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Passing the Bill of Rights today

A column by the Editor
web 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.

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.

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 County.

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.

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 they control.

Amendment III
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 military.

Amendment IV
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.

Amendment V
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.

Amendment VI
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. 

Amendment VII
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.

Amendment VIII
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…

Amendment IX
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.

Amendment X
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 and handle.

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 healthcare.

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 neither.

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