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Absolutely Absolute Rights

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I was struck to the core by a statement made recently by U.S. President Joe Biden.

He announced a series of specious executive orders in an attempt to jump on the fundraising opportunity created by recent gun violence. In his speech, Biden said that critics will say that the measures infringe on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“No Amendment – no Amendment—is absolute,” Biden declared.

This is a lie that is fundamentally more shaking than all of the nearly 20,000 lies of Biden’s predecessor.

The Constitution can be amended, but the process involves proposing actual amendments to be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Congress, and then three-fourths of the state legislatures. Congress passing legislation that is counter to Constitutional rights does not count, until the law has passed the test of the United States Supreme Court.

Biden is a career federal politician. Never a mover or shaker himself, he could always be counted on in the quid pro quo compromise chain that assures legislation will appeal to the campaign contributors who make the next round of vote-getting possible.

Most federal legislators bridle at the constraints of the Constitution, both the Articles and the Amendments. Congress is constantly overreaching its bounds, twisting procedures, and otherwise subverting Constitutional ideals as part of a never-ending goal of being in charge of everything.

Constitutional limits were carefully crafted to try to counteract “a government administered by men over men,” said James Madison. The Amendments, in particular the original Bill of Rights, sought to stem the abuses of power found in European government and even ancient Greek and Roman examples of democracy.

More than 22,000 federal, state and local laws have been enacted regarding gun sales, gun ownership and the types of guns available to honest citizens. But criminals don’t obey laws. And mentally unstable people don’t announce their condition, appearing normal and meeting all registration criteria.

Where is Biden coming from with the notion that our basic civil rights are not absolute?

The Fourth Amendment’s protection against warrantless searches and seizures has already been eroded, with NSA monitoring of communications, and unexplained and unreported apprehensions “in the name of national security,” which often lack Sixth Amendment protections. The party never gets Seventh Amendment right to a speedy trial or to face his accusers, and has no standing to challenge the matters in court. The courts, part of the federal power grab machine, routinely fall on the side of law enforcement, with such nifty excuses as “otherwise the police would be unable to apprehend [certain] criminals.”

The Sixth Amendment also states that citizens are not to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, a clause ignored by RICO and other statutes that allow law enforcement to seize property at the time of arrest, rather than conviction.

Amendment XV guarantees the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. And Amendment XIX extends the vote to women. There are no federal elections: positions are chosen state by state. But as of today, 361 voter restriction measures have been introduced in many states, and Georgia has already passed restrictive measures.

None of the above examples represent a change in Amendments through the Amendment process.

So let’s apply the geriatric President’s logic to other Amendments, since he believes they are not absolute.

Amendment One says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” That has always been given as the reason churches aren’t taxed. But being taxed would not prevent religions from being established or exercised. And the government is trillions of dollars in debt.

Gun control advocates justify regulating gun dealers and requiring legal approval for owernship simply because of (their term) proliferation of firearms. This despite the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The First Amendment protects “freedom of speech, or of the press.” Applying gun control logic, Biden should declare that the proliferation of internet and social media outlets purporting to offer news and facts – some of which have contributed to mis- and disinformation about elections – means that it is time to register news outlets, and have journalists submit to background checks and permitting processes.

I can hear the outcry from all the news outlets, especially those that have openly supported abridging the Second Amendment. To them, the First Amendment is untouchable. But no amendment – no amendment – is absolute.

Written by Tim Conaway

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