Monday, July 05, 2010

Reflection On The Fourth

Independence Day! --I didn't post anything special for the day, though I marked it by flying the same Gadsden flag I've flown on holidays for over a decade.

Last night sounded like World War Four, though it looked prettier, firecrackers and skyrockets and Roman candles going off all over the neighborhood; every once in awhile, there'd be a big, dull boom as some particularly ambitious amusement was set off.

I love that. Indiana has fairly open fireworks laws on paper and in practice, there's a tendency to push the envelope. Law enforcement pushes back but the end result is, you can buy some pretty good toys and set 'em off in your own back yard. I suppose that's a kind of liberty.

I do worry. I worry that this country could, under the guise of "security," end up as what Tamara calls "Europe with better gun laws." That would be a very serious loss.

The Declaration of Independence is a lovely piece of prose; it's a fine collection of noble ideals. It's got less legal force than a personal check. The piece of paper that describes your liberty is the Bill of Rights. Don't let 'em get hollowed out; the ideas are far more important than the piece of paper with writing on it.

1 comment:

BobG said...

"On every question of construction, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
- Thomas Jefferson