Ninja wrote:pjbogart wrote:I know you're trying to make a point, Ninja, I'm just not sure what it is. In relation to the Second Amendment, of course.
Yeah I realized after about my fifth reply that this was a total threadjack. But the constitution is important, and people shouldn't be allowed to mislead others about it. Threadjack over.
I understand your point about the Constitution being a restraint on government rather than the citizenry, but I think that's a bit simplistic for several reasons. First off, as was pointed out, the Constitution does restrict private citizens' behavior, for instance by setting age restrictions for voting and running for various elected offices.
Secondly, "we the people" are the government, therefore the entire Constitution, as an anti-democratic document, serves to limit what we the people can do. For instance, we the people cannot vote to outlaw Islam because because such a vote would be in violation of the First Amendment. No matter how angry and alienated the government may make people feel, ultimately the government is still us. We choose it, wisely or unwisely every time we vote. This is why I always bristle at anti-government types, because they seem to view our nation through an "us against them" lens, whether "them" refers to immigrants, political adversaries or government in general.
But you're right that the Constitution is not directly used to limit the vast majority of our behaviors. The document mostly spells out limitations on government, though such distinctions can be somewhat meaningless. For instance, a father arrested for child abuse is not said to have violated his child's Constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The father is charged under State statutes, as you pointed out. But those State statutes are crafted from their controlling document, the Constitution, at least indirectly. Some people may smirk at the notion that all of our laws are in some way based upon Constitutional prohibitions, but drug laws are couched on the right to pass laws to promote and protect the general welfare, labor unions are permitted based upon our right to peaceably assemble and associate. To say that the Constitution is directed at government is correct, but to claim that it has no bearing on private citizens is incorrect. It does. Indirectly.