When I was in office I would sometimes get a question about some technical aspect of how government works. I would tell them to ask Melody because she knew government (she’s a social studies teacher) and I knew politics and they weren’t the same thing.

When I was in office I would sometimes get a question about some technical aspect of how government works.  I would tell them to ask Melody because she knew government (she’s a social studies teacher) and I knew politics and they weren’t the same thing.
Well, that is a true statement but you know, we all need to know a little bit about government to fully understand our political system.  And, most importantly, to be able to call out people who truly don’t understand the fundamentals of our government.
For instance, do you remember that the first 10 amendments to the U. S. Constitution are called the Bill of Rights?  Apparently a lot of people don’t know that basic fact and, if they do know it, they don’t really understand what they mean.  
I won’t take the time or space to outline all 10 amendments but do think that, in this current hyper-charged political environment, all of us need to understand the first 2 at least.  
The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The Second Amendment says “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
The Bill of Rights Institute says that “the Bill of Rights is a list of limits on government power.  For example, what the Founders saw as the natural right of individuals to speak and worship freely was protected by the First Amendment’s prohibitions on Congress making laws establishing a religion or abridging freedom of speech.”
Somewhere along the line some have perverted the First Amendment to mean that the government should be free of all religious connotations rather than merely prohibiting the Congress from establishing a religion. But that is another column.  For the purposes of this column I want to bring attention to the phrase “abridging the freedom of speech”.
I hear a lot of people yell that they have freedom of speech but in today’s world apparently many think that the freedom of speech only extends to those that would agree with their very limited view of the world.  How in the heck do they come to that conclusion?  They most likely didn’t have the privilege of sitting through Mrs. Coker’s freshman civics class like a host of Neosho graduates did.

A lot of colleges and universities across the nation (and apparently Facebook) have sought to silence anything remotely resembling conservative speech.  Some have even gone so far to establish “safe zones” to protect the sensitive “snowflakes” from hearing anything that might possibly challenge their liberal thinking.

Anyone who dares voice an opposing opinion to the liberal brand of gibberish are shouted down, called out to be in favor of discrimination and the most favorite label – accused of being ignorant and intolerant. And of course, we all remember that Hillary thinks we are “deplorables”.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the current debate about gun control.  Those who think that banning more guns will magically change the heart of those that seek to kill people without reason, cannot fathom how we ignorant backward conservatives can choose guns over people.  And their vitriol is nasty, smacks of intolerance and reaches the highest height of hypocrisy.

It’s funny how they think we are intolerant when in fact it is many liberals cannot accept any opinions different from their own. We have reached a point in this country where open discourse has been replaced by insults and apparently we can no longer agreeably disagree.  Elections have become winner take all events with no room for compromise (remember Obama’s comment about winning) and allowing dissent seems to be a sign of weakness.

So, way too many people do not understand that the First Amendment applies to everyone and not just those that agree with their philosophy.  And, probably more disturbing is that even less people understand that the Second Amendment was adopted by our founding fathers in order to insure that the First Amendment was not abridged to silence those with differing views.




   
      


   

Kevin Wilson writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.