“Constitutional Rights”? Not Really

I frequently hear people talk about how many “constitutional rights” we have lost under (fill in whichever President’s name). This brings up a very interesting misunderstanding about the origin of our rights… For one thing, our rights don’t come from the Constitution; the Constitution merely recognizes that our rights preexist it.

For instance, in the 2nd Amendment it goes like this:

“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 says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” ..not “the people shall have the right to keep and bear arms” – this is a very important difference in syntax! This is true throughout the document, and the document even recognizes in the 9th Amendment that we have all the rights not specifically mentioned.

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

If the Constitution gave rights, then the syntax of the 9th would say something like “that the people shall enjoy” or “that the people shall have” instead of retained by the people.”

The meaning of the subtle difference here is profound, and has vast implications!

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Words Mean Things…

The process of writing our constitution was painstakingly debated because words mean things. When you choose words it is important they reflect the meaning you intend so it is no wonder there is a concerted effort underfoot to change the meaning of words and history by the enemies of our constitution, and it is happening every day, every chance they get.

Take for instance the president and secretary of state discussing our right to “freedom of worship” as opposed to right to “the free exercise of religion” as stated in the constitution. At first glance they may seem similar but freedom to worship is not the same as freedom of religion. There are many religions that define the terms of how they worship therefore free to practice their religion. Freedom to worship is not religion specific and taken to the next step could be defined by the government since it is not tied to religion. For some this may seem trivial but for thinking individuals it is the difference between protecting their religion and losing their religion.

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Not So Fast!

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Second Amendment applies to all states throwing the Chicago gun control ruling back to the Appeals court. See the story here.

If you are an avid believer in the right to bear arms and a gun owner, as I am, you might think this is a brilliant ruling. But on closer examination, it surely is not. Why? The Supremes used the ill conceived Incorporation Doctrine.

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McDonald v. Chicago: The Great Misunderstanding of State Sovereignty

One of my highly-esteemed colleagues, Wilton Strickland, who is an author, columnist, attorney in Florida and Montana, magna cum laude graduate of the college of William and Mary law school and a fond friend of liberty accurately described a major problem in America relative to restoring freedom in the States in his recently-released article entitled, Staying Away…

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Will Missouri Nullify Federal Gun Laws?

Missouri State Representative Cynthia Davis has introduced the “Firearms Freedom Act” (HB1230) – prefiled for the 2010 legislative session. The bill “Asserts the right of the State of Missouri to regulate the intrastate use and acquisition of certain firearms pursuant to the reserved powers of the state over intrastate commerce and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

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