Monday, February 4, 2013

Why only the SECOND amendment?

Second Amendment absolutists are out in force these days, insisting that the Constitution gives citizens the right to unrestricted ownership of any goddamned gun that makes the most money for the gun industry.  What the hell.  As I've noted before, I don't think any private citizen has to have a hand gun, and if all the super-popular Glocks disappeared tomorrow, it would be a great day for the USofA.

What I'm wondering about today, though, is why only the second amendment gets such special treatment.  Why not the first, or the fourth, or the sixth, or the eighth?  (Probably, you don have a clue what the sixth or the eighth  are about.  We former social studies teachers probably were less effective than we might have liked.)

In case you have forgotten what the fourth was about, it's the one on search and seizure — that is, the right to privacy.  Our President, in case you had not noticed, not only has supported the infringements on our rights in the Patriot Act, but expanded them.  If you really want online anonymity, for example, your best bet now is the Tor Project.  Is the whole thing run by the CIA or the FBI?  I don't think so, but who the hell knows?

The sixth amendment is trial by jury — speedy and public.  Ask the leftover Yemenis at Guantanamo how that right is holding up for them.  Ask the American citizens executed by drone strikes overseas.  The eighth amendment, which forbids cruel and unusual punishment, figures in here too.  Obama says torture is a thing of the past, but he won't prosecute any former torturers because it's all top secret, so who knows?

Oh, and by the way, FREE BRADLEY MANNING!

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