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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bill of Rights... What About Responsibility?

 Citizens' Rights and Responsibilities

Last time I was at the hospital, I saw, posted on several walls, a document entitled "Patients' Rights and Responsibilities". It was a overly-verbose way of saying you have the right to treatment coupled with the responsibility to pay your bill. I thought that was a very good way of putting something. You have a certain right, and with it go certain responsibilities.

 I started thinking about the Bill of Rights, and that it needed a "Bill of Responsibility" to compliment it. It's been circling the vortex of ideas in my head for some time. People who label themselved "Gun lovers" sparked it, but once the concept was there, I saw that it applies to all rights.

 Americans love their rights, but not all respect their responsibilities. I do NOT favor "Takin' our guns", but people who post things online against gun control are really hurting their case. People insist on taking loaded weapons in to where a public official is speaking, just 'cuz it's their right. No matter that you plead for guns to defend yourself and family, but the Secret effing Service is there! What makes you such a special person?

 People post pictures of a sign basically saying "Hey, violate my neighbors. It'll be funny 'cuz they don't have guns! I do, so don't mess with me!" That is stupidity in it's raw form, there. Burglars tend to avoid your house while you're in it. But, you did tell them to go for your guns first. Then, if you do get home, guess where your guns are? Pointed at you.

 All the same, people laugh at this callous disregard for safety and human life. Not to mention, just come off like a bunch of trigger-happy morons that should have their own island, away from society in general.

 I know people aren't like that, for the most part. Just the loudest ones. People do go to extremes if they feel their rights are threatened, even if it's imaginary. Did you know, for all of Obama's "Comprehensive plan to take your guns" - I didn't make this up, people believe it - The only gun laws he's signed actually allow more freedom, like carrying a loaded weapon into a National Park.

 I spent enough time on guns, let's just go down the list.

1.  Freedom of speech, Press, Religion and Petition - You have the right to say what you want, print what you want, believe what you want, and call for action by your elected representatives if you want something changed.

 You have the responsibility to think before you speak, really think, research before printing, Accept that if you have your right to believe what you want, so does everyone else and make sure your petition is a good thing for all, not just you wanting your own way.

2. Right to keep and bear arms - It specifically mentions the potential need of a citizen's militia, in turn, citizens will have the right to arm themselves. A government that wants too much control will try and deny these rights if it foresees a civil war, or another Revolution.

 You have the responsibility to store guns responsibly, use and care for them responsibly, to show people you're not a trigger-happy moron who wants to fire his guns just because he can.

3. Quartering Soldiers - No one can force you to house a soldier. If something awful happens, and our soldiers have to fight on home ground, be nice and let one stay with you if it's needed. This amendment really hasn't had too many issues over history.

4. Search and Seizure - No searches without good reason. You have the right to say no to a search of your property or person. You have the responsibility to let them in when they do have a warrant.

5. The Rights of Persons - You have the right to keep your yap shut if it might get you in trouble. You still have the responsibility of not being a lying douche.

6. Right to a Speedy Trial - You have the right to have your trial as quickly as possible. You have the responsibility to realize there are other people in this world, and some got in line before you.

7. Right to a trial by jury - You have the right to a trial by a jury of your peers, if you think you deserve a "Hey, guys, be bros" type of case, that isn't black and white. You have the responsibility to nut up the rest of the time, no matter how much you don't like it. Speeding? Yeah, you went fast. Pay your fine and think about amendment #6.

8. Excessive bail, cruel treatment. - Again, you will be punished, but the punishment should fit the crime, but only up to a point. You still have the right to be treated as a human, no matter what you do. You have the responsibility to just not go there. Don't be Manson.

9. Rule of Construction of Constitution - Constitutional amendments grant rights, not take them away. You have the right to propose new amendments to guarantee certain freedoms, and never to take them away. You have the responsibility to realize you can't add an amendment to take away the right to marriage for anyone. Seriously, guys, it's right there. You have the responsibility to realize that even if you don't agree with something, other people get the same rights as you under the law.

10. Rights of States - The constitution is what covers the US. Anything not there, States have the right to pass laws on. The responsibility is to do what's right, not always what's popular to a local, loud few.

 Watch this, then watch C-SPAN. You'll swear you're high.