments. I can exercise the religion of my choice without the government imposing their beliefs on me. I can even put my thoughts in print with near impunity.

But even though I have Freedom of Speech, I don’t have Freedom of Place. I can shout “Fire!” all day long, but when I do it in a crowded theater  I’ve placed lives at risk. I have the freedom to disagree with the President, but that doesn’t mean I will have access to the Oval Office in order to voice that opinion.

I think protesting at a military member’s funeral infringes on the funeral party’s right to peaceably assemble. It’s an offensive (meaning aggressive) means to voice my opinion to a captive audience. It can even be perceived as threatening their personal safety. Basically, it’s a really bad decision process that leads to protesting funerals.

Freedom of Speech also doesn’t give me unlimited access to the audience I wish to address. My Freedom of Speech doesn’t place an obligation to be heard on whoever or whatever I like or don’t like. It’s Freedom of Speech, not Obligation to Listen. I can petition to be heard, but there is no guarantee I will be heard.

If you want “make your voice heard,” just leave a message or put me on your “do not call list.” We’re all getting so narcissistic, thinking that everyone has something significant to say or post or tweet, that I’m going to push back a little and opt out of listening to a lot of the noise. I think I’ll click on my privacy options and select “friends of friends” only.

COTUS: 2nd Amendment – Protection of my security from tyranny

I have noticed in this recent “gun discussion” that one group advocates their rights by appealing to the good of the right to exist. It’s a fundamental right to own and bear arms. And that, in itself, seems good enough for them. Many people are being motivated to exercise that right under the threat that the right is in danger of being redefined.

But, my right to bear arms doesn’t mean I have to bear arms. I don’t have to exercise my rights in order to possess my rights. And I can’t make you exercise your right or even appreciate mine.

One group in the US says they will resist all attempts to infringe on their rights, including the right to bear arms. Consistent with that Right, these folks say they will exercise that right in order to protect that right. How would overturning this right be enforced? By compulsion. By force. You would have to force me to give up my rights. I really don’t know a single person that would willingly give up any right they currently possess.

Just because Janeane Garofalo has the potential to violate the 1st Amendment, well, that doesn’t mean I may revoke her right. I might not like how she uses her right, but what I like or don’t like has no bearing on her justification to exercise her right. I can voice my dissatisfaction with how many words per sentence she uses, the caliber of the publication her words appear in, or even the loopholes she uses when denouncing the use of oil. There are no background checks on the 1st Amendment even though speech has always throughout history been a leading cause of conflict. She can exercise her right whenever and wherever she wants without a waiting period (a “cooling off period”) and without a license. Come to think of it, the 1st Amendment is very expansive, isn’t it?

One group advocates resisting when someone attacks their right. That’s defense. It’s passive. Ironically, it’s quite peaceful until attacked.

Another group redefines resistance as getting in the face of their opponent, forcing the opponent to give in to certain “demands” by “marching” or “making their voice heard”. That’s offensive. That’s aggressive.

Certain journalists are also to blame for creating a culture of 2nd Amendment contempt by releasing the names of gun owners in New York [article here]. I wonder how many people will recognize the historic parallel:

From Berlin on January 6th the German official radio broadcast–“The German military commander for Belgium and Northern France announced yesterday that the population would be given a last opportunity to surrender firearms without penalty up to January 20th and after that date anyone found in possession of arms would be executed.”
So the Nazi invaders set a deadline similar to that announced months ago in Czecho-Slovakia, in Poland, in Norway, in Romania, in Yugo-Slavia, in Greece.
How often have we read the familiar dispatches “Gestapo agents accompanied by Nazi troopers swooped down on shops and homes and confiscated all privately-owned firearms!”
What an aid and comfort to the invaders and to their Fifth Column cohorts have been the convenient registration lists of privately owned firearms–lists readily available for the copying or stealing at the Town Hall in most European cities.
What a constant worry and danger to the Hun and his Quislings have been the privately owned firearms in the homes of those few citizens who have “neglected” to register their guns!
["The Nazi Deadline," American Rifleman, February 1942]

Gun control is the gateway drug of genocide.

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.” – Adolf Hitler

Conclusion

Is it acceptable for people who are famous by being famous to alter my rights? It’s fine for them to attack proponents of the 2nd Amendment. They have a powerful platform to sway public opinion against the exercise of my rights. And I think it’s hypocritical to make millions off of simulating violence in movies while being shocked when actual violence occurs. You can’t make a fantasy and then get upset when people try to live out the fantasy. Of course, you could just give back the money you made off of those violent roles if you possess the courage of your convictions.

I opt out of your restrictions on my rights. I do not give you authorization to occupy my privacy. Put my Bill of Rights on your “do not protest list” and leave me out of your revolutionary upheavals.

One comment on “Put My Bill of Rights on Your “Do Not Protest List”

  1. Maria
    January 10, 2013

    Well said, Sir.

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This entry was posted on January 10, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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