"...The right of the people peacefully to assemble for lawful purposes existed long before the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. In fact, it is and always has been one of the attributes of a free government. It 'derives its source,' to use the language of Chief Justice Marshall, in 'Gibbons v Ogden,' 9 Wheat., 211, 'from those laws whose authority is acknowledged by civilized man throughout the world.' It is found wherever civilization exists. It was not... a right granted to the people by the Constitution... The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of 'bearing arms for a lawful purpose.' This is not a right granted by the constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence."
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92 US 542; (1875)
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very self explanatory
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    We once had the right to private-peaceful assembly; however, the government is using the 16th ammendent to police these private clubs and groups to adhere to unwanted federal rules or lose their tax exemption.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    The right of liberals to assemble, peaceably are not, is fine with the current gang in Washington. They are not, however, too thrilled when folks gather in opposition, such as the Tea Parties.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Rights were, and are rights, before anyone wrote them down. You don't need to be told that you have a right to defend your life. You don't need to be told that property...is "property". You knew these things before you were 10 years old.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Our rights are not in any manner dependent upon the Constitution for their existence. That may come as a surprise to some...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I assume that Archer also believes that people throughout the world have freedom of speech, religion, assembly etcetera. Since he believes those things exist without human effort. He should try living in a Hussein or radical Muslim environment sometimes. You never cease to amaze Archer, never! It now appears that Archer and Carlton above feel that we can just throw away The Constitution and Bill of Rights as a meaningless rag. Who knows what they will say next if we continue on this blog another few years or so!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, that might be the most stupid thing you've ever said. Because, democracies, theocracies, socialist derivatives along with all other tyrannical regimes exist to destroy that which is a faculty of birth, that doesn't mean rights are not inalienable. The Constitution was to limit what government could do so that it would not infringe on what the God of Nature gave to each living individual freely. Waffler, you really are an ignorant government lackey that hates freedom and liberty.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    If yuou are correct Mike why are their court cases all of the time and governmental that is court rulings to protect and guarantee freedoms and rights? Some governments deny rights some governments protect and expand rights. Do the Chineese have the use of all of these God given inalienable rights? Hell no they don't! And what is the difference betweeen them and us? It is our government and our Constitution. I suggest that the term "our government" can be a much larger concept than just the constitution, it is the total of our Western/British heritage concerning the rights of man. While you may believe or construct a theology that these things fell from heaven, if you will read history you will find that they were developed over time and guaranteed and protected by "govenment" and taken away be government as in Greek and Roman and American and Comunist slavery. There are folk in every walk of life that would be willing to take away your inalienable rights at the drop of a hat, most of them are not in government. The government and the Courts protect the individual from infringement of his righths by others. Your entire mind set my friend, your personality, like Lysander, and Thoreau is your problem. End your blind hatred for government as a modus operandi and you may be able to right more lucidly, thoughtfully, and intelligently. Having inalienalbe rights Mike and having the use of them is two different things. All individuals have them not all have the use of them, as I said above, like in China, Muslim and dictatorial countires. Learn the difference!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, you answered yourself in your first question. In a representative republic, where the servants only represent the individual, they are to protect and guarantee the freedoms and rights that their sovereigns were born with. The representative only represents the sovereign, he can not give to the master something he did not previously possess. The representative can only protect and guarantee that which the sovereign all ready had. (for example: can a salesman sale that which his employer does not have? - no. the salesman can only represent that which the boss possesses) Those governments that deny rights are not of, by, or for the people, they are aloof and autonomous unto them selves away from the people. Those tyrannical regimes can only curtail and stop from being exercised God given inalienable rights, they can not give rights or extinguish them. When those tyrants are gone, incapable of suppressing the inalienable faculties of birth, without doing anything, the individual will be able to freely express that which was his from birth once again (not developed from some foreign jurisdiction). There is inherently and, before the law, no difference between the Chinese and us (God is the father of all and is no respecter of persons) except those under Chinese oppression have their inalienable rights curtailed measurably more than ours. Your read of history is some what a distorted twist on a godless legal positvism. The founders that put into place the Constitution formed their government on the principles of natural law which are diametrically opposed to legal positivism. My government, is that body of representatives which represents me and all other individuals' inalienable rights. I understand your government is different, in that you consistently define a distorted twist on legal positivism as manifest through a statist theocracy. As I have said in many ways, people throughout history have not created or invented law or rights, but rather discovered them and then tried to define them or curtail them through different society's perceptions. Again, you enforce my position when you say: "There are folk in every walk of life that would be willing to take away your inalienable rights at the drop of a hat,". Government does exist with an inordinately high percentage of such people. Again, thank you for stating my point so clearly when you said: Having inalienalbe rights and having the use of them is two different things. All individuals have them not all have the use of them. (and by the way, you contradict yourself when you say rights were developed over time and then say they are inalienable)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    You need to read the famous essays and philosophical treatises on the subject to understand how if not developed at least promulgated, distributed, and handed down etcetera. We still need to promulgate them, explain them and uphold them. As JFK said "On earth God's work must be done by man." For examples of the infringement of our inalienable rights especially the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" I suggest you sit in any county court house or just watch the TV news one day and you will learn of the murder, mayhem, thefts, etcetera of one citizen upon another that will make your head swim. Government my friend is doing something to correct these infringements of others inalienable rights. If folk would stop these infringements government could fade away.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, the fade away of government is a Marxist goal that can not and should not ever come to pass. Government, as was intended by the U.S. founders was to represent the individual sovereign so that the individual could pursue life's more productive ventures. Government, at all levels in the US, has become and is currently a lawless criminal. The little good it does is overshadowed by its corrupt executions. I have read much of the essays and philosophical treatises, famous and not so famous on the subject. Such as Jefferson's parroting Locke concerning natural law until he came to the place where "we hold these truths to be self evident" was implanted. That part was contrary to Locke and formed the new jurisprudence that created the basis for all future US (executive, legislative, judicial) activities.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The thing Waffler doesn't get is that human rights are not granted by some other human authority. Human rights are a faculty of birth. Of course there are governments that do not recognize the natural born rights of humankind -- that doesn't mean that we don't have them. Slaves have the right to be free. The distinction is hard to make when one believes that whatever the majority says is true and that whatever the government commands one must obey. That is the way of monarchs and Tyrannists (the first Greek democracy was in Tyre finally resulting in self-destruction). Those that worship authority may never understand their true power -- and their true responsibility. Since Waffler believes that we should all be taken care of by the State, it is understandable that he doesn't recognize his own rights other than what the authorities tell him. Waffler has no need for independence -- it is too much responsibility -- he wants to be taken care of, he wants his free education, free medical care, and a government pension. The thing is, it isn't free, it is paid for with the freedoms and independence of everyone. Those of us who can, do, and prefer to take care of themselves do not want to have to be *forced* to take care of anyone else. The fact is that those that produce are more charitable than those that take -- let me decide with whom I want to share the fruits of my labors -- I have never refused a hungry man a meal, but let it be me who decides who I shall share with -- that is the best way. Let me pick which 'bum' I want to uplift. Once government takes on the role of benefactor, the people stop being charitable -- certainly if they are taxed more and more they will have less to share. And the government is the worst spendthrift of all! Please note Waffler that the countries you mention that do not recognize individual rights are most often socialist/communist/fascist, so think about that while you and the mob cheer for more government and socialist programs -- the result would be the same.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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