Welcome back to the third installment of the Know Your Rights series. This week we will be looking into the third amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Third Amendment isn’t one that gets a lot of media attention, nor does it seem like it is a real problem in our day to day lives, but it is very important.
The Third Amendment states that; “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.” The act of quartering soldiers in the homes of private residents was a big problem in Colonial America. During the French and Indian War, Britain had seized private dwellings for their troops to stay in. Some countries today still allow this practice, but we do not think of it as much of a threat to our daily lives here in America.
Perhaps we should. Following Hurricane Katrina, just about every right was violated. This one included. In a report from ABC News on the illegal gun confiscation that went on (breaking second amendment rights,) they note that some troops had set up their base camp in a private church, without permission.
The third amendment is a violation of rights – many rights. It violates privacy, freedom, and property and cannot be taken lightly. Know your rights to protect your rights.
Welcome to the second week of the Know Your Rights series, in which we are exploring and explaining the Bill of Rights and the rights, therefore, that we have and must protect against every offender. This week we are talking about the 2nd Amendment, which is a hot topic these days.
The 2nd Amendment is best known as the right to bear arms. The full text reads; “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.”
The idea to be able to protect yourself from others and from oppressive government is an idea that came from many heads. From John Locke to Samuel Adams; from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington; all of the founders and influential thinkers supported the rights of the citizens to keep and bear arms. They understood that it was a necessary part of the security of keeping a free state.
There is little that you have to study or understand about this brief but clear statement. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. It isn’t written in some old-timey English that doesn’t translate well to modern terms. It isn’t referring to any single type of arms – it is referring to all arms.
Regulating the age at which a free adult may purchase a gun is an infringement on their rights. Regulating the types of guns that a free adult may purchase is an infringement on their rights. Regulating the amount of ammo that a free adult may purchase is an infringement on their rights.
At any time that Americans have their right infringed upon – especially by their own government – Americans should be outraged. We should stand up and speak out. We should demand our rights be respected by our government and tell them that we will not tolerate a government that aims to lord their authority over ours.
Perhaps the most persuasive argument in favor of the Second Amendment actually comes from a Japanese Commanding Officer. During World War II Isoroku Yamamoto said, “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”
Homework: Look for reliable statistics about gun violence. Do your own homework and come to your own conclusion. Be educated about your beliefs, do not start empty arguments.
I’m excited to start on a series that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I want to make sure that I fulfill my civic duty by making sure that everyone who is a reader of this blog knows the Bill of Rights. If you do not know, the Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and contains text that ensures Americans their God given rights. We must know these rights. We must exercise these rights.
We cannot defend our rights if we do not know our rights. And very many people do not know their rights. In 2015, a Newseum Institute poll showed that 33% of Americans over the age of 18 could not name any part of the 1st Amendment! It is critically important that we know our rights and fight to keep them.
So, without any further ado, I present to you The First Amendment of U.S. Constitution.
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.
There are five parts to the first amendment – every one important, every one under attack.
1. Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion is often misinterpreted as the separation of church and state. In fact, the term “separation of church and state,” never appears in the constitution, or in any other government document from the 18th century. That term was taken out of context from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Church. What the first amendment means – what it guarantees – is that the government would not be involved in running the church or enforcing or regulating religion; and that you would have the freedom of exercising your beliefs without fear of retaliation.
2. Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech is the most straight forward of these five rights. While you cannot make terroristic threats, you do have the right to say what is on your mind without government regulation or censorship.
3. Freedom of the Press
Freedom of the press is another layer of freedom of speech. It allows reporters, columnists, newspapers – today, even bloggers! – to say their piece and express their opinion without being censored or restricted by government forces.
4. The Right of Assembly
The right of assembly allows people to peaceably assemble with the intent of enacting change or promoting an idea.
5. The Right to Petition
The right to petition is often downplayed or overlooked in the grand scheme of the first amendment. However, the right to petition is actually very significant. It means that we the people have the right to petition the government; petition, not necessarily meaning a piece of paper with a bunch of signatures. A petition is any formal request to someone in a place of authority. Every time that we write a congressman, call the White House, email the governor, we are petitioning. The right to petition is a crucial part in keeping the power of government in the hands of “we the people.”
I’m not a student of the law. I do not have a degree in American History or Civics. Perhaps you want to get interpretations from someone who is – that won’t hurt my feelings at all. I just want you to know what the Constitution says and what rights you have.
Homework: Memorize the rights guaranteed to us in the first amendment. Then, do research and be on the look out for stories that show a violation of these rights. Prepare yourself so that you do not become a victim.
The hot topic in the news this week is gun control. This comes as a result of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Unlike many, I disagree that the right time to talk about such a big policy change is right after an incident like this when everyone is thinking emotionally. As much as you need your heart to be influential, you need your mind to be clear and the logic to prevail. Nonetheless, we are human, and the emotional side of us wants to have this discussion right now. So, let’s have it.
I want to forewarn you that I am a huge supporter of the 2nd Amendment and this will be a controversial post. I try to touch on these sensitive subjects in a way that doesn’t offend anyone, but I will also be direct and unapologetic about my beliefs.
I have heard some shocking things lately from people the I considered to be conservatives. I still respect these people, but I couldn’t disagree with them more. I am going to list a couple of things I’ve heard, and the reasons I cannot agree.
- There is no reason for the public to have assault style rifles.
- Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. But it is there right to purchase one if they would like. There are far more responsible, not murdering, legal assault style rifle owners than there are those who commit crimes. Should we punish the many because of the few? Maybe you think we should. But how about this statistic? Rifles are used to kill approximately 374 people a year, while falling out of bed kills approximately 450 people a year. And really, who needs a bed? Maybe we should ban furniture, so no one dies falling out of a bed ever again!
- Maybe we need stricter gun laws and tougher background checks!
- The states with the strictest gun laws contain cities with the highest rates of gun violence. Furthermore, I would like to submit to you that regardless of whether or not they obtained their guns legally, people who kill people aren’t afraid to break the law. I come to this conclusion based on the fact that killing people is against the law.
Those are the two biggest things I have heard from some of my friends on the right. Of course, my friends on the left are saying all this and more. The call for common sense gun control is out of control. But if it is common sense gun control they want, then it’s common sense gun control they shall receive.
Step 1: Research shows that 98% of mass shootings occur in gun free zones; thus, common sense dictates removing gun free zones.
Step 2: Short of being Superman, the easiest and quickest way to stop a shooter is with a gun; ergo, more responsible people should carry guns. Think about putting armed guards in schools.
Step 3: Reform the education system and challenge parents to get more involved in hopes that these kids may not grow up with the desire to do harm.
It is time we realized that common sense gun control means more guns, not less.
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” -Benjamin Franklin
What is the book about?
The book is just a collection of short stories about theoretical conversations I would have with certain historical figures. I don’t put words in their mouth or manipulate their political agenda; I use their own words and cite every source.
How did you come up with the idea?
Growing up, my dad would ask us random questions. “If you could be any animal what animal would you be?” “What time period would you most like to visit?” “If you could have dinner with any one in history who would it be and why?” About a year ago, I took that last question and wrote my first My Dinner With story as a blog post. It got a lot of attention and I decided to write more and make a book.
What type of things do you talk about with the Founding Fathers?
Anything and everything. Small talk is an important part of any good dinner party, and that’s where a lot of the humor comes into play. Beyond that, however, we talk about the thing that links us all together – America.
Who is this book for?
Anyone and everyone. It’s a really quick read: just five short stories full of whit and wisdom. It can be used as a teaching tool – I was homeschooled growing up and I know homeschoolers love to pepper this type of thing into their curriculums. But it’s also for the casual reader. It’s a lot of fun, honest.
When is it available and how can I buy it?
eBooks are available on President’s Day, February 19th, 2018. You can get them at lulu.com, kobo.com; or on iBooks, nook, or Amazon Kindle.
What are you working on next?
My big project right now is just getting this book out there and read. I do have plans to add more My Dinner With books to the series, so hopefully this first book will be received well. I’m always looking for ways to help connect people with American history and I think story telling is a really great way to do that.