Tell me if you’ve heard this one before?
Much like a muscle that atrophies with disuse, any right that goes unexercised for many years devolves into a privilege, and eventually can even be redefined as a crime.
Is this really true? I haven’t exercised my Third Amendment rights ever in my lifetime. I don’t know too many other folks who have either. Yet the Third Amendment is doing so well, the government hardly ever violates it. Additionally, despite a dearth of case law, those which have come up ruled pretty decisively in favor of the right of the citizen. Further, no one seriously argues that the Third Amendment is wrong and ought to be repealed. The Third Amendment is doing pretty well despite falling into disuse!
Now, let’s take a look from the other side. People exercise the right of home ownership pretty regularly, and we trek about with our persons, papers and personal effects on a regular basis. Yet it takes the barest of any pretext for the police to search the ever loving crap out of your personage and vicinity, because most searches have been deemed “reasonable” by the courts. If the Second Amendment ends up being in as poor a shape as the 4th Amendment, by the time all this is said and done, I’ll cry.
I think this is a eloquent way to simply a complex issue to the point where it’s a pleasing thing to think, but doesn’t reflect reality. The answer is the loss of rights is a lot more complex than whether you use it or not, and our community shouldn’t delude itself into thinking otherwise.
7 Responses to “A Right Unused …”
- SayUncle » Need a Third Amendment Foundation - [...] A right unused? Not sure, since we are all harboring a governmental presence in our homes, without our consent …