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Dale Farnan

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Is the United States Bill of Rights out of date?

I will use the first and second amendments as examples.

The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. When the bill of rights was created, weaponry was obviously not as advanced as it is now (muskets were the predominant weapon in the American revolutionary war). Did the founding fathers intend the second amendment to protect rocket launchers and assault rifles?

The first amendment guarantees the right to free speech. This has been cited to protect (for example) huge donations and TV advertisements for elections. The politicians become dependent on these advertisements and donations to win. They must appease the companies that fund their campaign, not the people. This process of corruption is protected by the first amendment; the companies say “We’re allowed to support who we want to win, right? What are advertisements but speech supporting someone?” The first amendment indirectly leads to politicians being controlled by the corporations who fund their campaigns. The founding fathers did not know this would be the case when they wrote the bill of rights.

Is the United States Bill of Rights out of date? Should it be changed? If so, how will a divided government unite enough to be able to do this?


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    Sep 6 2013: yes it is. citizens should be able to speak freely as long as they do that to the benefit of the nation. also they should be bear arms in accordance with the guidelines and permits provided by the authorities. after all, isn't the government working for the people? why would anyone want the right to oppose the government? opposing the government or the state is equivalent of opposing the people of the country, which should be a crime at most tolerated, but certainly not approved.
    • Sep 6 2013: The government is SUPPOSED TO work for the people. That does not mean it always does work for the people in every instance. Only a hardcore, fanatical fascist would make statements like you make. One must never presume that government automatically works for the people. Of course, a fascist would say that protesting against ones own government's warlike actions would be "equivalent of opposing the people of the country, which should be a crime". Fortunately, at least my own country is not (yet) a fascist state, and it is not a crime to oppose the government.
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        Sep 6 2013: "Fortunately, at least my own country is not (yet) a fascist state"

        let us come back to that topic in ten years.
        • Sep 6 2013: Your point being? At least I'm not and never shall be a lunatic fanatic fascist, myself, who would say such vile, evil, Satanic things like "Opposing the government or the state is equivalent of opposing the people of the country, which should be a crime". You may eagerly wallow in the filth of fascism, but I refuse to.
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        Sep 8 2013: in fact my purpose was to present the anti-freedom arguments in a more honest, direct way, in hope for a flood of angry remarks and possibly some people realizing what they are advocating. none of these happened. failed attempt.
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      Sep 7 2013: Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
      • Sep 8 2013: A democratic republic constitutionally prohibits citizens eating each other, even if the majority is hungry.
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      Sep 8 2013: I'm not sure what country you live in, or how people see and relate to their government there. But I can say that few, if any, Americans see the government as being the equivilent of the people. Back in the years immediately following the American revolution, one of the biggest debates was whether the Federal government should even be allowed to have a standing army. Distrust of the ruling party is a pillar of American thinking. Democracy was commonly considered to be a dangerous idea as well at the time, as it was thought to surely result in mob rule. The founders opted for a constitutional republic with elected representatives instead.

      So while the government in the US may be idealisticly by the people and for the people, it is surely not the people. "opposing the government or the state is equivalent of opposing the people of the country" is simply a fallacious statement.
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        Sep 8 2013: it was back in the day. today, the debate is about whether people should be allowed to carry handguns. obama slogans ooze "we" and "together". healthcare becoming a "right". and a serious debate can be started about how to "tweak" the freedom of speech to serve the society "better".

        i claim that you do live in a dreamworld, a past america that does not exist today, and certainly won't exist tomorrow. you live, just like bryan said, a rising fascism, pretty much alike the 30's germany. and just they didn't notice, you don't notice either.

        and this is a problem. it is a problem, because the western world is already lost, and america is the last standing bastion of the european idea of freedom. europe has fallen in the second world war, and have not recovered since. and now that last bastion is about to fall.

        and then i don't know what's coming.
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          Sep 8 2013: I don't deny that the US is the next Nazi Germany. The Bill of Rights is codified only as amendments to the US Constitution. On its own it's simply a set of ideals, penned down by a society descended from New World refugees. The US founders didn't fail to see the future that threatened their country, but set forth a code of ideals to prepare for it.

          "... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.

          If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.

          The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

          --Thomas Jefferson
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          Sep 8 2013: Strong words Krisztian, and sadly, much to the point. I do not agree, however, with the statement that the western world is already lost. Europe despite it's problems (resulting in a growing insignificance) is still in the forefront of progress. Whatever the progress might be, of course. I have some serious doubts whether Asian countries (be it China, India or Japan) could ever go their own way once again. They - for all I know - commited an even more grave error by mindlessly following the western world and accepting its mechanization. A quick comparison of the Japan of yore and that of today (not to mention China, and, God forbid, India!) must lead to the conclusion that the former cultures (before, say, mechanization) were much more superior, even though they lacked the economic power. So, the western world is not lost, but its undergoing a very dynamic process of change. Where it will guide us, we can only guess, but the direction it will take will, for sure, be decisive for the whole world.

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