3rd Ammendment….Really?!?

Let me start by saying, I fought for the constitution, its amendments, the flag….all that good stuff. But when I was growing up and learning such things in U.S. history class, I think I bought naively into the very general explanation of the 3rd Amendment. It was the easiest to remember; “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” It followed on the heels of learning how, in the years leading up to the American Revolution, citizens were required to house British soldiers in their private homes. It was adopted in 1791. It all seemed rather sensible and it was readily stored in the common knowledge category as a good thing to have and keep. Maybe that is just a natural instinct with most rights a person feels they have.

But now, as I am a few years older and have …hmmm, let’s call it… historical reference; I have started to wonder if we really need it. I mean, I know the Founding Fathers were pissed at the British. I read there was some minor incident with tea too. But since 1791; a few years have passed; no excommunicated monarchies have ever tried that same shit since; we have prescribed no laws for a manner to do so; and, honestly, if the U.S. military decided to become roomies with our current citizenry anytime soon, they could likely be out armed and in for a good fight. This amendment has been cited as evidence that the Constitution protects an implicit right to privacy, but that is not really what the text says and in this world of cell phones, internet, online banking, VoIP, social media, etc. will we ever have a true measure of an implicit right to privacy again anyway?

Still it seems somewhat unnatural to give up a right we already have no matter how archaic or arcane it may be. And I am not advocating we do so. In fact, I am not even insinuating it could done. There are, of course, mechanisms in the articles of the Constitution to provide for its amendment, and by extension I assume we could choose to remove one too. But the ability of our combined legislatures to agree on anything seems unlikely, much less the majority of consensus something like a Constitutional amendment would require. And it is obvious these knuckleheads need to be focused on the other critical issues demanding their attention currently. But there is the rub.

Since 1789, over 10,000 amendments have been introduced to Congress. Over the last several decades, that number has narrowed to only 100 or 200 introduced each year. Most of these never leave committee and even fewer make it to the floor for a vote. With these massive efforts over the course of more than 200 years, we have managed to ratify 27 amendments. Hold on….(scanning previous paragraph)…didn’t we just agree these knuckleheads have some serious “today” type problems to address? And our legislators are talking about 100 to 200 Constitutional amendments each year? I feel silly now.

OK. Let’s hold onto that third one for now. It is obvious you guys are way too busy with some other stuff. I will hope for your ability to pass one good new law in place of the dream you could address anything that may have become less applicative as our nation has moved out of the colonial time period. However, I suggest you get your act together gentlemen. A pissed off America can soon have you longing for the good old days of worrying about things like a few British soldiers chilling at your crib for the weekend.

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