American vs. unAmerican values, according to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution

Border and airport security are today’s hot-button Fourth Amendment issues, but whether body scanners and demanding cell phone access is unAmerican remains to be determined by the courts.

For other articles on unAmerican values, click here

Without the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America, the United States of America would not exist. As such, the values laid out in these two documents are, by definition, American values. And any values held in opposition to the values in these documents are, again by definition, unAmerican.

The Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Image credit: REUTERS/Christian Charisius (GERMANY – Tags: TRANSPORT SCI TECH)

A person and their property may not be searched without probable cause. This right is regularly pushed against by law enforcement for reasons of public safety, and the courts regularly have to address what qualifies as probable cause and under what conditions this applies. For example, is it an unreasonable search to force an airline passenger to submit to a metal detector or millimeter wave scan? Is it unreasonable to pat down a passenger whom is shown to have something on their person or who refuses to pass through a scanner? Continue reading

American vs. unAmerican values, according to the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States

When it comes to the Second Amendment, only the extreme positions of banning all firearms or allowing unrestricted access to all firearms are unAmerican.

The Second Amendment (image credit: tenthamendmentcenter.com)

For other articles on unAmerican values, click here

Without the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America, the United States of America would not exist. As such, the values laid out in these two documents are, by definition, American values. And any values held in opposition to the values in these documents are, again by definition, unAmerican.

The Second Amendment

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.

Due to the unclear wording of the Second Amendment and the presence of an unexpected comma, the Second Amendment’s intent is vague. Until 2007, the Supreme Court had held that the Second Amendment applied to only the collective ownership of firearms of militias, most commonly understood to be the National Guards of the various states. In the District of Columbia vs. Heller decision, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court overturned this long history and held that the Second Amendment defined an individual right to possess firearms. Heller also held that the right was not unlimited, although exactly what limits are permissible has not yet been tested at the Supreme Court.

Ultimately, however, the confusing language and sentence structure of the Second Amendment means that Americans can hold a variety of opinions about firearms and still be aligned with American values. Continue reading

You have to be OK with a lot of awful stuff to vote for Donald Trump

You don’t have to believe everything Donald Trump does to vote for him, but you do have to be OK with everything he believes and everything he’s done.

Image Credit: DiversityInc.com

Image Credit: DiversityInc.com

You don’t have to be a liar to vote for Donald Trump, you just have to be ok with lying.

You don’t have to be a hypocrite to vote for Donald Trump, you just have to be ok with hypocrisy.

You don’t have to enjoy mocking the disabled to vote for Donald Trump, you just have to be ok with other people mocking the disabled.

You don’t have to be a narcissist to vote for Donald Trump, you just have to be ok with narcissism.

You don’t have to be an adulterer to vote for Donald Trump, you just have to be ok with adultery.

You don’t have to be a misogynist to vote for Donald Trump, you just have to be ok with misogyny.

You don’t have to be a sexual assaulter to vote for Donald Trump, you just have to be ok with sexual assault. Continue reading