We’ve got a problem in this country. Somehow, citizens, egged on by media, have gotten it in their heads that the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which consists of its first ten amendments, is a pick and choose affair like some takeout meal menu. Even though it all springs from a common experience, it seems that they like this part, but not that, and the press will use their influence to promote such agendas. Much of this problem may well lay with the issue that the average American doesn’t even know what the Bill of Rights is, let alone how and why it came to be and what these rights mean for their lives. To get this rolling along, I’ll offer this quick reminder.
I. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition
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.
II. Right to keep and bear arms
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.
III. Conditions for quarters of soldiers
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.
IV. Right of search and seizure regulated
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.
V. Provisons concerning prosecution
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.
VI. Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.
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.
VII. Right to a trial by jury
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.
VIII. Excessive bail, cruel punishment
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
IX. Rule of construction of Constitution
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
X. Rights of the States under Constitution
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.
These initial amendments to the Constitution’s base document were conceived and ratified after a brutal revolutionary struggle that freed the American people from the oppressive rule of a monarchy. Each and every one of these rights were expressed to limit the government’s ability to harm its citizens because during the revolution Americans had faced every one of these issues under British rule.
This all brings me to the point of this article. It seems everyone loves the First Amendment, especially the press because they enjoy the right to say whatever they want. But, they don’t seem to fond these days of the Second Amendment. SSD is considered by many to be a blog. There are loads of “gun” and “tactical” blogs out there. Most are run by private citizens but as print media has seen a serious decline in recent years, large media corporations have set up their own blogs as a means to offset revenue losses. AS you can imagine, along with those blogs comes their parent corporation’s agenda.
Some corporate blogs will have two or three levels of cut outs between them and the parent corporation. Some will happily talk about guns all day long but not about support the industry to manufacture guns or the right of the individual to bear arms. As I understand it, some corporate blogs fancy themselves as having journalistic integrity, with a policy on 2A issues that they must provide “balanced” coverage. For example, if a writer posts a pro-2A article, it must be countered with an anti-gun article to offer both sides of the issue. I’m pretty appalled at that notion. How can you justify legitimizing the erosion of Constitutional rights? Imagine if the articles were discussing attempts to eliminate First Amendment freedoms, they’d be yelling from the rooftops. Worse yet, several of these sites with questionable attitudes toward the Second Amendment feature writers who are well known in firearms circles. I don’t understand how you can make a living from firearms but work for an organization that wants to put you out of business. But they do it, and they don’t disclose the agenda of their parent companies when they work with the firearms industry.
Recently, a writer for a corporate blog commented that I must be working for a company because that company chose to provide content to SSD rather than his blog which is owned by a large media corporation with a long history of anti-2A action. In a way, he was right. Unapologetically, SSD works for the firearms and tactical industries. We exist to cover them. There’s no subterfuge here. We don’t pal up to a company, write about them and funnel the profits of that coverage to be used to fundamentally undermine the industry.
I urge industry to investigate any media they cooperate with including us. Regardless of size, blogs exist for three reasons. Some blogs are set up as a means to get free stuff. Others are there solely as a means to make money. And there is a third category, those blogs that have a passion both for the industry as well as our system of government and the way of life it provides.
Readers and industry alike should support those that support them. In case you have difficulty considering who is on “our” side, take a look at both coverage and actions. If a blog is always asking for freebies but not supporting the right to bear arms, they are a part of the problem. So go out there and see for yourself. Investigate. Ask questions of media who want to write about you. This includes web-based and print magazines, newspapers as well as blogs.
Don’t let others treat our Constitution’s Bill of Rights as a takeout menu, picking and choosing which suits their agenda. They will use any means to undermine our cause. The Constitution’s Bill of Rights exist for a reason and that is to protect the individual from an oppressive government. Every time one of these rights is weakened the strength of the others is as well.