Military stories from past to present, both wars.

The Bill of Rights…225 years

September 19th, 2012 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

 

Monday, 17 September, was the 225th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution.  You know the yellowed piece of paper enshrined over at National Archives in Washington DC that was featured in “National Treasure” (see for an old guy, I’m up on semi current movies) when they stole it.

It turns out, that I was giving my Joe Foss patriot talk to a local High School on the 17th, the exact anniversary.  It was fitting really because kids really don’t understand the freedoms we have here in our country and why others will do almost anything to be here.

The course that the Joe Foss program promotes, talks about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Because I’m limited to an hour per class, I gloss over the country building details and concentrate on the Bill of Rights.

This is the most important part to me and I use my vast experience and travels around the world to demonstrate most of the major points.

So let’s start with the first Amendment

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 one is great.  Let’s talk about Freedom of Speech and assembly.  You have the right to say almost anything.  Actually you can say all you want but there may be repercussions for what you spew.  I mean, if you talk bad about your company, don’t be surprised if they ask you to leave.  Maybe you decide to make a movie that depicts the Prophet Mohammad in poor light, it’s your right to do so.  The ignorant and intolerant over in the middle east may not agree with you which may cause some problems as they burn their countries down.

On the other hand, if you wish to protest against President Obama, you can take out a permit and talk about why you think National Health care is a bad deal, see it’s legal.  Now of course you are entitled to have a peaceful protest but if you decide to veer from that course and destroy shop windows along your walk, pretty sure you will be arrested but not shot.

There are tons of examples in the news where protestors in a half dozen of these Muslim countries this past year and during the “Arab Failed Spring” were killed for protesting against the Government.   Heck, let’s throw in China for that matter, they have killed lots of college kids and others over the years.  Maybe Russia for good measure as well, when Millions, with a capital M were expunged and killed.  Ole Stalin did a good job on weeding out the problem children during his purge?

See, they don’t have the right to free speech.  We do.

Freedom of Religion.  You have the right to worship whoever you believe in, whether you call him God, Allah, or Buddha.  Doesn’t matter and you can build a house of worship almost anywhere here in the States.  Did you know that it’s illegal to worship anything but Islam in an Islamic country?  There was a Christian Missionary over in Afghanistan I met once who was caught with a Bible.  They (the culturally sensitive Muslims) beheaded her for that.  No trial, just a nice rusty sword.  That goes for just about any Islamic country.  We don’t have that problem here, just ask the Air Force who built an 80 thousand dollar Wiccan/Pagan/Druid worship center at the Air Force Academy to accommodate a few of these folks.   Could you imagine the Islamic Republic of Iran building a Methodist church for a few converts to Christianity?  Nope, it would be a cold day in hell.

Freedom of Press.  This is to keep the Government honest.  The only problem is when all the news and paper outlets are so slanted in one direction or the other, it almost becomes state directed mass media.  But back to the start, you have the right to free speech so you can write in the local paper and depending if they allow your opinion to be voiced, it will be printed.  Now on the other hand, even in a semi free country if you were to do a caricature of the Kind and Gentle prophet Mohammad with say a bomb in his turbine to express the asinine belief of giving your life for a spot in heaven, there might be a few crazed Muslims banging on your door or giving you death threats.

The Second Amendment (my favorite)

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.

 

We are about the only country that allows its citizens to be armed.  While there are those in power who believe no one should have a gun except himself and his body guards as he goes about his daily duties in New York City, the rest of us carry a weapon or have the right to own one.  My Cousin down in Australia doesn’t have that right.  The Government had everyone register their weapons and then came back a few years later to collect them all.  It didn’t matter if the Colt .45 was the weapon your father carried back in WWII.  They took them all.  Now the only folks who own a gun are the bad guys and the police.  The rest of them pretty much have to bring a knife to a gun fight.

Do you know why the Japanese decided not to invade America?  Because they knew we would go “Red Dawn” (another great movie reference) on them.  Every American would start shooting at them from behind every tree.

Funny how this can be such a hot topic especially after every mass shooting in the US.  But can you imagine if the citizens of Norway were allowed to have a Concealed weapons permit when Anders Behring Breivik, the man who killed 77 people, started mowing folks down.  Maybe one guy could have stopped it.  Who knows…tragic.

The Third Amendment is pretty straight forward and because King George would just kick you out of your house.

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

 

I tell the kids that if a police officer were to pull you over and asked you “Hey do you mind if I search your car?” that you have the right to say no.  If they don’t have probable cause, they can’t search your car without a warrant.  That’s why you, with nothing to hide, wants to be the good citizen and agrees to let him.   There are lots of different examples of this so there isn’t one blanket example to cover them all.  Of course this doesn’t work with your parents and somewhere you signed a slip of paper giving the school the right to search any of your property on school grounds.  The funny thing is, when you know your rights, there is little to be afraid of.

The Fifth Amendment is my favorite.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

 

Right after Zimmerman had shot Martin, I was giving this talk in a mostly Black High School.  I asked who thought George Zimmerman should be strung up and hung for the death of Trayvon Martin.  All the kid raised their hands and shouted out “Justice for Trayvon!” almost in unison.  I looked at them all and then asked, “What if the shooter was black and the dead guy was Hispanic/white, would you want the shooter hung without a trial?”

They were pretty mum about that.  That’s when I explained about committing a “Capital Crime-murder” and the DA had to present this case to a Grand Jury to see if it should go to court or not.  I told them stories of the old man in Dallas who has killed four trespassers over the years.  These now dead worthless elements of our society broke into his metal salvage yard and threatened him with a crow bar (never bring a crow bar or knife to a shotgun fight) and he gave them both double doses of .12 gauge buck shot.   He was given a “No Bill” which means no court for him and it was a justified shooting.  These rights are here to protect you from the instant hanging lynch mobs.

Well, that’s it for tonight as I look at almost four pages of me spewing madness.  Go read the Constitution and look over your Bill of Rights, it really is what makes this the greatest nation on the planet.

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