Конституційні права

Bull Horn

Американська Конституція та Білль про права лежать в основі нашого суспільства та нашої демократії. Мільйони людей по всьому світу прагнуть того, що ми сприймаємо як належне: здатність критикувати наш уряд і збиратися для покращення суспільства без помсти, здатність поклонятися (чи ні), як хтось щиро вірить, і система за системою, побудованою для захисту несправедливих обвинувачений з позбавлення волі.

Наші права були написані чорнилом і скріплені кров’ю. Мільйони американців віддали свої життя заради захисту нашої свободи та більшого залучення всіх до її захисту. У кожному поколінні виникають загрози нашим основним правам, і, хоча ми можемо не зіткнутися з такими загрозами, як Громадянська або Друга світова війна, навіть одне покоління самовдоволення може змити все, над чим наша нація так наполегливо працювала.

Можливо, сьогодні не існує більшої загрози нашим правам, ніж наша гіперроздута партизанська ненависть. У його назві політики пропонують жорсткі обмеження, з якими погоджується занадто багато, щоб «перемогти» і покарати іншу сторону. Але зрештою вони втрачають стільки ж, скільки і тих, кого прагнули перемогти.

Наше суспільство може працювати краще, ніж це. Наша політика може працювати краще, ніж ця. Тільки захищаючи конституційні права всіх нас, ми можемо досягти свого найбільшого розквіту. Ваші права - це мої права.

Let’s cherish our First Amendment right to free speech, which above all other civil rights allows our society and government to function. Attempts to self-define and censor “hate speech” and “misinformation” by the state, the media, our schools, and our employers must be opposed. No matter how incorrect your opinion is, the government has no right to take it away.

Free speech is not only key to political rights, but also worker rights. Right after Amazon pulled the AWS servers hosting upstart Twitter competitor Parler, Twitter began a campaign to silence supporters of worker unionization efforts at Amazon warehouses.

Let’s follow the footsteps of California and add political identity as a protected class under state non-discrimination laws. Let’s fine media sites which ban Washington users from the online public square.

I believe government should be neutral on matters of faith. No law should be passed solely on religious or anti-religious grounds. Similarly, no one should be denied the right to believe or not believe any religious or anti-religious tenet. Unfortunately, Washington’s bureaucracy under Governor Inslee has repeatedly violated religious freedom. Never again should Washington take away a child from family on account of their faith. Never again should Washington force a church to pay for an abortion they deeply believe takes the life of a child.

Gun violence is a serious issue, one which has affected me personally. 60% of deaths caused by firearms are self-inflicted, a statistic which includes my little sister. Washington’s 10-day waiting period did little to stay her hand compared to the pandemic’s toll to her mental health. The US Surgeon General reported that teen and young adult women have been especially hard hit by the pandemic, with emergency room visits for self-harm increasing by 54% from 2019 to 2021.

More broadly, gunfire in Seattle surged to record levels in 2021, caused both by gangs using Seattle’s lax criminal enforcement to their advantage and deteriorating mental health through the pandemic. It is abundantly clear that mental health had been on the decline before the pandemic, and COVID only supercharged this trend. The demand for therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers during the pandemic has been so great that many long time patients have had considerable trouble finding any available appointments and providers. One way to ease up on the bottleneck is by allowing psychologists and licensed social workers limited ability to prescribe medications. States which have enacted prescription liberalization have seen measurable drops in suicide.

Rebuilding mental health will require more than changing regulations and funding programs, something I’m quite open to– it will require a culture shift in Washington toward embracing strangers, looking after neighbors, and expanding our bubbles far beyond ourselves and the virtual. We need community. We need each other.

Even though firearms can be abused, I still support the Second Amendment right for law-abiding citizens to own firearms. While background checks are necessary to keep criminals and the mentally ill from purchasing guns, I believe national restrictions on assault weapons are sufficient and less dangerous firearms should not be banned by our state. Nor do I support further restrictions on ammunition or magazine size, laws which harm farmers who need to protect their land and livestock.

But, as any responsible gun-owner would tell you, the right to bear arms comes with immense responsibility, one which we must all take very seriously. This has never been more true in a time when people feel more alone, bitter, angry, and trapped than ever.

Civil asset forfeiture refers to the ability of law enforcement officers to confiscate assets, often money, from individuals they suspect of criminal activity without due process and keep it for their department. Regaining their assets requires individuals to prove it was not earned through criminal activity, a complete reversal of the typical “innocent until proven guilty” mindset of our judicial system.

While I support fully funding police, this is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment and is not a proper method to generate revenue for police departments. Washington must end this practice.