On December 15, 1791 the people of the United States, through state conventions, ratified the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. The original Constitution was only ratified with the guarantee that there would be further and specific restrictions on the power of government officials.
The founders experienced terrible demonstrations of the power of unlimited government through destructive taxation, forcible invasions of homes and businesses by government agents, government interference with free trade, government officials spying on its citizens, government corruption and debasement of the legal system as well as its currency, government imprisonment and murder of dissenters, and government destruction of churches.
To avoid these evils, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created with the intent of severely limiting the power of government officials. The founders trusted no one, not even themselves, with such power. They knew all too well that if those restrictions were not honored by elected and appointed government officials as is currently taking place in 21st century America, the road to tyranny would be a cake walk.
In direct defiance of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, commercial, sexual, and political speech are increasingly censored by government law. To combat pornography, federal and state governments imprison musicians, seize entire contents of bookstores and video rental outlets, and even prosecute museums and art galleries. Through campaign finance laws political speech is even limited.
Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are all under siege today by government. The First Amendment restricts government power, not private individuals or businesses. Private individuals and businesses are the ones that have a right to restrict others, through the right of private property.
Every legislated gun-control law restricts individuals from protecting themselves against criminals and their government and makes criminals out of law abiding citizens.
About the only amendment of the first ten that has not been severely damaged is the third one that restricts government officials from quartering soldiers in time of peace without the consent of the owner.
Anti-drug laws and supreme court decisions as well as current searches at airports and border patrol stations have abused the Fourth Amendment in the right of the individual to be secure in his persons, houses, papers, and effects without a duly served warrant by a court of law.
Today the IRS can seize one’s bank account, the FBI can take one’s computer, the coast guard can take one’s boat, and government welfare authorities can take away one’s children without any hearing or indictment by a grand jury, a direct front to the Fifth Amendment. Amendment Six to the United States Constitution restricts government officials from just holding individuals indefinitely. Individuals in Guantanamo prisons are learning about the value of habeas corpus and a speedy trial.
If one has a dispute with the IRS, EPA, or any other government regulatory agency the case is usually heard by an administrative judge employed by the same agency with which the individual has the dispute.
Judges routinely deny the traditional right of jurors to judge the law, as well as the facts of a case, and vote their conscience, the check and balance of the last resort against abusive government power and a direct violation of Amendment Seven.
By calling penalties “civil” rather than “criminal”, government officials can seize all of one’s assets without trial or any form of legal proceeding, eliminating the need for bail circumventing Amendment Eight. Individuals get years of prison time for minor drug offenses and business individuals receive long prison sentences for technical violations of incomprehensible tax laws and securities regulations. Even ordinary citizens are imprisoned for the possession of banned literature, firearms, and even medicines. These types of laws are all passed without going through the proper amendment process outlined in Article Five of the United States Constitution.
Amendments Nine and Ten are abused regularly with the No Child Left Behind law and throwing the whole economy under the Constitution’s “interstate commerce” clause. The U.S. government now has control over every aspect of society and coerces states into actions by withholding unconstitutional federal funding.
The fundamental restrictions on government power found in the Constitution and Bill of Rights is being abandoned in the name of security for the American people. However, there can be no security for the American people if they continue to lose control over their lives, property, and destinies to government power.
If the celebration of December 15 is to really have any meaning, the power of government officials must be restrained and the Bill of Rights (Restrictions) must be honored by everyone. When government officials violate the very law they are to uphold, then they become the enemy of justice and liberty, rather than their protector.
The Rushmore Presidents come to Yuma April 29.