An Examination of the Bill of Rights, and the Abuses Against It by a Wayward Government

Real Talk

Disorder is rampant. Political leaders are waging war with their own countrymen. Drugs are poisoning entire populaces. Religious persecution, especially of Christians, is at an all time high. Freedoms are being stripped away from people at alarming rates. 

And this is just what is going on in America.

It is amazing to me that this once great nation has become the entrenched cesspool that it is today.

Instead of the people controlling the government, we find ourselves in the very clutches of a government that wishes to control us. I find no surprise in the quiet murmurings of dissent that I hear every single day…the silent calls for revolution.

Americans, by our very nature, are born without the capacity to wield a yoke around our necks, and we will not start learning how to take on that burden now. We absolutely refuse to be servants to tyrannical regime or government.

When the Constitution of the United States was written, specifically the Bill of Rights, the following statement was placed at the beginning:

“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.”

This very statement is declaring that the ten amendments that follow it are there for the absolute purpose of keeping the government from abusing its powers and the people.

The First Amendment states:

“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.”

Notice the first five words of this amendment:

“Congress shall make no law…”. This is a matter of fact statement that the establishment, expression, and exercising of our religious beliefs cannot and will not be stopped, silenced, or prohibited in any form or fashion, by any officer of the law, the courts, or the government.

This same amendment also applies what was said in the previous paragraph to the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and the right of the people to assemble and petition for a redress of grievances. Sadly, from where I am sitting, I can point out numerous violations of illegal government interference of our rights on this amendment alone. 

Engel v Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962), was a United States Supreme Court case that determined that it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools.

Engel became the basis for several subsequent decisions limiting government-directed prayer in school.

In Wallace v. Jaffree (1985), the Supreme Court ruled Alabama’s law permitting one minute for prayer or meditation was unconstitutional.

In Lee v. Weisman (1992), the court prohibited clergy-led prayer at high school graduation ceremonies.

Lee v. Weisman, in turn, was a basis for Santa Fe ISD v. Doe (2000), in which the Court extended the ban to school sanctioning of student-led prayer at high school football games.

One ruling after another has further restricted our ability to express and practice our religious beliefs when we want to and where we want to.

I say again…”Congress shall make no law…”

Freedom of speech, and the freedom to assemble, has been treated in much the same way, with arrests for disorderly conduct, or for failing to have a permit to assemble, being made all of the time.

Let us move on to the “controversial” Second Amendment:

“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.”

Our focus for this shall be on four simple words: “shall not be infringed”. Take a look at what our forefathers, and the writers of this document, had to say regarding this:

“The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams

“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…” – Tench Coxe 1788

“The Constitution preserves ‘the advantage of being armed’ which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” – James Madison, The Federalist, No. 46

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” – Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

“Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.” – Thomas Paine

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.” – Thomas Paine

“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson

“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” – George Washington

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government…” – Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist (#28)

“The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.” – Noah Webster

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” – Richard Henry Lee, 1778

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” – George Washington

As you can see, none of them were referring to this right as a means for hunting. The “controversy” is a fallacy. The constant underlying theme was always, as it still is today, a means of protection from a tyrannical government.

The Third Amendment is also pretty straight forward:

“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.”

At the time of this writing, there have been no known cases of soldiers forcibly “moving in” to any civilian households, so I will not spend a lot of time with this one. Let it be known, however, that were this situation to arise, the abuses that could, and probably would, follow would be nothing short of nightmarish.

This being said, our “homes” are being assaulted. By “homes” I mean our communities, our schools, and our businesses. Any time that the government sends in troops or agents to conduct “training” exercises that focus on a response to “civil unrest”, we, as Americans, cannot help but be concerned. These “exercises” are aimed at a government response to us, and they have been going on for years.

On Halloween, 2012, in San Diego, military troops, DHS, CIA, FBI, and Secret Service agents held a response drill aimed at defending against a “zombie apocalypse”. This was done during Halo’s annual Counter-Terrorism Summit security conference. A similar joint exercise was also held in Arlington, Texas, on the same day…just without the zombies.

On Tuesday night, January 27th, 2013, police and military held joint training exercises in Miami, Florida. These joint exercises included Blackhawk helicopters and machine gun fire.

In Colorado, the U.S. Government even invited some Russian troops over for a joint training exercise aimed at “counter-terrorism”.

Also, during the Obama presidency, our own government passed a bill allowing federal, state, and city police agencies to start purchasing and using unmanned aerial drones for “surveillance” reasons.

And the list goes on…

Next, we have the Fourth Amendment:

“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.”

The blatant abuse of this amendment is rampant, and more and more people are starting to take notice. One example of this abuse is the case of Aaron Tobey being detained at the Richmond International Airport for a simple self protest of the full body scanners being used. The TSA detained him for approximately 90 minutes when he removed his clothing to display a message protesting the airport security measure.

The message written on his chest?

It was an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment. 

This is far from being an isolated case. The TSA frequently undermines our right in the name of “national security”. Just ask Shelby Wasler, a wheel chair bound 12 year old girl with Brittle Bone Disease, who was detained by the TSA for over an hour at DFW International Airport after her hands were swabbed and tested positive for explosives. During this time, she was denied access to her mother and subjected to the embarrassment of being treated like a terrorist, being made to sit by herself, sobbing, in front of hundreds of other people. Shelby and her mother were finally told that they could go, were given no explanation or apology, and the wheel chair, itself, was never tested.

No matter the reason or cause, the restriction, abuse, and disregard of our rights shall not be tolerated…period.

Amendment Five:

“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.”

This is another right that has been abused time and time again. To focus on these abuses, I am going to pick apart sections of this amendment.

The first section of this amendment states that “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”.

Let us take a look at a couple of definitions:

Presentment – a formal presentation of information to a court, esp. by a sworn jury regarding an offense or other matter.

Indictment – a formal written statement framed by a prosecuting authority and found by a jury (as a grand jury) charging a person with an offense.

With these definitions being known, why then are defendants constantly being held, either without bail, or because they cannot afford the bail that has been set, before a presentment or indictment has been handed down? The last time I checked, we are supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof should rest on the prosecuting authority. A person should not have to prove his/her innocence.

Another section, of that same amendment, states that “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”.

If this is true, then wouldn’t it be safe to say that requiring a person, suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, to submit to a blood test, should he or she refuse a breathalyzer, would be paramount to forcing that person to self incriminate? I believe so, based on the wording of this amendment…yet it happens all of the time. In some cities it is standard practice.

The Sixth Amendment reads as follows:

“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.”

This is all great and good except that too many trials are not public and they drag on for months, sometimes years, and present an enormous burden on the tax paying citizen. Then there’s the fact that “gag” orders alone present the exact opposite definition of what a public trial is supposed to be.

Moving on to the Seventh Amendment, which states:

“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.”

The passage of the Affordable Health Care Act (AHA) brought about numerous examples of clear violations. Until the mandate was stricken down, the AHA deprived citizens of a trial for failure to comply. Being “fined” for failure to carry private insurance, or to sign up for a government controlled insurance program, is paramount to being sentenced in a court of law, without the benefit of a trial by jury.

The Eighth Amendment says: 

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Really?

How many times do we read where someone is denied bail completely, or has his/her bail set an erroneous amount that is, by all means and purposes, unattainable? How about every single day.

When it comes to excessive fines, we are talking about a common practice. When a person can be fined up to $5000 for throwing a soda can out of the car window, there is a problem. And God forbid you live in the city and your two dogs get out of the yard. This happened to me and I was slapped with six different citations, totaling over $1600.

And folks, if it is happening to me, you can guarantee it is happening to others.

The Ninth Amendment reads:

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

What this amendment does is reserve the right of the people, and the states, to, from time to time, enumerate more rights that may not be listed among the previous eight. What your federal government does is exploit this amendment to enact more federal laws. It was intended for the people, but has been continually bastardized by the “Feds”.

And finally, the Tenth Amendment states:

“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.”

In layman’s term, this simply means that if the Constitution does not specifically give federal government a power, then the federal government does not have that power. 

Can we even count the numerous times that our federal government has enacted new laws and powers that are not expressly given to it by the Constitution of the United States? 

Here are few examples:

  • The Patriot Act
  • The Affordable Health Care Act
  • The War on Terrorism
  • Numerous Executive Orders
  • The Stimulus and Bail Out Bills

And the list goes on and on and on.

The Bill of Rights was established for the people of this country to be protected from a tyrannical government on a quest for more control and power. 

How protected do you feel now?

4 thoughts on “An Examination of the Bill of Rights, and the Abuses Against It by a Wayward Government

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