Like the good twit that I am, I decided to get in on the big #FreetoTweet event Thursday for Bill of Rights Day. Using every one of my 140 available characters, I wrote:
#FreetoTweet – Free to tweet, speak, worship, publish, assemble, petition, bear arms, protect person and property, etc. http://t.co/dzMKrajx
I pushed the “Tweet” button and went to see what my fellow hash-markers were saying. After a while I thought maybe I’d misunderstood the purpose. Almost all of the messages were about how great the First Amendment is. Many of them advertised sweepstakes and sales related to Bill of Rights Day. Somebody had a contest going – best First Amendment tweet wins a scholarship.
Well, I am as big a fan as anyone of the First Amendment. Free speech, the freedom to worship as we please, publish what we want, peaceably assemble and give grief to the government (I paraphrase) are all rights that ought to be etched in stone.
It’s just that, well, Thursday was Bill of Rights Day, not First Amendment Day.
It’s as if everyone decided to ignore the right to own and carry weapons, the right not to have a standing army in the neighborhood, the right not to have your person and property searched or seized without probable cause, the right to remain silent, the right to a speedy trial by a jury of peers, the right to face your accusers, and the right that states and the individual have to any and all powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution.
Oh. Wait. Everyone has decided to ignore those rights. Sorry.