Editorial

Should We Discard the Third Amendment Too?

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Should We Discard the Third Amendment Too?

While constitutional reconstructionists propose doing away with the Second Amendment, I wondered if they’d like to toss out the Third Amendment as well?

What Is the Third Amendment?

Unless you’re a student or scholar, you probably do not remember what the Third Amendment protects.

The Third Amendment reads, “No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

So what do you say? Should we maintain this constitutional protection, or is it all right to have the military camped out in your house against your will?

Prioritization

It’s human nature to place priorities at the top of a list. When you understand history, the contents of the First Amendment make perfect sense—freedom of religion, speech, and the press. And so does the Second Amendment. The right of each citizen to bear arms was a big deal. Our forefathers demonstrated this by placing it second on the list of constitutional amendments.

You can deny this belief all you want. But think about the projects you’ve encountered. People typically prioritize tasks, and the most important go to the top of the list.

The Second Amendment reads, “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.”

Many prognosticators think this verbiage is outdated and the concept antiquated. Oh, really? With the current shenanigans going on in the federal government, the wisdom of the framers of our Constitution proves timeless.

Government Machine

I was part of the government machine for 31 years and firmly believe in the institution. However, it is people that prove untrustworthy, not the framework. With the likes of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in positions of power, I don’t feel a strong desire to surrender my firearms anytime soon. Therefore, the Second Amendment is another form of “checks and balances”—the ability to confront tyrannical governance and hold officials accountable if they override the will of the people. Several years ago I thought this argument was ridiculous, but not so much anymore.

Discarding Constitutional Protections and Privileges

Since scores of people in our union are in the mood to discard constitutional protections, let’s eliminate the freedom to swim as well. Although America’s Declaration of Independence affords the unalienable right to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” swimming is simply too dangerous.

CDC

After all, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were an average of 3,536 unintentional drownings annually in the US between 2005-2014. There is no need to grab your calculator, the total during this ten-year-period of time comes to 35,360 accidental drowning deaths (unrelated to boating mishaps). That is an alarming number! Even all the homicides in Baltimore and Chicago combined do not compare!

Oh, by the way, 20 percent of the drowning victims were under the age of 14. So let’s “do it for the children”—no more swimming!

NHTSA

If the total number of drownings shock your conscience, step away from your car, it’s too dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) we lost 37,461 of our loved ones to traffic fatalities in 2016 alone. That is quite a loss in life due to people operating their vehicles negligently.

Perhaps it’s time to add “car-control” and “swimming pool moratoriums” to the “gun-control” debate!

And if you’re pushing for computer driven automobiles, no thanks! At least not yet. Have you heard of cyber crimes, hacking, identity theft, and computer viruses? I am not completely on board with the idea “robo-driver” next to me. Moreover, I see it as another target rich environment for bored computer geeks sitting in their basements looking for a way to wreak havoc.

So perhaps in the interest of public safety, we should return to transportation by horse and buggy? Wow, imagine how excited the makers of the “buggy whip” would be.

Military Advocate

Now, back to the Third Amendment. As a former member and avid supporter of the military, I’d be the first to house troops fighting for my interests. It would be my honor to shelter them under dire circumstances. But I’ll be a monkey’s uncle before I’d want my government to discard the Third Amendment, and potentially force me to provide shelter for troops fighting against my interests.

Conclusion

Finally, anyone who desires to abandon the Bill of Rights just failed a history lesson. Let’s use good sense. I do not want irresponsible people driving automobiles, nor do I want criminally violent, dangerous, or insane people holding a gun to the head of loved ones. It is perfectly acceptable to revoke privileges and rights when people abuse them.

Yet let’s not abandon the Fourteenth Amendment—due process—during the emotional argument to collect all weapons following mass murder. If we erode freedoms in the absence of due process protections, we take steps toward becoming a “police state,” and that is a frightening proposition!

– Jim McNeff, editor-in-chief, Law Enforcement Today

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Author
Jim McNeff

Jim McNeff is a partner and managing editor of Law Enforcement Today where he has worked since 2016. Previous to this he served in law enforcement for 31 years. He retired as a police lieutenant after 28 years with the Fountain Valley Police Department in Orange County, California. Prior to that he served the 3902 Security Police Squadron in the United States Air Force, assigned to the 1st Air Command and Control Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Southwest University and graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute as well as the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) course, Leadership in Police Organizations. He’s authored two books, “The Spirit behind Badge 145” and “Justice Revealed.” His third book, “Jurisdiction,” is due to be released in early 2019.Jim has been married to his wife Jamie since 1983. They have three adult children and three grandchildren. You can contact him at editor@lawenforcementtoday.com and learn more about his ministry work at www.badge145.com. You can also follow him on Facebook at "Badge 145 - Trending Truth" or Twitter @jimmcneff.

1 Comment

Remember the three supports of the Republic, the soap box, the ballot box and the cartridge box.

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