Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The 1st an 2nd Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
I pulled these from an online "Bill of Rights" website. Article the third [Amendment I] Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. This says that we can say what we want to say to and about others. It does not say that we cannot be held responsible if our utterances are the proximate cause of a crime against a person or the state or if such utterance is a crime against sundry local, state or federal statues (libel, slander, assault--for instance) in an of itself. Article the fourth [Amendment II] 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. This says that we can all have guns (at least in the minds of the current SCotUS re: Washington D.C.'s ban on ownership of handguns in the District). Whether it means everybody in the country can have guns is not settled law yet. Our political opposites (and, in many cases, social and intellectual opposites--hint: smart and friendly, they're not) like to think that the 1st and 2nd Amendments are their exclusive birthright. They would have us think that, in light of their superior patriotism and obvious moral righteousness that they may decide who has the right to free-speech. In their minds that right is not universal; it is reserved for them and their fellows. They would likewise have us believe that they have an unfettered right to keep and bear arms, regardless their lethality or utility. When I have commented on other blogs that they might want to think about what that means in terms of the people they are so afraid of having the same rights they are silent or, more typically, abusive and dismissive. I often wonder at the apparent dichotomy of the pick-ups and other vehicles I see with bumper stickers that espouse anti-abortion views; the notion that GOD is actually driving/navigating the vehicle(it's often unclear which--although I don't believe GOD gets pulled over for DWI); that JESUS loves the occupant and it's reciprocal AND that GUNS are fun, necessary and BY GOD the vehicle occupant's until death do them part. I am pretty much an atheist these days, but I did spend 13 years in parochial school getting the lessons of Catholicism poured over me like the saving waters and I don't remember JESUS or GOD being Life (+eternity) NRA members. As is obvious from yesterday's post and the comments in the thread I have new readers. People like Serr8ball, who see themselves as the arbiters and guardians of MurKKKa do have those first and second amendment rights. They would do well to remember that WE ALL DO. I could simply ban the idiots but it is interesting, in the way that viewing a surgery on cable is interesting, to learn what they think. I've been invited, numerous times to various reichwing blogs. WTF? That's not an invitation any sane person who disagrees with such people would be interested in accepting--especially given comments to the effect that one would be assaulted at said sites. No, I think I'll stay here in my little blogtopia with my make-believe friends--at least they're sane and decent folks. Thus endeth today's rant.