Letter: Get rights right | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Get rights right

I always enjoy the “constitutional rights”-based letters to the editor that cite violation of certain amendments. I especially enjoy the line that is endlessly quoted “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that apparently gives a person broadly sweeping rights that they identify as being trampled by some huge unknown nasty repressive arm of government. I’ve personally been told to read the Constitution so I “understand … it’s right there at the beginning.”

OK, let’s start with “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That phrase is nowhere in the Constitution. It is contained in the Declaration of Independence, which we all know was signed July 4, 1776. Our Constitution was ratified on Sept. 17, 1787, a full 11 years later.

A letter appears in the 10-1-16 Post Independent that states “gun control advocates aren’t satisfied with destroying the Second Amendment, now they are shifting focus to the Fourth Amendment right of due process.”

The Fourth Amendment addresses “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses papers and effects …“ which is the protection from illegal search and seizures. The right to due process is addressed first in the Fifth Amendment, “… nor be deprived of life liberty and property, without due process of law …“ The Fifth Amendment pertains to the federal government giving us due process under the law.

Due process is addressed again in the 14th Amendment: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States: nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty and property without due process of law …“

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How many past elected presidents were going to take away guns? Really? Go shoot something inanimate … like your keyboard. Don’t worry, destroying your keyboard with your gun won’t effect your First Amendment rights, or your Second, or your 14th.

Brad Gates

New Castle

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