Daily News Editorial
Thank you, servicemen and servicewomen, for your dedication to your country. Remember them as this year’s Sweet Corn Days parade is dedicated to them.
Today we continue to observe the freedoms we were granted by the Bill of Rights to the Constitution.
Amendment 2 to the Constitution of the United States
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.
So what does this mean?
Perhaps that question could be answered by asking another: Why did Hitler never invade Switzerland?
The reason is that when the Nazis were blitzkrieging throughout Europe, every man in Switzerland had a weapon in his home and he know how to use it. Through universal conscription, everyone belonged to the Swiss militia.
Every few blocks, a large howitzer was housed in an inconspicuous-looking building. According to the Nazis’ own estimates, a Swiss invasion would have cost them at least 200,000 casualties. Even Hitler was not willing to risk that. The weapons are still in every home and the howitzers are still there.
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the handgun ban in Washington, D.C. unconstitutional. That means that citizens there may now arm themselves. Now, finally, the nation’s Capital can defend itself from the Hitlers of the world.
Amendment 3 to the Constitution of the United States
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.
The reason for this amendment was that King George III forced citizens in the Colonies to quarter his troops against their will. Our country’s founders wanted to ensure that never happened again.
Amendment 4 to the Constitution of the United States
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 probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Immediately after 911, this amendment was put to the test when about 200 drivers were stopped by New Jersey state troopers because they were profiled as appearing to be Arab.
Some may argue that the government should be given greater powers for wiretapping without a court order in order to protect citizens from another Sept. 11. They say that lives are saved by such measures, and that the small loss of freedom is a tiny price in exchange for preventing another Sept. 11 holocaust.
Amendment 5 to the Constitution of the United States
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 offence 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.
If a person is found not guilty of murder and evidence later arises that shows that the person could very well have committed the murder, can the person be tried for the same crime again? Not according to our Constitution.
A particularly controversial point now is the al Qaida and other prisoners at Guantanamo. Since the beginning of the current war in Afghanistan, 775 detainees have been brought to Guantanamo, approximately 420 of whom have been released without charges, some after spending years in captivity.
This is a profound example of the conflict between the individual versus the safety of society.