The Right Opinion

The Most Important Amendment

By Rich Galen · Jan. 28, 2013

We all know the term “The Bill of Rights” which are the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution although few of us (including me) could name them.

Hint: None of them start “Thou shalt not …” Rather they tend to start “The Government (or Congress) shalt not …” Keep that in mind.

The First Amendment is a catch-all of rights upon which the Congress may not trample: It protects an individual's freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, as well as the right to assemble and to petition the government.

The American press corps is very, very focused on the First Amendment and will go to great lengths to make sure that right is not diminished.

Similarly the Fifth Amendment is often a show stopper. The money clause in the Fifth Amendment is, of course the clause against self incrimination.

In practice, according to Black's Law Dictionary, the Fifth Amendment “requires the government to prove a criminal case against the defendant without the aid of the defendant as a witness against himself.”

The Tenth Amendment, in total, reads:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This was dropped in to protect the notion of “Federalism” and might have been attempting to strike a balance between an all-powerful central government (read, George III) and a totally useless central government (read, Articles of Confederation).

The Amendment that is on everyone's lips these days is, of course, the Second:

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.

We walked through those to show the vast range of protective language the founders found necessary to include even after they had finished the body of the Constitution itself.

There are no unfettered rights. As we have discussed many times, the First Amendment does not protect your right to “falsely shout 'fire' in a crowded theater” (as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is often quoted has having written in U.S. v. Schenck).

Anyone who has ever watched more than a few frames of a CSI episode knows that the Fifth Amendment prohibition against self-incrimination can be overturned by almost any judge issuing a warrant that allows the police to take a cheek swab to get your DNA.

The Second Amendment doesn't mean that any device that fires a projectile through a barrel as the result of a chemical reaction (known in higher scientific circles as “going boom”) is protected.

Howitzers, for instance, are not protected. Nor are .50 caliber machine guns, among others.

Watching cable news chat shows tells us how important that Freedom of Speech thing is. The ownership of a network might, under public pressure, remove a host for what it considers to be egregious speech, but the government can't do it.

In the early days of the Iraq War a Country group called the Dixie Chicks publicly denounced the war in general and President George W. Bush in particular leading to radio stations around the country to stop pushing their songs and former fans to stop attending their songs.

You didn't have to like what the Dixie Chicks said, but you were limited in what you could to do express that dissatisfaction. Demanding the government toss them in the slam is not among them.

Compare and contrast to Vladimir Putin's reaction to a girl group in Moscow having put on an impromptu concert in opposition to his government. Into the Slaminski they went.

The battle over the Second Amendment will, in spite of a well-orchestrated effort to diminish or remove it by the American Left, end the same way the battle over the First and Fifth Amendments ended during the “Hollywood Black Listing” days of the late 1940s-early 1950s in spite of the overwhelming desire for the American Right to limit them.

When it comes down to it, the most important Amendment in the Bill of Rights is any Amendment with which you, or I disagree. That means someone else's rights are being protected – against you or me.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to a list of all 27 Amendments, to the Hollywood Blacklist, Dixie Chicks, and Vladimir Putin affairs.

Also a License Plate Mullfoto that was spotted by the Mullings Director of Standards & Practices.

Copyright ©2012 Barrington Worldwide, LLC |


fred in oregon said:

me too, Mac. we could set them in place, pointing east.

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 8:48 AM

rab in jo,mo replied:

You'll need something with a bit more range than a howitzer. We don't want short rounds landing on us here in the heartland. Of course, in SW MO, we tend to point the cannon towards Kansas, having had issues with jayhawkers in the past.

And yes, field artillery is covered by the 2nd Amendment. Many local militia units had their own cannon back in the day. It's still possible, in some states, to own an artillery piece (Destructive Device), but very expensive to purchase, and usage is heavily restricted.

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

I like the howitzer idea but I'm more in favor of drones if they were cheap and could be bought. That way we could target those we wanted to take out and not worry about doing in the wrong folks. Whatever we favor the Demorats will try their best to take them away so we can be herded around like the mindless sheep who make up their party.

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:07 AM

wjm in Colorado said:

I pray for the ordenance of God, a meteor strike on the Capitol when all are there. In many years, free people of America could vacation at the Gulf of Washington. Move the new Constituion following government to a more central location.

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Mindblown in Flyover USA said:

I believe the First Amendment thing about "freedom of the press" was put in in order for the "press" to be a watchdog on the activities of government NOT to be co-conspirators and accomplices. Neither was the press to add their personal opinions but to present the facts. So how does that problem get fixed?

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Ed Watts in Near Palm Springs replied:

With the second.

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 3:01 PM

fred in brothers oregon replied:

BNgranny: WITH a cannon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Rod in USA said:

Make sure that when you point east you properly estimate range and skip over some of us patriots stuck behind enemy lines.

Stop the insanity. Who is John Galt?

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM

fred in oregon replied:

slightly off topic, but my favorite movie is RED DAWN.
just an old mans mutterings!!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Hugh in Arkansas said:

The liberals support abortion on demand, which probably kills thousands of children in their mother's wombs each year, but use the act of one deranged individual, WHO DID NOT USE AN ASSAULT RIFLE, who killed 20 children and 6 adults with HANDGUNS,
who could not defend themselves because they were in a "GUN-FREE SCHOOL ZONE, which meant no one in the school could have a legally carried concealed firearm to defend the children or themselves with, because of a law Senator Feinstein voted to pass, a woman who possesses a concealed-carry permit and carries her own concealed
weapon FOR HER PROTECTION, wants to REMOVE all Americans' rights granted in the 2nd Amendment to the CONSTITUTION, because "SHE KNOWS WHAT'S BEST FOR AMERICA"?

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Ted R. Weiland in Nebraska said:

"The first Ten Amendments, commonly known as the Bill of Rights, were a compromise between the constitutional framers and the anti-federalists who opposed the Constitution as originally framed. In theory, the Bill of Rights protects, among other things, the “unalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But have life, liberty, and happiness been advanced or protected since their ratification?....

"The Scriptures provide no evidence of God-given (or unalienable) rights. Even life and liberty are not rights, but rather responsibilities delegated by Yahweh. Of course, rights are much more popular than responsibilities. Everyone, including homosexuals and infant murderers, demand their rights, but few are interested in fulfilling their responsibilities....

"R.J. Rushdoony pointed out the sophistry of governments based upon freedom:

'….[A] society which makes freedom its primary goal will lose it, because it has made, not responsibility, but freedom from responsibility, its purpose. When freedom is the basic emphasis, it is not responsible speech which is fostered but irresponsible speech. If freedom of press is absolutized, libel will be defended finally as a privilege of freedom, and if free speech is absolutized, slander finally becomes a right. Religious liberty becomes a triumph of irreligion. Tyranny and anarchy take over. Freedom of speech, press, and religion all give way to controls, totalitarian controls. The goal must be God’s law-order, in which alone is true liberty.' ( Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1973) p. 581.)..."

For more, see "Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism" at

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Dioneikes in Colorado said:

The 2nd Amendment is the glue that holds all the other Amendments up. Without the 2nd, just see how fast the others would be stripped away.
And the 10th Amendment also gives us the right to bear arms, because we have never in the history of this country given over our natural right of self-protection to the government's auspices by caveat or anything else. That right is not delegated to the government, therefore it is reserved to the people!

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Roger Mitchell in Montana said:

Rights? Bill of rights?? You mean Bill of Goods, right? Any "right" which is granted by a government can be revoked by that government. The only "rights" we have are those given to us by our government and it has the power to strip those rights any time it wants.

To the contrary, we have responsibility before God to live, act, and speak in a right manner. We are not allowed to shout, "Fire!" in a crowded theatre because God has said, "Thou shalt not lie." We have responsibility to protect our families and homes because God has said that anyone who doesn't provide for his own is worse than an unbeliever. And on and on and on.

Why do we keep looking to government for the liberties and freedoms we already have in God? Probably because we don't want to be responsible.

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 5:04 PM

William in FL replied:

Roger, You missed the the real point: In a free nation "The People" are the government and the "Poloticians are simply representatives of the people" !!!

Monday, January 28, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Dennis in Illinois said:

The Second Amendment doesn't mean that any device that fires a projectile through a barrel as the result of a chemical reaction (known in higher scientific circles as "going boom") is protected.

Howitzers, for instance, are not protected. Nor are .50 caliber machine guns, among others.
Got news for you.Yes it does.What part do you not get that you pointed out so well that this is about protecting one self against a tyrannical government? Cant do that with pee shooters jack.Shall not be infringed upon!!!! That means any weapon you would like to own.You cant have it both ways.Either we can own and have what we want weapons wise or not but you cant split hairs over it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

The bill of rights came into use December 15, 1791. They were originally, 12 Rights. They protect individuals from tyrannical Nationals, like Harry Reid! I am clinging to Jesus, and the Bill of Rights, will all of my Heart and Mind!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:56 AM

Glen Kemp in Saint Cloud, Fl. said:

Why are we selling off our Oil and Natural Gas fields when we have to import most of our oil? And why of all countries to China? And why when we have a work force that is hurting for lack of work are we handing out huge contracts to build Bridges and Highway's again to Chinese Firms and workers?
The Obama administration serves up a Ambassador and brave Marines to Terrorist and thinks nothing about it. I seem to recall Nixon having to resign for a break in and lying to congress. Obama lies to Congress and the American people almost every Day, All the while he spends money like a crazed Wombat. He want's our Guns, our money, and he is selling us China
Can anybody Smell What the Rat is Cooking?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 8:27 AM

fred in brothers oregon said:

staying free, requires overwhelming physicle force. there is no alternative.
just a thought from an old cop.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 10:06 AM