The Constitution can’t have an annual review


I was sitting at my laptop with two warm blueberry muffins. The house smelled of muffins and my wife was sitting in the chair next to me taunting the Google Home we got for Christmas.

That thing freaks me out. She’s got an agenda.

I always have the television on as a curveball to my brain and my fingers that go about tapping out something I hope is worth your five minute read…and something has caught my attention.

One of my all-time favorite movies is Aaron Sorkin’s The American President…and it just came on. Sunday afternoon television is the best.

President Andy Shepherd gives his daughter Lucy a seventh grade history textbook with a copy of the constitution in the front. She reads the first sentence and my wife says, ‘The Constitution needs to reviewed, it doesn’t apply to today’s society.’

She makes a good point, not to mention that the country’s top grammar experts need to comb over it for proper meaning. But she’s also off her rocker.

At no point has this country ever been not trying to form a more perfect union. The sentence itself stares at infinity because in terms of a society, I’m not sure any civilization can attain a written goal to “form a more perfect union”. Can’t we always be more perfect?

The conversation inherently ran to the 2nd Amendment. It’s a big part of the movie, too.

That’s complicated and scary to write about. I don’t engage in political discourse on social media, well not often anyway. I made that mistake earlier this week and it blew up, which I knew it would, but a good friend said debate among friends is healthy. I felt excused at that point, but reaffirmed that Facebook is a dangerous place to talk about your political leanings. It gets dicey.

She said if the military and the police were the only ones with the guns, wouldn’t that be better than where we’re at now.

You can’t stop people from hunting, it really is a God given right. So we give them the shotguns and rifles to hunt with. They don’t need a pistol or anything semiautomatic or automatic.

I proposed the maniac who storms into a church and unloads on the parishoners, with a shotgun and/or rifle and the only recourse is waiting for the police to show up? An armed citizenry has a better chance of ending that tragedy. And it’s happened that way.

But an armed citizenry is the very reason we have nutjobs picking off innocent people waiting on a concert in Las Vegas or a bowling alley or schools.

Second amendment advocates say we need to enforce the laws on the books. One could ask if those laws are far-reaching enough. And how deep can we legislate a person’s sanity to own a gun or the ammunition that makes it dangerous.

It’s what Sorkin called “advanced citizenship”. I’m a big advocate that there are better answers, but it takes better people making the laws. Some of these laws haven’t even been thought of yet.

This will be a big election year. There’s lots on our plates, but the one trait of Americans that has always held true for the past 250 years is that cooler heads prevail. We have legislators at the local and national level that are in place specifically because of the emotion of our times. You can be emotional about your life and your lot in your life, but that’s called passion.

It shouldn’t run amok. We need calmer, more sympathetic leaders. Those who consider the entire electorate when making decisions, not just those of the same mind and socio-economic status.

There are referendums coming regarding the future of our students in at least two Lee County school districts. There are many elected seats open in what are called mid-terms and I guess you’ll never extract the emotion. So let’s hope we all have a bigger sense of responsibility and thought for all of Fort Madison, the state, and the country.

About Chuck Vandenberg 5270 Articles
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