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To Trump, free speech is speech that he agrees with

To The Daily Sun,

Yes, Mr. Meade, I am concerned and paying attention — are you?

In a recent column, Mr. Meade wrote that “differences between others and ourselves require that we each respect the other in order that we can exist as a community (nation).” Meade continues by stating that, “repeated attacks are being made against free speech ... a person’s right to speak, to express their views and opinions in an open forum” by leaders in academia. “Academia should be the promoter of free speech ... not the denier. He writes of “the march to anarchy ... and the destruction of our democratic republic.”

I respect that hateful, bigoted and racist speech is fundamentally protected under the First Amendment, as it should be. White supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have every right to spew their hate and venom.

It has become very disconcerting to me, however, that the president of the United States, who has sworn an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, has recently suggested that because the media reports news he doesn’t like, they should be silenced — threatening to “challenge” broadcast networks licenses. I don’t think I have to tell Mr. Meade that this is a restriction on practice of the First Amendment rights from those that report news disagreeable to the highest office in the land.

Trump was a free speech advocate, but with his attacks against the media and the NFL protesters, he has become a “free speech is speech that I like,” much like the academia Meade continuously fights against.

Trump has no particular reverence for the First Amendment; it’s quite obvious he doesn’t understand it very well.

Trump has called on NFL owners to “fire” any player who failed to stand for the national anthem. While I would not personally kneel during the national anthem, I recognize that others have the right to do so. Forcing anyone to stand for something isn’t freedom. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Under the First Amendment, players have every right to take a knee, but those that object to it have every right to say they object. The president is calling for penalties for those who practice their right of protected speech.

I’m sure Mr. Meade is as upset with Trump’s abuse of the First Amendment as he is with those in academia — I’m anxious to hear his commentary on the issue.

Robert Miller

  • Written by Edward Engler
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 176

Understand what ‘well regulated militia’ meant in 18th century

To The Daily Sun,

For anyone who has a firm grasp of American history (and for that, syntax) the term “well regulated” has nothing to do with law. In this case, “well regulated” means “well trained” or "well disciplined." Militias practiced their art, learning to handle their firearms. That included the act of preparing their weapons to fire, which took 12 steps, to whit:

1. Push the striker (also known as a frissen) forward to uncover the flash pan.
2. Pour a small amount powder into the flash pan.
3. Move the frissen back to cover the pan.
4. Hold the musket with the muzzle facing up.
5. Pour powder into the the barrel from the muzzle.
6. Insert a musket lead into the barrel.
7. Insert a small patch of cloth or paper wadding into the barrel.
8. Remove the ramrod from its storage pipe underneath the barrel of the musket and use it to ram the lead and wadding down to the end of the barrel.
9. Replace the ramrod into its storage pipe.
10. Raise the musket to firing position and seat the butt against the shoulder.
11. Pull back the hammer.
12. Aim and fire.

To perform these steps in a timely and rapid fashion took practice. To do it as a team took even more practice to ensure that each line of militiamen would complete the tasks at the same time, every time. If they could, they were “well regulated.” “Regulars,” as many soldiers were called back then, meant they could maintain a rate of volley fire at a regular interval, something that was very effective on an 18th century battlefield.

“Militia” was all citizens, not just the National Guard or the Continental Army. (To be accurate, it was all men of age, young or old, at least back in the 18th century.) So the phrase “well regulated militia” in the context of the Second Amendment has a different meaning than here in the 21st century. Even the U.S. Supreme Court understood that.

While Mr. Davis may disagree with the 9-0 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Heller vs District of Columbia in regard to the Second Amendment being an individual right and not a collective right, it is the law of the land. It is his right to disagree. However I must disagree with him that it is the “most destructive and consequential of them all.” I can think of many other Supreme Court decisions that were far more divisive and destructive, including some in the modern era.

Dale Channing Eddy

  • Written by Edward Engler
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 270