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the Bill of Rights today
column by the Editor
posted October 9, 2007
COLUMN – I heard an interesting question
Monday. “If there were no Bill of Rights, do you think our current
leaders would come up with the same rights, and could it be passed
given the current congressional make-up?” It made me recall our Rights,
as our Founders deemed them as given by God, not government, and the
protections provided were from government’s intrusion over the people.
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.
Fat chance getting that one passed now. Already we have Congressional
members wanting to limit free speech with the lie of “political
correctness”, which basically is you can’t say what you really think
because somebody may be offended. And when was the last time you saw a
petition get anywhere with elected leaders, especially in Edgefield
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
Please, do not even try to sell me on the notion that our current
Congress would not wipe that one out. With exception for them, of
course, because they need to be “protected” from the now unarmed masses
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.
Okay, this one they might approve, followed by a disarming of our
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.
Not a chance. Have you flown in the last few years? By the time you get
through the TSA they know you better than your proctologist. Do not
forget this is the same government that uses your Social Security
number (which was forbidden) to track every piece of information about
you. Your income, property, medical history, credit history, bank
accounts, census information, and a plethora of other personal
information is already theirs.
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.
This one too might be able to be pushed through. I’m sure all those
lawyers in Congress could come up with additions to get passage.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district
wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have
been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses
against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his
favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
This would breeze by and might even get tougher on law enforcement.
After all, you know how all those on Capitol Hill hate one of their own
being busted for bribery by the FBI.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed
twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no
fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the
United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor
cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Jury trails? What do you need for long drawn out expensive jury trials?
Are you kidding? These two are slam dunk passage. Follow the money…
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Not a chance of passage. Most people do not even know this is a right.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.
Ditto again, too much responsibility for the “common man” to understand
Since this is October I thought I would give you a big scare on top of
all of this as an early Halloween trick or treat. One of the
front-runners for President said recently, “The private sector is not
the answer to anything.” In other words, government is the answer to
everything. Some say she might be elected. Slavery will be complete
when the dictators control everything, including your most basic
What do you really own anymore? Your home or land? No, try missing one
of the many taxes due on property that you and your family have owned
and paid taxes on for generations. It happens all the time on the steps
of courthouses across the country. The government even controls what
you do with the property they allow you to have through zoning.
They control what students learn, or don’t learn, in our schools.
The last great vestige to steal from you is your very life. If they
control all these things, plus your ability to gain access to
healthcare, they own you, lock, stock, and barrel.
Forgive me if I am unwilling to be shackled as a slave because others
will blindly follow promises of “security” over freedom and end up with
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