A Reality Many Americans Don’t Want to Admit: Our Constitution is Outdated and Broken

Constitution-BrokenFirst let me say, I believe our Constitution is one of the most remarkable documents ever written.  While flawed, it set the foundation to build a nation the likes of which the world had never before seen.

Many of the men responsible for writing it were ideological geniuses.

But the truth of the matter is it was written over 200 years ago.  We didn’t have the internet, cell phones, satellites, semi-automatic weapons—hell, we didn’t even have electricity.

So it’s always somewhat baffled me to see people cling so tightly to something that was written so long ago.  To see highly educated individuals try and determine the correct “interpretation of the law based on the Constitution” for situations that didn’t even exist when it was written, just doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.

Tell me, how the heck can we determine “Constitutional interpretation of law” based on laws which govern situations or events that couldn’t have even been imagined when it was written?

And don’t give me the “Constitutional Amendment process.”  It’s completely broken.  When our process for passing a Constitutional Amendment was written we had a handful of states and a Congress that was a fraction of the size.  It wasn’t unheard of to get two-thirds of both the House and Senate as well as three-fourths of the states to ratify something.  Granted it wasn’t easy, but it was much more realistic with numbers that were much smaller.

Today we have 1 President, 50 states, 435 House Representatives and 100 Senators.  You think we have a chance in hell, considering the political environment of the last 3-4 decades, of passing a Constitutional Amendment that requires support by two-thirds of both the House and Senate, Presidential approval and ratification by three-fourths of the states?

Over 80% of Americans support universal background checks — a level of support that’s unheard of for a key political issue — and we couldn’t even get that passed.

Do these people that cling to a “return to Constitutional values” really believe that if our Founding Fathers were alive today, they would write that exact same document?

Our Third Amendment covers the forced quartering of soldiers during a time of war — when was the last time this was an issue?

But even going beyond that, let’s look at a few things our Constitution allowed upon its creation:

  • Women couldn’t vote
  • The gun of choice was a single-shot musket
  • Slavery was not only allowed, but often encouraged
  • The average life expectancy was around 35-40 years of age
  • Electricity was still essentially science fiction
  • It was acceptable to find a group of people, we now call them Native Americans, and simply take their land in the name of “freedom”
  • A gun shot to the leg typically meant amputation
  • 13 year old girls were often married off (in arranged marriages where they had no option) to much older men
  • If you stole someone’s horse you could be hanged
  • Going out to dinner meant taking the family out for a hunt

Just to name a few.

Yet, despite all of that, millions of people living in 2013 still cling to some fundamentalist view of the Constitution.  They look upon the Constitution for what their personal beliefs want it to be, instead of what it is.

It’s a groundbreaking document, written by ideological geniuses, that’s inherently flawed and was drafted during a time when those writing it couldn’t have possibly envisioned what our nation would eventually evolve into.  And while it’s justified to look upon the Constitution for it’s greatness, and what it sought to represent — it’s naive to look at a document written over 200 years ago and say that it unequivocally relates to a day and age which was unimaginable during the time at which it was written.

And more Americans really need to realize that.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Mr. Clifton, I’ll quote:

    “But even going beyond that, let’s look at a few things our Constitution allowed upon its creation:

    Women couldn’t vote

    The gun of choice was a single-shot musket

    Slavery was not only allowed, but often encouraged

    The average life expectancy was around 35-40 years of age

    Electricity was still essentially science fiction

    It was acceptable to find a group of people, we now call them Native Americans, and simply take their land in the name of “freedom”

    A gun shot to the leg typically meant amputation

    13 year old girls were often married off (in arranged marriages where they had no option) to much older men

    If you stole someone’s horse you could be hanged

    Going out to dinner meant taking the family out for a hunt”

    The Constitution doesn’t ALLOW many of these things: rather they are statements of fact. But even if it did, are you saying that the words, values of the document are not fit to govern us?

    If you think about how difficult a time we’d have since the government is so much larger, imagine the time we’d have modifying the Constitution; as there would be those who want to progress in ‘x; direction, those who wanted to progress in ‘y’ direction, and ‘z’ direction. Everyone wanting to progress in a different direction and at a different pace, doesn’t bode well.

    Never forgetting the twists of all those different progress. No one can really agree to where we want to progress. Is it such a wonder that the Constitution has not changed much (only been amended 27 or 28 times in well over 200 years.

    So, yes, the Constitution is an old document, but who said that old was bad? Who said that old has to be made new, get hip (are we teenagers). There are certain truisms that will be TRUTH/VALUES/MORALS forever. We call them evergreen ideas. Let’s not be so eager to toss out the bath water; we may lose the baby in the process.

    • Dissenter13a

      We aborted the baby a long time ago. The Bill of Rights is unenforceable in a court of law.

      • The baby isn’t aborted quite yet; we have a chance of saving ‘Old Glory’ but that chance is running out of time. Modernize the Constitution? Just like the line from My Fair Lady by Rex Harrison of “Marry Freddie? It’s doomed before they ever take the vow…”

      • Dissenter13a

        Take the ICCPR, for example. It is described as the “International Bill of Rights,” modeled after our own. The only difference is that it is enforceable.

        I don’t know how you fix it, or whether there could be a consensus sufficient to do so.

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        The court of law only works if one submits to it

    • Sam Nichols

      I believe the word “allow” in this case means “to accept as fact”.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Who determines what TRUTHS/VALUES/MORALS we will follow? Slavery is acceptable? The Protestant Christian church is the only real religion?

    • Mike

      The Constitution is based on principles and the author does not believe in principles. The founders read the history of governments throughout the ages and built principles based on had worked and what not.

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        We have had war since the dawn of man. How can you base things on failure alone.

      • Mike

        Could you clarify?

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        if you only base success on failure how can you be sure you succeeded? If you have never witnessed success how would you know what it is? Not saying you. but saying the so called founders. history is written by victors. Even basing things off things you dont know for sure would be a bit silly in the long term. As an experiment sure, and as far as it shows here we are a 200 year old failed experiment. Not 100% failed. but not a success better doesnt mean good.

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        and then they created genocide across the entire country since that day. of the natives. and celebrated even… even that celebration people havent learned from.

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        people found out we needed calcium , there are many sources of it. people found out milk gave some. Then they found out that we are all lactose intolerant after the age of 2. and people still buy milk like crazy. there are many many instances in every day life that have the same equation. better doesnt mean good. and to fix things one must change.. if you approach something the same way while failing before normally you reach the same failed outcome. they did it different this time. but it wasnt good enough,

      • Mike

        As you said before, the constitution is just a piece of paper. But there are ideas written on it. The true force of the document is the people. If the constitutional has failed, the people are at faul

  • Roxy

    Beautifully written and true. Could say the same of the Bible, as well!

    • John1966

      Amazing how you are an expert on the contents of books you have never read. You must be a freakin GENIUS.

      • SyntheticPhylum

        You don’t know that she’s never read the Bible. I’ve read it, and I tend to agree with her. That one book has caused more pain & suffering than ANYTHING in history.

      • John1966

        Now I know that neither of you have read it. I mean the WHOLE thing. Stop lying.

      • SyntheticPhylum

        You’re a funny little troll! Do you sing or dance when someone pokes you in the belly? I’m lying? How about the Crusades? How about the Inquisition? How about the Salem Witch Trials? I’m SURE that if I dig some more, I can find SEVERAL examples of pain, suffering, and death that have their roots in people following their interpretation of the bible… And MOST of these interpretations are made by Popes and other high-ranking members of the Christian faith. Still say I’m lying? Well, according to HISTORY, your opinion is invalid. Sorry, darling! Go troll somebody else! Kiss-kiss!

      • John1966

        Again, your ignorance of the bible confirms that you are lying about having read it. None of those historical things you mentioned are instructed in the bible. You’d know that if you’d read it, but you haven’t. The bible is unique in that its huge volume makes it too big of task to read for intellectual midgets, and its moral content is too prickly for people of shallow character to tolerate. You are a TEXTBOOK bibilical illiterate.

      • SyntheticPhylum

        I did not suggest that these things HAPPENED in the bible, you arrogant prick. BUT, these are things that HAPPENED IN HISTORY as a result of slavish devotion to that silly little book that you seem to think is so bloody important. Throughout history, horrible acts of violence have been perpetrated in the Holy Names of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. That little black book has been propped up over the centuries as both the cause and the justification for MILLIONS of deaths. The INTENT of the authors is immaterial; the RESULTS are not. Slavish devotion to the Holy Bible has been responsible for almost as much death over the ages as the Bubonic Plague. I’ve read the bible, despite your strident claims to the contrary. Of course, me reading the bible ISN’T my point. My point is, and has always been, the results of OTHER people reading the bible throughout history, and the death & horror that has resulted. Your argument is INVALID. Good day, sir. Go troll somebody else.

      • flashorton

        and you’re a textbook bible-bashing holier-than-thou pious zealot. Try reading more than one book.

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        So books made the tech you are using or science

      • Froggels

        Popes do not make their decisions on the Bible. They base them on canon law. Protestant beliefs are “bible based” That is *the* main fundamental difference between Protestants and Catholics. So for whatever “bad” things the Catholic Church might have done, such as the Crusades, they were not bible based. The Salem Witch Trials were however carried out by the Puritans who were “Evangelical Protestants” carrying out their own interpretation of the Bible.

      • Mike

        I have my problems with the Catholic church but if not for the Crusades there would not be a Western Civilization as we know it and most likely there would not be an America.

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        America is a word. Nothing more

      • Beth Schuler

        Well, I’ve studied the Bible my entire life, and sadly those things that happened are the result of people totally missing the point of the Bible. When people use it to inflict pain, they are the ones who’ve failed to properly read and understand it. And THOSE people have made the rest of us look completely foolish. And sadly some of those people are those who’ve risen to higher ranks and have forgotten their original calling and started playing stupid politics instead.

        Now, regarding the point of this column, I have to say I wholeheartedly agree that there is no way they could have foreseen how things would be today, and have said as much many times myself. And besides, it was written by humans. Nobody ever gets everything right! Sometimes they make mistakes, even with the very best of intentions. So who says everything in there was 100% right? I know they did their very best to try and cover whatever they could imagine and did so with the very best of intentions, at least I hope they did. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have made a mistake.

      • Mike

        How about the 1400 years of destruction and slavery that the Muslims instituted. You probably don’t know that the crusades were a response to the attacks upon Europe by the Muslim hoards. Perhaps you are just ignorant. The socialist, christian haters in our education system don’t teach these things.

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        An entire group of people accepting all Thierry own mistakes because someone died for Thier sins is the biggest cop out ever.

      • Mike

        Including Islam, I suppose?

      • DLCramer

        Why because it makes you feel quilts how you live ?
        How has it caused suffering???? You know so much, spill it!

      • Caitlin Heard

        Apparently, we have a scholar here folks!! Now, good sir, explain to me how rape is legal marriage??

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        Marriage is just a word

      • Mike

        Marriage is a contract.

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        made of words

  • Dissenter13a

    Again, AC’s staggering ignorance of the law and history are on display.

    The Framers would actually be surprised at the level of veneration we give to what they recognized to be an inherently flawed document. Jefferson denounced the slave trade as a “crime against nature” in his draft of the DoI. It was fully understood that it was a document they could get everyone to agree on, as opposed to an ideal one.

    How do you apply the Constitution to today’s problems? It is, as CJ Marshall chided, a constitution we are interpreting. In theory, it limits the power of our government, creating procedural rights by which we are to secure our natural rights. It is, as Professor Obama rightly said, “a charter of negative liberties.” Every significant issue we face today can be resolved by resort to it.

    It is not that there is not need for improvement. If we had followed General Washington’s recommendation in Philadelphia, we would have about 10,000 Congressmen — no gerrymandering, no expensive campaigns, no real need for money in politics. If we had left selection of Senators to the States, there would be no need for Senators to spend 80% of their waking hours begging for money or banging the hookers they are provided. And how can anyone justify giving Wyoming 100 times the clout in the Senate as California, on a per capita basis?

    The fundamental problem we face was foreseen by Madison and Jefferson: unequal distribution of wealth is inevitably corrosive to a democracy. Most of what is wrong is a function of the fact that no one in our government is personally accountable for their (often-illegal) official actions. Believe it or not, the Framers actually had solutions for this problem, and if we were a little more “fundamentalist” in our view of the Constitution, we could readily implement them. Imagine Bush and Cheney, prosecuted as war criminals and murderers. Back in 1800, private citizens could prosecute officials in a criminal action.

    No, it is not perfect. But what do you replace it with?

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Not replace, but pry it out of the hands of the few who claim nothing should ever change.

      • Charles Vincent

        Things change but that doesn’t mean people get to use government power to infringe on another’s liberties. People really just want to be free to pursuit their own interests with out fear of government intervention either on the governments part or as an agent of some special interest group.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Your “liberty” may be my “unscrupulous and/or illegal behavior.” Sometimes government intervention is on the side of equity, fairness and preventing total chaos. You live in a community with 316 million other people; you are not a country unto yourself.

      • Charles Vincent

        If I am pursuing my own interests the government or you for example have no business interfering with me so long as what I do doesn’t infringe on your ability to do the same. Why is that concept so difficult to grasp?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        It depends. What has the government interfered with? And remember, this isn’t a libertarian paradise.

      • Charles Vincent

        Republics which is what this country is are set up to protect the rights of the minority from the ill whims of the majority.

        “What has the government interfered with in your life?”
        How about using drones to assassinate at least three American citizen that we know of. And then there is the whole NSA/patriot act that essentially demolishes the fourth amendment. Then there is this whole gun control issue which violates the second amendment and every Supreme Court decision on the subject in one way or another. And the whole aca mandatory insurance coveage thing. And people like you who use government to force people to conform to your standard of morals and ethics when they have done absolutely nothing that in any way violates you ability to pursue life liberty or happiness, but you do it because you think every one should be like you or believe what you belive or like what you like. This is not for you to decide period

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        The drone hasn’t targeted you. Neither has the NSA. I don’t condone either, but I asked what the government has PERSONALLY done to YOU.

        No one is looking for gun control, unless you consider determining if someone is sane enough to own a gun some kind of “control.” The second Amendment says, “WELL-REGULATED MILITIA.” The “well-regulated” part seems to be missing.

        And what’s wrong with mandatory insurance coverage? It was originally a Republican idea, straight out of the Heritage Foundation. You live here, you get sick, someone pays the bill somewhere. If it ain’t you because you got no insurance, it’s the rest of us. Personally, I think we need universal coverage like every other sane industrialized country. Everyone pays in, no one gets left out.

        And it’s not for you to decide we can’t force you to do those things because that’s the reality. Again, you don’t like it, either change the system or move. So stop whining already.

      • Charles Vincent

        “The drone hasn’t targeted you. Neither has the NSA. I don’t condone either, but I asked what the government has PERSONALLY done to YOU.”
        It doesn’t matter what American citizen the killed it isn’t a ok period and I personally have an issue with that.

        “No one is looking for gun control, unless you consider determining if someone is sane enough to own a gun some kind of “control.”
        Who makes that determination. The government? You? And what constitutes sane?

        “The second Amendment says, “WELL-REGULATED MILITIA.” The “well-regulated” part seems to be missing.”
        Well regulated pertains to how the militia was to be trained and what processes were to be used to train them so they could fight alongside the standing military units if they were ever called into service by congress. You can clearly see why if you studied the history of the revolutionary war and how the militia was poorly trained and often broke lines under fire. You can reference this in the federalist papers number 29 it’s spelled out clearly.

        As for the ACA I don’t care who’s brainchild idea it was its a colossal mistake period it leaves so many things unaddressed and has so many unintended consequences I can’t even begin to list them all. And we have been over them on many other occasions.

        And yes it is my perogative to decide how I live my life, and if you think you get to tell me different get a lawyer and take me to court and prove I did something to infringe on your liberties.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I’m not worried about you infringing on my liberties. But then again, I’m not infringing on yours. Neither is the government–at least you haven’t demonstrated you are the injured party.

        I finally figured you out, Charles. Despite being a self-proclaimed legislative, judicial and Constitutional expert, you are none of those. You’re upset because the government can and does tell you what to do and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it. That just grinds you no end, but you will never leave for whatever libertarian paradise you think exists in some part of the world because–all your griping aside–you really don’t have it bad here.

        You’re simply the internet equivalent of the old guy on his porch, waving his cane in the air and yelling, “Goddam kids, get off my lawn.”

      • Charles Vincent

        You aren’t even close to figuring me out and I don’t need to prove the government did anything to me personally but I merelyoint out the trend they have been following with the violation of people’s liberties in general.

        It doesn’t take a genius to read and understand the constitution. It also doesn’t take a whole lot of intellect to understand the judicial system or how case law and case precedent works. As for why I am here or on any site I like spreading the best most factual information I can nothing more nothing less, it’s a shame people take things so personal when I do though.

        “You’re simply the internet equivalent of the old guy on his porch, waving his cane in the air and yelling, “Goddam kids, get off my lawn.””

        Have you been watching gran Torino?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        If it doesn’t take a genius to read and understand the Constitution, then why are there Constitutional scholars and a supreme court to argue about it? Just because you think it’s simple doesn’t mean it is.

        Never saw Gran Torino but I did see Clint Eastwood act like an ass at the Republican National Convention last year. What a hoot. Obama got re-elected handily, and I just loved watching conservatives gnashing their teeth.

      • Charles Vincent

        Obama won by 4% of the vote that isn’t handily by any stretch, if you want to see handily look at how badly Reagan beat Mondale.

        “If it doesn’t take a genius to read and understand the Constitution, then why are there Constitutional scholars and a supreme court to argue about it? Just because you think it’s simple doesn’t mean it is.”

        Because they try to impose their own interpretation on it instead of looking at contemporary writings from the actual people that wrote it, furthermore some of the people on the Supreme Court would probably love to do away with it because they don’t like it on a personal level. If you don’t believe that just watch the media coverage when they appoint new Supreme Court justices they call their beliefs on a regular basis and the democrats and republicans actively try to block nominees that they feel are to far from their own political ideologies.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        We’re 200+ years from the people who wrote the Constitution. Times have changed.

      • Charles Vincent

        Yep and the constitution has been jimmied and distorted as well other wise it’s has been working as intended.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        You mean like when slavery was legal and black folk were 3/5 of a person. If the Constitution was such a model of perfection from the beginning, why are there 27 amendments?

      • Charles Vincent

        These things were all remedied, what’s the problem? And there are amendments that corrected things like suffrage and only one amendment has ever been repealed that was the 18th(prohibition) and was repealed by the 21st. These are all natural parts for the constitution to remedy such issues.

      • William Alexander Carter

        Who makes that determination: psychologists, neurologists, and the like. YOu know, people trained in human behavior and brain psyche. If you’re mentally imbalanced and unable to function in society, you don’t need a gun. If you do have a gun, you don’t need thousands of rounds of ammunition.

        The 2nd Amendment was written because AT THAT TIME we had no standing army (so your statement is wrong) due to distrust of what a federal government would do with a federal army. Well of course the militia is shit so we needed a federal army anyway. So now the 2nd Amendment is irrelevant and most likely should be discarded, or updated to allow only for personal hunting weaponry, if at all

      • Charles Vincent

        We did have a regular army they were called the continentals. They were augmented by state militias please go back and read historical documents on this.

        “If you do have a gun, you don’t need thousands of rounds of ammunition.”
        You don’t get to tell me or anyone that isn’t breaking the law how much ammunition we need, just like I don’t get to force you to own a firearm, or buy ammunition for it.

        The whole of the bill of rights was is and always will be relevant and you nor the government get to give away my natural rights, of which the founders listed the ones they felt most important when they penned the bill of rights. I suggest you go back and read some John Locke as they drew on his writings and the writings of others when they drafted founding documents of this country.

      • K_Ann

        Every time the government steals my money it does me harm. And read your last sentence – you’re like the school yard bully – I’m going to steal your lunch money and you can’t do anything about it because I have the brute force of the government and that is reality.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        No the government isn’t “stealing” your money and harming you. It is actually protecting you with those tax dollars. You’d rather not have a military protecting you? Or you’d rather not have highways, cops, firefighters, people protecting you from tainted meat and bad drugs? You want to fund your own infrastructure? Go right ahead. Let me know how that works out for you.

        You are paying taxes, which is the rent you pay to live in this country, and, according to the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, is perfectly legal.

        “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration

        You are free to leave and find a country that won’t tax you. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

      • K_Ann

        As long as you don’t demand part of my income to subsidize your interests. That seems to be what people have a difficultly grasping. The right to do does not include the right to demand someone else pay for it.

      • Charles Vincent

        I don’t want your income in fact I want the government to take less of everyone’s income so they have more for themselves.

      • As long as the behavior that Charles exhibits, does not infringe upon your rights according to the Constitution, Charles should be able to live the way HEEEEE sees fit, the way he wants, the way that brings him happiness.

        The minute his life-style or pursuit of happiness crosses that line, Charles needs to adhere to EXISTING law.

    • Matthew Reece

      We replace (un)constitutional government with market anarchism. Most of the Founding Fathers probably would have been market anarchists if the idea had existed in the 1780s.

      • Dissenter13a

        Probably not. They understood the need for a functioning public commons, and that unequal distribution of wealth was the bane of a republic.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Yeah unequal distribution worked SO WELL in the 1920s…

    • Charles Vincent

      I like the idea of prosecuting government officials that break the law. I also do not think it needs to be replace as history has shown when a flaw or weak spot is exposed we need to correct/fix the issue just like we did with slavery, women’s suffrage etcetera. The biggest problem we have now is that being a politician should be a civic duty not a career as it is now, every person of age should have to participate in some level of government for a standard term say 2-4 years and then they are done and need to move on to a private career. Secondly we need to rid ourselves of those busy bodies that think they can run someone else’s life better than the said person could.

  • Matthew Reece

    The idea that government is moral and necessary is outdated and broken.

    • Charles Vincent

      Government has never been moral and the founders considered it necessary evil.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      I need government to protect me from the likes of you who think we need no government and it’s open season on the weaker.

      And just out of curiosity, what has government specifically done to you that you don’t like. Leave taxes out of it; that’s the price you pay for living here.

      • John1966

        How about coercing me to buy health insurance. A woman is “free” to choose kill her child, at my expense, but I can’t choose what health product to buy with my own money? That’s liberal tyranny.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Yes, you can choose what health product to buy with your own money. It’s just now you can’t choose to NOT buy health insurance. The government also makes you buy auto insurance if you own and drive a car and your bank makes you buy insurance if you have a mortgage. So cry me a river.

        And I don’t give a damn about what you think about abortion. The law is the law. Abortion is legal, so said the Supreme Court. So is the ACA, so said the Supreme Court. You don’t like it, change it. I don’t like Citizens United but I’m not all in a snit like you.

      • John1966

        How convenient that you have no conscience about killing innocent children. You must be guilty of it, otherwise you might be able to afford to think soberly about it.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        No, but according to the law, women get to CHOOSE. They don’t get someone else to decide for them. And I’d have much more sympathy for your stand if you cared about those unwanted kids as much after they’re born as you do before. But then, I think the whole intent of the anti-abortion crowd is punitive: women having sex because they like it.

        I know women who’ve had abortions. It was always a gut-wrenching decision.

      • flashorton

        judge not lest you be judged, cast not the first stone etc etc… brother.

      • Jerom Kwan Ip

        do you eat meat? other creatures are innocent and we kill 35 billion a year. your conscience is very crazy to think of some innocents as better than others.

      • Matthew Reece

        Taxation is armed robbery, slavery, trespassing, communicating threats, and conspiracy to commit the aforementioned crimes. Saying that taxation is the price for living here assumes that the right of private property ownership does not exist and that each person’s property is owned by the government. Government is a concept and a process, not an entity that exists in physical reality. Thus, saying that government can own property is like saying that the scientific method can own property, which is absurd.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Sorry dude, but you have three choices:
        1. STFU and pay your taxes like everyone else.
        2. Stop paying taxes and go to jail.
        3. Leave the country and find a place that doesn’t tax you. I’m still waiting for someone to find such a place.

        Taxation is the price you pay for living here. You derive benefits from the services your taxes pay for. End of story. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.

      • Matthew Reece

        You clearly do not understand the logical rights of private property ownership and voluntary association.

      • Matthew Reece

        As for what government has done to me, mandatory indoctrination in public schools for 13 years is a form of child abuse committed en masse by government officials. I was a victim of this.

        Drone strikes that murder innocent children are committed in my name, which endangers my safety because it provides motive for terrorist attacks here. I am forced at gunpoint to pay for this to be done.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Oh stop whining. You are pathetic. And obviously your public school experience didn’t teach you how to think, eh?

      • Matthew Reece

        Ad hominem is an admission of ignorance. If you had the intellectual ability to attack my arguments, you would have no need to attack my character.

  • Charles Vincent

    Over 80% of Americans support universal background checks — a level of support that’s unheard of for a key political issue — and we couldn’t even get that passed.

    Holy cow you can’t even keep the debunked lie straight, first it was 90% now it’s 80% is 70% next for you left leaning people? The constitution is fine it’s politicians that are the problem, and people like you Mr. Clifton, you’re like a child that pulls on a loose thread until the whole shirt has come unraveled.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      No, it largely depends on which poll you read and when it was taken. Gallup reported in April “65% support” which was based on 85% Democrats and 45% Republicans.

      • Charles Vincent

        Apparently you didn’t read his other article where he stated that 90% of Americans support universal background checks. And now in this article magically it’s 80%. And the poll questions you mention are dubious at best as they are poorly worded and in some cases ambiguous. There are several studies on this, duke university has one such study on how polls can be rigged to skew data to a chosen outcome. And that 90% question is one of those ambiguous ones.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Again, it depends on when the poll was done. I won’t waste my time trying to prove my point, but I recall more than one news outlet using the 90% figure. Bottom line is a majority of people, including NRA members, support background checks.

      • Charles Vincent

        There is a distinct difference between a background check which we already have under the Brady bill which was passed circa ~1993, and a universal background check which is what they were asking about with the polls and I saw the question from the Washington Post it was a misleading question.
        The NRA has never supported UBC’s to my knowledge. They did acquiesce to the Brady bill background checks though.
        Furthermore if you don’t know the difference between the Brady bill background check system we currently have and what the “Universal Background checks” would have done it is very likely that most people don’t know either.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        No background checks at gun shows. Big problem. The NRA MEMBERSHIP supports gun controls, not the NRA LEADERSHIP.

      • Charles Vincent

        Have you ever been to a gun show? And I don’t mean you know someone that knows someone that went to one either. I have and they are filled with licensed FFL dealers who are required by law to run a background check on every sale or they can face legal prosecution. Private sales are not regulated and never will be because in order to do so you would have to institute a national gun registry, registry of a firearm in this manner is prohibited by federal law. Private sales make up > 2% of all gun sales each year.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I see no problem with universal background checks. And the gun bill earlier this year specifically prohibited a gun registry (which I would also have no problem with). You’re just paranoid.

      • Charles Vincent

        You’re missing the fine print they wanted to extend background checks to all private sales, the DOJ has stated to Obama that the only way that will work is if they have a national firearms registry. A registry of this type has been forbidden under federal law since 1986.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Sounds good to me. I like the idea of a gun registry. I have to register my car and it is far less dangerous than a gun.

        So, a gun show sale isn’t a private sale?

      • Charles Vincent

        No gun shows are licensed dealers. There are how ever some private sales conducted.

        “I like the idea of a gun registry. I have to register my car and it is far less dangerous than a gun.”

        This is a false assumption, in 2011 8775 people were kill by firearms compared to 10,839 having been killed by drunk drivers in the same calendar year and in 2012 drunk drivers claimed 16,885 lives. This indicates that DD deths are trending up. But when you look at firearms deaths they have been decreasing for the last 10-15 years and from what I see the numbers indicate that they also decreased in 2012.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        My point: I register my car by government order, and it causes me no pain. Likewise, a gun registry. I’m not commenting about death rates, only your complaint about registration.

      • Charles Vincent

        Gun registration is prohibited by the firearm owners protection act.
        “No such rule or regulation prescribed [by the Attorney General] after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary’s authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation.”

        You stated this “I’m not commenting about death rates,” and I was responding to this “my car is far les dangerous than a gun” to which I replied with the statistics on drunk driving deaths from motor vehicles contrasted against fire arms deaths which was less thus proving that firearms are less deadly than vehicles simply because cars killed more people than guns and I showed that gun violence have been on the decline for the last 20 years which is contrary to what gun control advocates tout.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I got no problem with knowing where guns go once they leave the manufacturer. That isn’t gun control, that is tracking inventory. No one wants to take away your guns, which is what gun opponents claim.

      • Charles Vincent

        The fienstein assault weapons ban would have outlawed ~200 firearms that fall under the common use portion of the heller decision. That is taking guns away. Yes you have no problem with it but its still illegal for the federal or state government, or any government to have or maintain such a registry. If you’re so ok with registry go grab an rf ID chip so the government can track your every move.

  • John1966

    The reason why the 3rd Amendment is not an issue today is because of the 3rd Amendment. You arrogantly mock what you don’t care to understand.

  • John1966

    HELLO, the reason the 3rd Amendment is not an issue very often is because we have the 3rd Amendment. Recently a private home in NV was used as a stakeout for a nearby criminal investigation. The police stormed the home, ignored the owner’s protests, threatening and endangering the owner. The owner is suing the city and the officers under the 3rd Amendment. To say the Constitution is too old to be relevant is to advertize that you are too shallow, myopic, and infantile to comprehend that the lessons of history are timeless.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      You wanna provide a source for that?

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    So why is it the conservative trolls keep coming back here. We’re not listening to you.

  • Dieter Gould

    Oh, wait a moment! I got the answer for everything that’s wrong, but before we make a final decision to read every proposal out there… “Let’s vote on it, before we can see what’s in it!” Thank you! Madam Pelosi for the new Health Care Law… And, since it went to the Supreme Court and was ruled to be a Tax! To which Obama said “It’s not a Tax.” And, since then, it has not even been voted on by Congress… Which makes this Bill illegal! And now, it’s being rammed down our throats! And, small businesses like mine can no longer exist on paying high premiums, but wait a minute! Obama has decided to wait until after mid term elections before we get really screwed… But, the Bill will continue for the little people to which most of them will not see it hit them until their taxes are due in following year… So, here we are… With the expanded United States of America… As a nation, we’re now over 200 years of age. Which is about what? Almost nine generation since the country was founded? And, you say that this Constitution is out dated? How so? Did you ever think, or come to the conclusion, that this Constitution which has been voted on by the people, and for the people, was intended to be exactly as it is? Think about it for a moment… With such a diverse society of many different cultures, and we’re going to change what in our society? We have already evolved and existed for over 200 years. And, believe it or not! We the People have the greatest country in the world! And, you want to do what with it? How is our system broke? We have the best laws of the land. Our rights to bare Arms is constantly being trampled on. And, you hear every one saying “We want Regulation and Fairness.” Well, we have over 22,000 laws regulating our rights to bare Arms, and we have only one right. Where’s the Fairness in that? And, Free speech is only goes for one group of people, but not for the opposite group! Where’s the Fairness in that? It seems like there’s a lot of underhandedness going on. And, if you look at the Left, you can certainly see that they’re not willing to follow the laws that govern this land. And yet, when fingers are to be pointed. The lefties are always looking in the other direction, and laying blame, or shouting even louder, and sputtering words that are ratherly incoherent… Your claims that you’re making are basically untruthful and unwarranted, pretty much meaningless… And, as for your vast knowledge in political science to which you proclaim to have a degree in? I’m sure the professor whom gave it to you probably told you, you were a genius as well!

  • Blake

    Yes, some things need to be changed for relevant adaptation purposes unless such changes are irrelevant to further the form and function of existence.

  • DLCramer

    Anyone touches The Constitution, you will see people go off!!!