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Constitutional process must not be disregarded

Updated: March 2, 2013 6:13AM

Constitutional process must not be disregarded in gun debate

The U.S. Constitution is not a “living document.” As designed by the Founding Fathers, it is an amendable document. A “living document” implies that it can be changed, edited, ignored, or selectively enforced based on the transient notions of popular culture.

Each point cited by K. Hartman (Letters, Jan. 28) — age 18 voting, popular voting for the U.S. Senate, the income tax, women’s right to vote, etc. — were not “living changes” made to the Constitution to satisfy popular political agendas at the time but amendments to the Constitution passed by process in accordance with the brilliant plan laid out and codified in 1787.

That process was deliberately intended to be difficult so the very blueprint of our government wouldn’t change so often as to render it unworkable. That process, however difficult, has shown a remarkable ability to incorporate major changes unforeseen in the 18th century.

That the Constitution provided the vehicle for all of the amendments cited over the past 226 years shows the genius of its creators.

If Hartman has issue with the Second Amendment, there is a process delineated in the Constitution to accommodate that. Calling the Constitution a “living document” and selectively choosing which amendments in the Bill of Rights have merit and which do not is clearly not what was intended by its creators and is not in keeping with more than 200 years of American history.

Reducing gun violence is of critical importance. But please, let’s not “burn down the house in order to roast the pig” by trashing the Constitution in an attempt to achieve a political point. The Constitutional process works — if we give it a chance.

K. Ellis


Are Elgin council members afraid of some phantom menace?

So what is the Elgin City Council so afraid of that they want to bulletproof part of its chambers?

Have there been threats or incidents that would warrant such actions? The answer is no — no threats, no incidents. Yet Mayor Kaptain would like to have an armed police officer keeping an eye on the proceedings.

Maybe the city council will one day mature to the fact that Elginites are not happy with the Obama-like spending it is engaging in. The city council wants to be protected from a phantom menace when it could spend that money protecting our children.

If the city council wants to spend money prudently, why not get more bang for the buck? One armed officer for every public school would be far less expensive than the $374,000.00 city council wants to spend to make their lives safer.

Maybe with new blood infused in the city council, a saner approach to governing will emerge. Maybe the newly elected council members will add to the lone voice of reason that stands outnumbered by council members only pretending to care.

Manfred W. Czymmek


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