---- — To the editor:
We have lost our way. Our Constitution is a brilliant document that was authored by the most forward-thinking men of the times, or any times, for that matter. The voters of current day and recent history have managed to elect leaders that not only disregard that document but downright trample on it at times.
The Constitution is not a “living document.” It is a document that was meant to give very limited powers to our government; to protect the people from a tyrannical government. Freedom does not exist in a vacuum, nor does it die a swift death. As a modern-day American, you do not even have to “earn” this freedom as thousands of men spilled their blood at the dawn of America’s time to win it for you. Many multiples of thousands have since shed their blood, not to spread freedom and its ideals, but to protect it from encroaching powers that would eliminate it entirely.
Although freedom in America no longer must be earned, it must be kept secure via the actions of the people who wish to remain under its umbrella. The first, second and fourth amendments are vital to freedom and its survival. These are the amendments we see marginalized the most. Every American has the right to free speech, the right to own weapons for self-defense and the right to expect that they will be secure in their papers and possessions from unreasonable search and seizure. It is of the utmost importance that we realize that rights are not granted by the Constitution but rather the Constitution is meant to tell the government that it may not interfere with or restrict any of these rights for any reason. Pay attention to what is going on around us.
Free speech is still largely allowed, with the caveat that it is allowed so long as select groups are not offended. This is sometimes referred to as political correctness.
The right to keep and bear arms has been dying a long, slow death over the last 100 years. This right was explicitly added to ensure that citizens would not become subjects. When you have no means to defend yourself, you have no means to resist unlawful or violent actions, no matter who undertakes those actions against you. This right is by far the single most important right outlined in the Constitution because when this right is infringed to the point of being useless, the entire Bill of Rights will be but a pen stroke away from the memory hole.
The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures has become essentially nonexistent. One only needs to witness the militarization of our civilian police forces with their arbitrary and sometimes brutal enforcement of our countless malum prohibitum laws to understand that this is not a path that leads to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The America we think we know is on life support. Every time we elect a new politician, be they Democrat, Republican or independent, who promises government intervention for problems faced by the masses, we are adding a signature to the petition to pull the plug on America and the values our country was founded on. The federal government was founded to protect our national interests and ensure that commerce existed between the states. It was not founded to run our schools, pay for our health care, distribute our taxes or any other matter that should be handled on a state-by-state basis.
There is no shortage of parables, cliches or anecdotes to illustrate how freedom is lost. There is no shortage of true historical examples to demonstrate how freedom is lost.
There is a shortage of people who understand how freedom is lost.