I find that way too many people don’t know their rights.
This has two effects:
1. Their ignorance allows others to control them.
2. Their ignorance leads to a fear that compels them to try to control others.
This can lead to a misunderstanding of many of the civil liberties that you may not even know you have. For example:
Freedom from slavery and forced labor. (OK, duh, but what about working 60hrs/week for a salary based on 40hrs/week, because if you don’t, you’ll get fired?)
Freedom from torture and death. (I’d tell you to ask the prisoners at Gitmo…but they’re not American…and thus obviously not real people..)
The right to liberty and security. (As long as you toe the line and don’t make any waves)
Right to a fair trial, the right to defend one’s self. (Unless you’re famous…or if you’re poor)
The right to own and bear arms. (Probably one of the most misunderstood right of them all. Yet it’s the one that distinctly gives us the means to fight a tyrannical government, should it ever come to that.)
The right to privacy. (The Patriot Act took care of this. Americans gave this freedom away sometime after 9/11…out of fear. How embarrassing…)
Freedom of conscience. (The freedom to choose between Fox news or CNN? Think for yourselves people!)
Freedom of expression. (Remember this does not give you the right to not be offended by someone else’s freedom of expression.)
Freedom of assembly and association. (Unless, like Occupy New York, you’re annoying rich people..)
The right to marry and have a family. (Unless you’re lifestyle doesn’t sit well with the religious views of some of the population..)
Citizens should never fear the government. The government should fear its citizens.
The people that want to control and influence every nuance of your lives have no interest in educating you about your true power as a citizen. It is the responsibility of each member of our society to understand and exercise the rights afforded them by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Be aware, and tell your friends, but don’t lose heart.
Remember, there will always be more of us then there are of them.