There’s been a lot of talk about the second amendment recently. I’m not talking about the second this time around (though I’ll touch on it briefly insofar as it interacts with other topics). Today is reserved for the rest of the amendments under attack.
Let’s just go in order, shall we?
The first amendment is the most popular one for the most part it seems. Freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly and all that good stuff. Except recently there’s been calls to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to reign in the subversive speech. Sure, the internet wasn’t around in the time of the founding fathers, but the interpretation of this amendment is broad. This is the right for you to be you. It also divides church and state. Of course this is under attack as well since “this is a Christian nation.” Horseshit it is.
Second — bear arms. Skipping as previously noted.
The fourth amendment deals with search and seizure, requiring warrants, and all sorts of fun. Of course we should soundly remind the NSA, FBI, and various other three letter acronyms about this. The mass surveillance that is happening online, the application of stingray cell phone intercepts, and many other things in that vein shows that this amendment is under vehement attack as well. It also is what grants us privacy and the rights to our own bodies (code for allowing for safe and legal abortions). Of course we know the media reporting on that.
Not testifying against yourself is the realm of the fifth amendment. You can’t be compelled to give your password to personal information… but you can be compelled to give biometric information to unlock your phone for instance. Huh?
A speedy trial, due process, facing your accusers is the purview of the sixth. Lets say you have something like a secret no-fly list that you get on “because reasons.” It is alleged that you get on by being a terrorist. How would you explain that the TSA hired a bunch of people on that list? Or the infants that get on. Or even that you can’t find out if you’re on it, nor can you get yourself off. There is almost zero recourse that someone on the list can take. That is you have no right to due process, facing your accusers, or a trial.
This runs into the seventh which gives the right to a trial by jury. If you’re on the list, well, sucks to be you I suppose.
A key to note here is that the bill of rights isn’t granting rights to people. It is merely enumerating rights that the people already have naturally.
This is where it intersects with the second amendment. If you’re on the no-fly list — a secret list that you don’t know if you’re on, you can’t find out why you’re on, nor have a way of getting off — the removal of second amendment’s rights are unconstitutional. It’s like saying that it’s illegal for you to protest, or have a Facebook account, or even to privacy, or being compelled to testify against yourself.
These grabs by the people in power, through the use of fear and misinformation, does nothing but erode us all of rights that we all hold dear. You may not like the second amendment, but your right to complain about it is guaranteed by the first. Both of those, along with many others are slowly being whittled away.
This is sad. The fact that I see the bill of rights being trampled on and people cheering it along is more than a bit distressing.
Don’t let the people in power — be it Republicans or Democrats since they smell much the same to me — take away your rights. Worse still, don’t let them force you to cower in fear and have you give them up yourself.