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U S Constitution Book

The U S Constitution - Here is what it says
by Don Thayer
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Introduction To This Site

The purpose of this site is to remind you to read the U S Constitution for yourself, and you decide what it means. Don't let anyone convince you that only a constitutional scholar can understand it's true meaning. There is very little legal terminology in the U S Constitution, the majority is written in plain English. Read it for yourself and you decide.

U S Government Powers

Put simply, the U. S. Government has very limited powers. Originally the U. S. Constitution allowed the government broad powers due to ambiguity - "to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States". To provide for the general welfare of the United States allows the government to pass any legislation it wants.

On Dec 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, limiting the Federal Government's powers:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.". Amendment 10 - ratified December 15, 1791

After ratification of the Bill Of Rights the Federal Government has only those powers specifically delegated to it, which are enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 . Limits to Federal power(the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus, no Bill of Attainder, etc) are specified in Article 1, Section 9.

Gun Rights

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The 2nd amendment of the Bill Of Rights

This is the ONLY statement in the U S Constitution about guns. Neither Federal, State, nor local laws overwrite it. The militia isn't defined here, it's use was originally defined in the 1st session of Congress, Chapter 28, Section 1, also known as the Militia Act Of May 2, 1792, and membership defined in Chapter 33, Section 1, also known as the Militia Act Of May 8, 1792. The militia is currently composed of:

"every able-bodied male citizen of the respective States, Territories, and the District of Columbia, and every able-bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than eighteen and less than forty-five years of age" The Militia Act of 1903, Section 1, also known as the "Dick Act", named after Senator Charles W. F. Dick.

The NSA's Overreach

The 4th Amendment applies here.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. " Amendment 4 - ratified December 15, 1791

The NSA can't simply invade your privacy because of "common sense" or supposed necessity. They must have probable cause, "supported by oath or affirmation", AND a warrant, and they can't blindly search until they find something, they must search for a specific item in a specific place. Read the specifics of the 4th Amendment - "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and EFFECTS..." and "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized".

Legislation does NOT overwrite this, neither does "common sense" or supposed "necessity".