Click here for more opinions
Bill of Rights is crucial to U.S. citizens - Comments (2) View Comments
Carole McWilliams - 3/25/2013
This year’s heated (to put it politely) debate about 2nd Amendment gun rights includes on one end those who insist that any gun restrictions whatsoever are a plot to gut the amendment and take away our guns.
Others argue that the other amendments in the Bill of Rights have some limits and are not absolute, and neither is the 2nd Amendment.
The 1st Amendment has five parts. The press is subject to libel laws and liability for various transgressions into personal privacy. As for speech, next time you are on a commercial plane, try joking about having a bomb in your luggage and see what happens. Inciting others to violence might cross the line too. I hope so, although it seems to be anything goes on the internet.
Your religious freedom doesn’t include the right to violate someone else’s religious freedom. You have a right to peaceable assembly. Riots and destruction aren’t included.
Petitioning for the redress of grievances doesn’t include those either, although history has shown that sometimes more than petitions are needed to get the attention of powers that be, e.g. during the civil rights protest era.
The 3rd Amendment about forced quartering of troops in people’s homes was relevant when we won independence from Britain, but probably irrelevant now. That’s why we never hear anything about it.
The 4th Amendment against illegal search and seizure was gutted in the name of the War on Drugs. Property confiscation is a popular way for law enforcement to bring in extra revenue, and it’s not contingent on the owner being found guilty of a drug crime. The 4th also has suffered in the name of security after the 9-11 attacks. Google FISA and Patriot Act.
The important 5th and 6th Amendment due process protections were gutted by the Bush-Cheney regime after the 9-11 attacks as well. Same with the 8th Amendment that prohibits excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment.
Amendment 7 is a sleeper dealing with civil lawsuits where more than $20 is at stake.
Amendments 9 and 10 are beloved of libertarians and states rights proponents, preserving rights to the states and the people. I would argue that the federal War on Drugs has violated these, in terms of the rights of citizens and states to legalize medical and recreational marijuana.
Conversely, social conservatives argue for states’ rights to take away women’s reproductive choices and to discriminate against non-heterosexuals. I oppose any claim of states’ rights that involves taking away anyone’s rights as an individual.
Anything can be taken to extreme and thus pervert something that is otherwise good. The Constitution and its amendments are no exception.
1/24/2014 War on Poverty has become war on the poor
1/9/2014 We're still here!
1/2/2014 Gay marriage, pot illustrate changing society
5/24/2013 Why do we fight cancer with bake sales?
3/25/2013 Bill of Rights is crucial to U.S. citizens
9/22/2011 Picking on the Rich
9/9/2011 Has it really been 10 years??
9/8/2011 The Age of Misinformation?
9/8/2011 Nothing like the open road to clear the mind
8/18/2011 Local government should reflect local concerns
8/11/2011 Woe to Our Culture
7/29/2011 Times welcomes all opinions
7/22/2011 Kudos, prayers deserved after Sunday morning collision
7/22/2011 2004 and 2011: same debt debate, but roles reversed
4/1/2011 Hug your kids and remember Shaniah
2/11/2011 Statement from Matthew J. Box, Chairman of the Southern Ute Tribe.
1/14/2011 Time to take a long, hard look in the mirror, America
11/5/2010 Juan Williams firing about money, not free speech
6/10/2010 A real balanced budget means nothing is sacred
3/26/2010 Let’s give medical marijuana a chance
2/5/2010 Will there be a convention to reconstitute the U. S. Constitution?
1/8/2010 Would you trust your healthcare to a bunch of mules?
11/23/2009 We're still hanging in there!
10/2/2009 Thanks for making Bayfield Heritage Days a success
8/7/2009 Summer's over, but future beckons for youth
7/16/2009 How I spent my summer vacation
7/3/2009 Have a great Independence Day!
6/26/3009 Mill Street is still a downtown gem
6/19/2009 Healthcare reform should not benefit only insurance companies
6/12/2009 A recreation center in Bayfield? Let's get real
5/1/2009 Go kids, go!
4/17/2009 Want to be a part of our community?
4/3/2009 What is the future of newspapers?
3/20/2009 Turning off the lights for an hour is silly
3/13/2009 Should your access issues affect my property?
1/30/2009 Please immunize your kids
1/23/2009 Welcome, President Obama!
11/7/2008 Leave my trash alone, thank you
8/15/2008 Investing in kids is good for our future
7/3/2008 King George and President George - it's easy to confuse the two on July 4
6/27/2008 Supreme Court denies Bush's power grab
5/23/2008 U.S. is heading in the wrong direction
4/25/2008 Republicans entertained by Democrats
4/18/2008 Insurance doesn't mean health care
4/11/2008 County violates landowners' rights
2/21/2008 Waterboarding could be Bush's Watergate