LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Bill of Rights secures individual, not collective, rights

It would seem that the agenda for the socialist/progressive/liberal Democrats is to create a name for anyone who disagrees with their screed and then try to vilify them with it. People like Daniel Pritchett of Dover play right into that role. [“Guns and common sense,” Letters to the Editor, Nov. 7.]

Their first contrived venture into ridiculous sobriquets was “Neocon” for neo-conservatism. As with most creations of this sort, most conservatives tended to wear the title as a badge of honor. Next came the “birthers” for those who questioned why the current resident of the White House didn’t have or couldn’t produce a certified copy of his birth certificate. Next came “deniers” for those who questioned how a buffoon like Al Gore had convinced the earth that the sky was falling. Now comes Mr. Pritchett with his epithet of calling someone a “constitutional purist.”

Well, now, Mr. Pritchett, you’ve gone and done it. Is there some preconception you coddle about people using the document on which this nation was founded as some sort of slanderous term? Perhaps a better question would be, “Don’t you find your attitude patently hypocritical?”

Obviously not. Progressives tend to embrace parts of the Constitution they can hide behind while lambasting those that create an even field for everyone. While enjoying all the guarantees of the First Amendment, you decry the Second, as all the gun-confiscation fanatics do.

So, what is your opinion about a soldier moving into your house without your permission (Article 3), having your person or home searched without a warrant (Article 4), being forced to incriminate yourself (Article 5), being imprisoned indefinitely without a trial (Article 6), judges overruling juries in federal cases (Article 7), or a criminal being punished by bamboo shoots shoved under his fingernails (Article 8)?

I’m sure you don’t want to hear what the 9th and 10th Amendments say.

For the edification of those not in lockstep with your fantasies, the Ninth Amendment clarifies that the specific individual rights stated in the Constitution, particularly in the Bill of Rights, do not constitute an explicit and exhaustive (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enumerative_definition) listing of all individual rights possessed by the people, and cannot be used by the federal government to increase its powers.

The Tenth is just icing on the cake in reinforcing the principles of separation of powers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_powers) and federalism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalism) by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people. The amendment provides no new powers or rights to the states, but rather, preserves their authority in all matters not specifically granted to the federal government.

You see, Mr. Pritchett, the last two are written in modern English terminology which the political correctness you espouse hasn’t tarnished yet.

They explicitly define the first 10 amendments of the Constitution as being rights of the people as individuals and not as groups. I understand your desire to proclaim the Constitution as a “living document” so that you and those who think like you can rewrite it by redefining the words used in it. I guess the founding fathers saw you coming.

I can’t think of a better name to be called than a “constitutional purist.” It defines who Americans are, and if you aren’t one, you’ve defined yourself.

George Roof

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