This morning there are two important stories about our Constitutional Rights. The first comes from the Supreme Court where arguments are being heard about the 2nd Amendment, the Right to Bear Arms. The second comes from San Francisco regarding the transit of the Olympic Torch and the establishment of “free speech zones.”
Let’s start with the Torch first. The issue at hand is China’s treatment of Tibet and the likely protest that will be spawned in San Francisco as the Torch headed for the Beijing Olympics travels through the city. Let’s be plain, San Francisco residents will protest ANYTHING at the drop of a hat, it’s part of the city’s charm. Regardless of where you stand on this particular issue, to me, the abhorrent aspect of this story is that Mayor Newsome is granting interviews talking about “free speech zones” which will “protect” us from international incident and still allow free expression.
Well Mr. Newsome, this may come as a surprise to you and the Homeland Security Administration, but this is America and America is a “free speech zone.” The notion of “free speech zones” is preposterous. Aside from a small buffer to separate protesters from the protested, there should be no limitation on free speech. Where’s the outrage around this arbitrary and wrong-minded approach?
On the Second Amendment. The passage in question says 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. It’s an awkward passage to be sure. But it was written by a bunch of people who just managed an armed insurrection to win their freedom. When taken in that context, there is no question of the intent of the founders for people to be armed. It’s odd this is even being discussed – it’s crystal clear. Now, there is a question about the march of technology and this passage with respect to what constitutes arms.
Arms are not defined, I’m not crazy about individuals walking around with nukes. The items that would fall into this category, guns and knives, should be available to any citizen in good standing (i.e., not a felon convicted of violent crime.) The thought of armed insurrection to recover our government has passed through my mind in fantasy from time to time during the last 7 years of King George’s reign. Provided an orderly transition of power to the next administration transpires, we probably won’t have to travel that route (this is tongue and cheek in case there is any confusion about what I mean.)
Know your Rights and when people are doing stupid things with them (like the Orwellian named PATRIOT Act) – say something about it at a minimum and even better, do something about it. I think I might make a trip to San Francisco protesting the “free speech zones” as an example.
Well Mr. Newsome and Department of Homeland Security, here’s a reminder of the only legal free speech zone in the US…