Is the Bill of Rights too old?

I’ll be posting a snippet later today but a comment I saw the other day has really bothered me. The comment was basically condemning the Second Amendment because it is 200 years old. Anything that old is out-of-date and needs to be tossed out, at least according to the thought process (and I use that term loosely) of the person who made the comment. I’ll admit, the very idea of tossing out any of the Bill of Rights simply because of their age had me shaking my head and wondering what in the hell our kids are being taught these days.

Whether you support private ownership of guns or not, you should quake in your boots at the mindset behind the comment referenced above. Without looking at any of the other amendments to the Constitution, let’s see what we would be giving up if we tossed aside the Bill of Rights simply because we live in a “modern” age.

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.

So, without the First Amendment, we could have a state sponsored religion, we could be told what we could and could not worship. There would no longer be even the pretext of freedom speech or of the press. We would no longer have the right to assemble, etc.

So answer me this: are you ready to be told you can no longer go to your church or synagogue or mosque or wherever you go to worship? Are you ready to be told no more than three people can gather at a time in public? Or how about you can’t speak or write about something that doesn’t first get approval from the appropriate governmental agency?

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.

Are you ready to be told that you can’t own a gun at all? Or what happens if the courts or Congress expand that ban to knives or anything else that can be used to inflict harm on another? I don’t know about you, but I am not ready to give up my right to protect myself and my loved ones.

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.

Are you ready for the government to seize your property to house the military or military related personnel? If so, I suggest you go back and study what Germany did during the 1930’s and early 1940’s.

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.

I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t care if this Amendment was 2,000 years old instead of 200 +. We should be safe from unreasonable searches and seizures. Yes, I know the government has shrunk some of those safeties but we still have more freedoms and protections here than in all too many other nations around the world.

I think you get my drift. Read the rest of the Bill of Rights below. If you are willing to give up any of the freedoms and rights guaranteed by them — and by subsequent case law — let me know. For me, I don’t give a flying fuck about the age of the document. These are fundamental rights, the cornerstone of our nation. To say they are too old is to show how much of the kool-aid you’ve drunk.

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 offense 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.

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 defense.

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.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

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.

4 Comments

  1. And of course, these Amendments were created by White Males some of whom were Slave Owners. [Frown]

  2. For all those Living Document people… The beauty of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is that should there come a time that portions or parts no longer fit what we become, or conditions arise that were not foreseen, there is an app for that! The Founders knew that was a possibility and put into the document itself a process to amend the document. No need for penumbras, or interpretations, or pretzel logic to try to justify anything… don’t like what it says? Amend it! Go through the process. If you can’t do that, maybe your idea isn’t as necessary or popular as you think…

  3. Oddly enough, this “too old” complaint never applies to the nearly 200 year-old ideas of Marx . . .

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