McKenna Merkle
McKenna Merkle

The AP Government students of Van Wert High School will be submitting a weekly editorial to inform the public on a variety of issues. They have been encouraged to research, take a position, and defend their reasoning for having such thoughts. The purpose of these editorials is to provide awareness and knowledge for the community and to be thought provoking. The views expressed in these editorials do not represent Van Wert High School, and are written solely by the student author.

The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 10, 1791 to calm the fears of the Anti-Federalists who did not want ratification of the Constitution. They believed the government would gain too much power and felt uneasy that there were no guarantees of individuals’ rights. The first 10 amendments of the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights which guarantee numerous personal freedoms, limit the government’s power in judicial and other proceedings, and reserve some powers to the states and the public.

One big question is whether or not our rights as individuals really are secure. Some say they are, while others strongly disagree. Personally, I believe that our rights are guaranteed to an extent. For example, the First Amendment states that we have “freedom of speech.” This is true until it provokes a “clear and present danger.”

A pressing issue prevalent in today’s society deals with the Second Amendment right to “bear arms.” President Barack Obama agrees to an individual’s right to bear arms in principle, but does not take it as an absolute right and considers it a negotiable subject. He stated at a Democratic Primary Debate at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia that he believes the Constitution “confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can’t constrain the exercise of that right.”

It seems to me that, step by step, those who oppose gun ownership are slowly creeping their way into government officials’ heads. Every time an outrageous story erupts involving guns, those people feed off of that information using it as a pretext to further their agenda. A further illustration of my point would come as a result of the recent stabbings that took place at a Pennsylvania High School. Twenty-one students were stabbed by “kitchen sized knives,” and yet, no one has proposed a limitation of knives, or any possible restrictions. If such a proposal were to be made, people would scoff and laugh as it quickly diminished.

I believe the same should occur for those who want to diminish our Rights. Let our Rights stand strong, and these foolish proposals to diminish!