This post is filed under the category, "Duct Tape Alert." Since I haven't used this category in a while, let me repeat what this means: A Duct Tape Alert means that I suggest you wrap your head in duct tape before reading, because when (not if) your head explodes, you will be able to find all of the pieces.
So I find this on the Huffington Post, and I am seriously wondering, "Who ties this guy's shoelaces???"
Justin Curmi has a three part series (so far) on "A Revision of the Bill of Rights." Part I, Part II, Part III and Part III, Questions Unanswered. All I can infer is there will be another seven articles until he has gone through nine of the ten Amendments in the Bill or Rights. I'm thinking he will probably skip the Third Amendment.
Justin misses entirely the purpose of the Constitution, which is a limitation on the scope of a federal government. I do agree that the Preamble sets the tone for the entire document, however he misses the overall point. He also seems to consider the Bill of Rights to be a secondary Constitution, rather than what they are, changes to the scope of original document.
The original Bill of Rights actually consisted of twelve, not ten amendments. The first has never been ratified, it being a plan on how to change the proportions of citizens to representatives as the population of the country grew. In 1911, Congress fixed the number of Representatives at 435. The second amendment ultimately became the 27th Amendment in 1992.
There is a preamble to the Bill of Rights:
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution. [Emphasis mine]
So, the Bill of Rights is a recognition that the rights of Man come from a Higher Power and the government constituted under this document must respect and not infringe upon these Rights. Every word of the Constitution as originally drafted and the Bill of Rights have the sole purpose of clearly defining and restraining the power of the federal government.
So, in Part II he says this:
If there are grievances, the people have the right to peaceably protest and write the government to address the grievance. Thus, the government cannot make a law but if there is a grievance brought to them by the people, they can ban or bar what is causing the grievance.
Again I am asking myself if someone pushes the straw into his drink box for him...
"The government cannot make a law but if there is a grievance brought to them by the people, they can ban or bar what is causing the grievance?" Really? Really? Of course they can make a law. And the various federal agencies can make additional regulations. They make these laws and regulations "public" in the Federal register, which it takes a special breed of person to effectively make their way through that and retain their sanity.
The United States is founded upon three Boxes: the Soap Box (as in the free expression and exchange of ideas and political opinions), the Ballot Box (throw the bums out of office) and the Cartridge Box (armed revolution if the first two don't do the job). If the government makes an unpopular law and the People protest, the government has two choices: either they can amend the law to remove the offending sections or void the law entirely, or tell the People to go screw themselves and start punishing people for violating the law. The People then have the option at the ballot box to vote in people to overturn said bad law, or rise up, overthrow the current power structure and try this experiment in freedom again.
His last paragraph in Part II almost gets it:
If a person is unaware of his or her rights, they will be doomed to laws that establish religions, prevent religious expression, limits free speech and press, and the right for people to protest peaceably. Ultimately ignoring the powers that an individual has, which is a detriment to democracy.
I agree, if the People are unaware of their Rights and Responsibilities, they will be doomed to laws that encroach upon their freedom.
It's Part III that really gets my blood boiling. It's about the Second Amendment. Again, Justin gets it wrong on the most basic level. Oh, sure he gets some of it right, but again, he misses the true intent by attempting to be nuanced.
The Second Amendment exists to recognize the Deity-granted right of citizens to defend themselves and limits the government from limiting that Right. It doesn't matter if the attacker is a local criminal or the federal government. That weapon is the power of the citizen to put an exclamation point to the word "No!"
Justin also does not grasp the basic concept of what exactly a "trial" is. In this instance, a trial is a legal process where another citizen or the state makes an accusation that another citizen has violated a law of the land. During this process, the accuser (the government) shows what law was broken and why the accuser believes the accused is the one to have committed the act. There are standards that the accuser has to meet, as far as the integrity of the investigators and the facts used to show the accused actually committed said offense. When we say "fair trial," we intend that the accuser must prove guilt, not the accused must show he did not commit the offense. If the accused must show innocence, this would be like standing outside on a sunny day at Noon, then trying to prove at that moment that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. You can't do it.
If a criminal just so happens to select an armed citizen as their next victim and the criminal becomes dead in the process of unlawfully imposing their will on the victim, that was the criminals fair trial. I am 100% sure that if the criminal had not performed the act, the citizen would not have forced the criminal to assume ambient temperature. As Baretta said, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."
In Part III, Questions Unanswered, Our boy Justin gets it totally wrong, again. He questions the fair trial concept in the Fifth Amendment and fails to comprehend at any level what it means.
The appropriate part of the Fifth Amendment Justin is not understanding is:
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;
In order to stand trial for a capital crime (generally felonies), the accuser (district attorney) must present their evidence to a Grand Jury, who will either approve or "no-bill" the charges. The accused nor the defense team is present at these proceedings. This is purely to determine if enough evidence exists to possibly prove the guilt of the accused. If someone is in the military under active duty status, they do not get the Grand Jury step of the process. An officer on the field of battle can summarily execute a soldier under their command right then and there for something like Cowardice Before the Enemy, desertion of his post or a similar offense that could result in the entire unit getting killed.
It is plain to me that Justin does not understand the concepts he is talking about. His views are so contorted and convoluted I have no frame of reference to truly comprehend this mans ignorance.